Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to make a magical, twiggy ceiling for the holidays

Many of you have asked me over on my facebook page how I created this twiggy ceiling for the holidays--so here goes.  It is not hard, but it would be helpful to have two people, at least on the cross braces. I did the rest by myself.

If you make one, please send me a photo and I will post them! You can email it or post on my facebook page.

Magical Twiggy Ceiling


about a dozen branches: 4-6 feet, birch, alder, beech, or any twiggy hardwood (that's a word, right?)
4 long branches for cross braces
wire cutter
screws or hooks
white lights
clear glass ornaments

These directions are for a ceiling with beams.

Cross Braces

Measure the space between the beams, cut branches that are slightly longer. Have the pruners handy, you will have to trim branches as you go.

Attach four cross braces (two on either side of ceiling light) using screws or hooks and wire.  On the fat end of the branch, we put the screw in through the branch and into the beam. On the skinny
end, we attached the screw to the beam and then wired it on.  Make sure the cross braces are attached very securely.

Add Branches

Add the branches on either side of and facing the light. Cut off any shoots that grow up or down--you want the branches to lay as flat as possible. Weave the branches under one end of the cross brace and wire the other end in place. Keep adding branches, weaving them together until it looks nice and full. Cut off any twigs that are close to the light or that hang down too low. (My tall hubby always appreciates this).  You will need a LOT of branches to fill a whole ceiling.

Add Lights

my helper--kitties were SO big eyed and excited when all those branches came in the house

Now add mini white lights--don't be stingy with the lights! I used three 100-light boxes and could have used one more. I ran a white extenstion cord up the side of the wall, across the ceiling (attaching it in place).

Add Ornaments

Again--you will need a lot. I used a variety of clear glass, irridescent clear glass and frosted, clear stars, balls, sprirals, and snowflakes. (Michaels is a good place to find these inexpensively).

Turn off all the other lights in the house and there you have it--MAGIC!

my daughter, catching up on her Downton Abbey under the magic, twiggy lights


Marcia Passos Duffy said...

So beautiful! Do you think I can do it without the beams for support? --Marcia

Kristina Wentzell said...

Marcia--I think so---you would have to attach the support branches to the ceiling though--into the studs. You don't want it to come crashing down on your head!

Carole Pivarnik said...

That is just the cutest idea! I am thinking of doing this as a permanent fixture in my studio, on the underside of a 2' wide bulkhead that runs the length of an 8' wall. It would offer nice gentle light over an area where there are two easy chairs. Thanks for sharing a great idea!

Kristina Wentzell said...

Carole--sounds like a great idea! Send me a photo when you're done. :-)

Frances Clements Fawcett said...

Hi Kristina - what a brilliant (insert chortle here) idea!

Thanks so much for sharing your how-to. Jeff and I have a bounty of branches on our property and the woods around our house - so this will be a fun and festive way to use them.

As we get closer to the longest night of the year, I can't think of a better way to bring more LIGHT into our universe.

Light and love from Port Townsend,


Elizabeth Field said...

I love this idea - I'm definitely into decorating with branches... https://www.facebook.com/notes/elizabeth-field/out-on-a-limb/72625626137 (story) and https://www.facebook.com/dancingintheflow/media_set?set=a.1098233531001.17198.1081511255&type=3 (pictures)