The wife's request for a jewelry stand coincided perfectly with some recent storms in our area that dropped some pecan branches onto our house. I found a branch that fit the bill and after doing some testing (built a night stand) I made this mini tree.
Step 1: Materials
- Pecan branches
- 1/4" craft plywood
- Wood glue
- Burlap twine
- Raffia (red and tan)
- Wood stain
- Dovetail saw
Step 2: Branch Management
After the branch was cut to length (~16") and trimmed I cut a cross-slot out of the bottom for the plywood feet. I used a drill to remove the pieces after the cuts were made on either side of the slot and a rasp to clean them up. I added more jewelry storage to the tree by drilling holes and inserting stout little branches and sealing them in with wood glue. I notched the tops of the little branches to prevent necklaces from bunching up and sliding down to the base.
Step 3: Making the Feet
I used the edge of a jar lid to get the angle I wanted for the ends of the feet then cut them to size (8.5" x 1"). After rounding the edges off with a file I cut 1/2" x" 1/4" grooves in the center of each foot; one from the top edge and one from the bottom edge. I recommend doing a quick fit-check before proceeding with the next steps. Once they were sanded smooth I sketched out some root designs in pencil and then traced over them with a wood-burner. The last step was to stain and poly them and then glue them into the base.
Step 4: Making the Nest
This was the trickiest part of the process and took the most time (both in drying time and actual construction). My first attempt was to glue small twigs and twine around a bowl. This was unsuccessful but very educational. My second attempt was to line a bowl with tinfoil, cover the bottom in wood glue, lay down a mat of raffia and then place another tinfoil-cover bowl on top to complete the mold. I placed wooden blocks in the top bowl to allow for the placement of clamps to press the raffia together.
To make the mat I used hot glue to secure the string in place then simply wrapped it around itself, applying more hot glue and wood glue to hold it all together. As I got closer to the edge I started building it up higher to make more of a bowl shape. I braided three strands together to make a border to close off the top.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
A Y-shaped twig placed halfway down the trunk was the perfect rest for the nest which is held on with hot glue. A final coat of stain to the ends of the branches and it was done!