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Welcome to my Christmas blog. If you arrived here from my other blog, Gracenotes For Today then you already know all about my love for cardmaking, home dec items, sewing projects and graphic design.

This site will host anything with a Christmas theme, either NEW or that was previously on the Gracenotes For Today site. Also, to the above list, I will include some of my poems that are perfect for use with cardmaking.

I'm so happy you decided to drop by. Please feel free to comment on anything you see here that inspires you.

~ Grace

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Grace Notes

Grace Notes
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December 03, 2011

Winter Branches - Practically FREE!

Snowy, frosty branches are lovely all through the winter. The sweet red cardinal adds a touch of Christmas.

From the brush pile to a place of honour in my dining room, these spruced up branches were the perfect accent. In thinking of an arrangement for a corner of my dining room, I decided I wanted something tall and not too fussy. In previous years, this plant stand held an arrangement of poinsettias at Christmas time, and the flowers get changed with each season.

Some branches after priming.
I shopped around for some pretty branches and decided I could easily make the perfect thing from what I already had available. After staring at the branches on the brush pile and noticing how graceful some of them were, I got the idea to pretty them up and display them inside. Yes, they are Christmassy but I will keep these out for the entire winter.

After snipping several branches and pruning away unwanted stray parts, I brought them inside and gave them a good cleaning with damp paper towels. Then I took them outside to prime them with Krylon spray primer. I have to say, the product was disappointing for this project. It just did not cover no matter how many coats I sprayed.

Primed and drying
I ended up using some fabulous ceiling paint that worked wonderfully well; high coverage and quick drying. I applied the paint with a sponge brush. Then I set all the primed branches in my lovely tall vase (a gift I was anxious to use) and let them dry thoroughly.

I tied a green ribbon around the green glass vase just to see if I liked the look. It was kind of woodsy but I liked it. My plan was to add white mini twinkle lights for sparkle, but I didn't like the green wires and could not find the minis with white wires. Besides, my container is glass and would show all the messy wires.

Sparkly Snow Needed
Although the matte white branches looked nice, I still wanted them to sparkle or to look more "snowy". The snow I tried didn't make any impact.

After trying various methods of applying glitter, I still wasn't satisfied with the look. Then I hit on the best solution. I wanted ICE CRYSTALS! But no one sells a product to give this look. Soooo....
Here is my solution.
closeup of snowy branches

I covered select areas with Mod Podge and sprinkled a mixture of epsom salts and glitter over it. This was a little messy but I knew immediately that it was the look I was going for! I LOVE it!

finished snowy branches

double bow of sparkly white and green
I beefed up the bow with a wider white sparkly ribbon. And happily, I found the perfect red bird for my branches. He was already in my Christmas tree ornament stash.

Cost and Materials
Green glass vase - free (gift from my sister who got it from Good Will)
Paint - free (ceiling paint I already had, but any white matte paint would do)
Krylon spray primer - $5.00 but was not needed
Martha Stewart glitter - free (already had it, but any white glitter would do)
Ribbons - free (already had both green and white)
Red bird - free for me but would've been a couple of bucks
Mod Podge - free as I already had it but I paid $4.47 at Hobby Lobby.

Don't you love it when a plan comes together? It makes me happy to give new life to these old branches, and I love the finished display.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the effect of the epsom salts and glitter! How clever!!! Just beautiful!


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