Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Branches • Birch Centerpiece

As I have been blogging about all the beautiful ways you can use branches in the home and sharing tons of inspiring ideas from others, I have also been working on my own. I wanted a winter centerpiece using birch sticks, one that was unique and a little artsy.  In my home I view the center of the table as a canvas for creations. Today, see what I have been working on....

I started with birch, cut at angles.........

I lined them up and built a bendable fence for the table top.....

To that I added candles because we like to dine by candle light......

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And I shaped it all into a serpentine path marching down a runner......

Above is arrangement #1 for the Birch Fence Centerpiece. It was decidedly easy to create.....

Birch Fence Centerpiece Tutorial
  • Collection of birch sticks ranging from 1' to 2" in diameter. I used dead fall.
  • Jute
  • Dental floss threader

  • Cut the birch into lengths ranging from about 2" to 8". I used a band saw but this could be done by hand - it would take awhile but these are just sticks.
  • Cut one end square to the branch so it can stand on end.
  • Cut the top end at an angle.  I made many different angles.

  • I cut about 60 pieces and used 46. I wanted a variety to choose from.

  • Scrub the birch with warm water. My pieces all had a black and green mold growing on them. They were much brighter after scrubbing.

  • Dry the sticks out. I put them in front of the woodstove for a couple of days to allow them to dry.

  • Drill two 3/16" holes in each piece. Test to make sure your jute passes through it easily.
  • One hole should be 1" up from the bottom. Notice how I clamped a fence to the drill press table to make the holes all exactly the same distance from the bottom.

  • I used a drill press because I have one but this can be completed with a hand drill as well. Be sure to measure.
  • The second hole was an inch above the first. Again they all need to be the same distance up from the bottom.
  • I then arranged all the sticks. I was looking for a randomness to the arrangement but shorter at both ends and taller in the center.

  • Here I did some fiddling because some pieces nested together better than others.
  • Using a piece of jute a good bit longer than the finished fence, start threading them together. I used a dental floss threader instead of a needle. It worked beautifully.

  • Continue threading the pieces together, first all the bottom holes.....

  • And then go back through the top holes.
  • I tied the jute together at the end and then frayed the cut edges.

The fence is done. Bring it to your display location and arrange it.
Serpentine is only one option...

How about an "S" curve?

Or possibly a spiral? Maybe candles in hurricane lamps? The possibilities are endless.

I have been inspired by all my branch themed posts.  Check through these links and see what inspires you....

Previous Posts of Interest • The Branch Series • 2012
©2012 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

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  1. This is fabulous! Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  2. I love this idea! Am having a luncheon next week and think something along these lines would be really cool. It looks wonderful with the dark table runner and candles.

  3. Very unique! You can do alot with this look. Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings My friend,

  4. This is wonderful! Now if I can just find a birch tree!

  5. I'm crazy about this fence centerpiece! This is the first time I've visited your blog. I'm going to sign up to follow you by email.

    You do a great job of showing each step. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

  6. How beautiful! I love this! Thank you for the inspiring tutorial.

  7. Very smart idea.

    Simply beautiful

    Greetings from freezing Stockholm.

  8. This is a fabulous creation! Thank you for sharing this wonderful project at Potpourri Friday!

  9. I can't say it enough - you have great unique ideas!

    Your newest Facebook follower,