Branches and paint make a fun, easy Valentines project that you can do by yourself, or with your kids. It makes a great wall-hanging inside or for your front door. It has a simple, organic feel that is popular in home decor. All in all, it is just a lot of fun to make because it starts by going outside on a nature walk to collect broken branches. You get to enjoy some sunshine, and best of all, the sticks are free!
- found branches
- miter saw
- paint in your choice of color
- foam paintbrushes
- tape and newspaper or something to paint on
- glue gun
Start by using the saw to cut your branches to size. A saw and miter box is very handy tool to have around the house. If you don’t have one yet, this is a good time to get one. Lay the sticks out in the heart-shape as you go so you know what size to make each piece. The dryer the wood, the easier it will cut. Most pieces I only had to saw 3 or 4 strokes to cut them. Once the branches are ready, lay out newspaper or a box and tape it to the table-top so it won’t slide around as you work. I used pink, purple, red, and white paint, and patterned them in that order. Paint a second coat on the wood if needed.
While the paint dries, wrap string around your hand a couple of times. Cut the string at the bottom, then the top, then cut all the pieces down the middle. You will need pieces about an inch and a half long.
Once the paint is dry and the string is ready, lay out the wood pieces in the way you would like them to look. Use your glue gun to start attaching the wood pieces together. Start at the top. Glue a ½ inch from the edge of the shortest piece of wood and angle the string slightly outward to the edge of the next piece. Try to match the strings’ angles with the other side of the heart too. I found after some trial and error that you will want to cut pieces of string that are a little bit longer for gluing between two thicker branches. The short strings will make the branches lie too close together and it will make the heart look unbalanced. It does not have to be perfect, but it does help to adjust the string length for the larger pieces.
When you have glued string to all of the wood pieces, glue string in an arch at the top of the heart for hanging. Hold the heart up to see how all the wood hangs. If you need to adjust some pieces, the hot glue will peel off very easily and you can fix any areas that may need some adjusting. Once you have it how you like it, you are done.