Twig Tree

Now you’ll probably think I’m exaggerating, but I had the best day of my entire life a couple of weeks ago.  I FOUND SOME STICKS!

Not just *any* sticks!  I found 2 bundles of perfectly straight sticks out behind the kitchen store I shop at.  In their garbage pile, covered in muck and discarded coffee cups. Since the area is also near a bar it’s entirely possible there was a bit of urine and vomit around them.   I’m lucky I spotted them!  They were shoved behind a staircase, covered in rotting leaves and less than a dozen worms.  And only a couple of the sticks were broken.  If they weren’t, I’m sure someone else would have taken the sticks.

So being the kind and non-stealing kind of person I am, I asked the owner of the kitchen store if I could have their garbage.  Apparently, it’s illegal to take something from someone’s garbage.  I don’t know why I adhered to this law today, when in the past half of my house was furnished with stuff I took out of people’s garbage.

I was not only given the sticks, the entire store did a bit of a dance that involved complicated footwork, while they sang a song about not having to go to the dump.  So … they were O.K. with me taking the sticks.

I had a certain plan for these sticks.  It was something I’d been thinking about doing with sticks for a long time.  I couldn’t wait to do this thing with the sticks so you could see it.  I had plotted and planned about how I would execute “said thing” once I finally found some straight sticks.  I knew the proportions, how I was going to hold everything together and what colour I was going to paint them.  I spent a LOT of time dreaming about these sticks and my plans for them.

Then once I actually got the sticks …  I did something completely different.

I’m not going to tell you what I was going to make in case I do make it in the future.  But what I did make was a Twig Tree.


Twig Tree 1


The Twig Tree is similar to the Wall Web I did for Halloween, only this time around instead of using 2 sided tape, I used the Command removable tape tabs.



They remove more easily than the two sided tape and come off cleaner.  The two sided tape came off O.K., but there were little bits I needed to remove with my fingernail.  So I gave the Command tab things a try and they’re GREAT.  I can’t recommend them enough.  You stick them on the wall, and then to remove them you just pull down on the tab.  You don’t pull *away* from the wall, you pull down.  They come off clean, plus they’re strong enough to hold these sticks on the wall.

Twig Tree Extra2


I did my tree using the antique ornaments I got this spring at the Christie’s Antique Show & Sale.  I also got french fries that day but didn’t think they’d look all that festive on the tree.  Not unless I dipped them in some ketchup anyway.  Plus I already ate them 6 months ago.

Twig Tree3


To do this tree all I did was cut the sticks to length and stick them on the wall with the tape.  Use 2 – 3 pieces of tape per branch.  Lay your branches on the wall and roll them until they’re in a position where they lay flattest on the wall.  Then just stick em up.

twig tree4


I also sprayed a bit of fake snow on the branches the night before I did this to give it a bit more depth.  More zing.  And zip.  And plus I love spraying that snow.

Twit tree5

twig tree6


Miss the glow of lights on your tree?  Not a problem.

twig tree 7


I found these battery run icicle lights at the Dollar Store.  I toyed with the idea of using a string of lights, but decided it would look like a mess.  I’m not in love with the blue of the led lights, but one day the Dollar Store will carry the more expensive “white” led lights I’m sure.  Until then, I’m going with the blue.

Twig Tree 9


Total cost for the Twig Tree?  $2 for the Command tape tabs.  If you yourself, don’t happen to have the luck that I did with finding dirt covered, worm infested, peed upon sticks, you can buy them just about anywhere this time of year.  Garden Centres, Ikea, Dollar Stores even.

In the spirit of the season, I’ll be totally honest with you.  I normally have a table and lamp in front of the tree (right beside the arm of the couch) but it blocked the tree too much for the pictures.  Looks nice in real life, but not so  nice in pictures.  Kind of like my nose.

Twig Tree2


This twig tree is a great option for someone who has a wall but doesn’t have the space to put up an actual tree.   Like people in jail maybe.  Or a home for the criminally insane.  Or rehab.  Those people need trees too.  It’s the Charlie Brown Incarceration tree.

The best part about this tree?  It doesn’t drop any needles and doesn’t need any watering.  Hell, if you’re stupid enough, spray it with some pine scent and you’d never know it wasn’t the real thing.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown.



  1. Allison says:

    Dorm room approved!

    • Karen says:

      Allison – Yes. Also an excellent use. You know, in addition to those who are incarcerated in places other than institutions of higher learning. ~ karen

  2. Teresa says:

    I LOVE this idea. You are amazing and I am always so inspired after perusing your site. I wanna be your BFF please. I’m sure you need one in Texas 🙂

  3. DENNICE says:

    Felicitaciones y gracias por compartir

  4. Laura says:

    and, wow! I skipped over this post, thinking it was going to be another ” put a big stick in a bucket and call it a tree” post. I should have known better! WOW. you are incredibly ingenious. I am off to find sticks… amazing, this blog. I have bookmarked it on the very spot.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Laura! You should *never* skip a post. Even if you aren’t interested in what I’m doing, chances are I’ll say something ridiculous that’ll make you laugh. 🙂 ~ karen

  5. KittyCardea says:

    This is a great idea! 😉 I’ll be putting up our usual artificial tree today. I’d like to try having a real one someday, but I don’t see that happening any year soon.

    I have decided that, over the summer, I’m going to work on creating a table-top tree out of driftwood or sticks and vines. If I can make it look good enough, I figure I’ll sell it on etsy.

  6. AnDee says:

    Well Done!
    !!!Applause from the peanut gallery!!!
    My step~father is named Charles Brown…He uses his middle name naturally…Cruel family, actually…There is a Marmaduke, Gonzo, Maxine, Snoopy {no, I jest, there is no Snoopy}…All siblings named before the cartoons ever existed.

    LOVE your sense of fun…and creativity.

  7. natalie says:

    I had a Christmas lamp one year… this is soooo much better. Seriously.

  8. Gayla T says:

    Everyone should call your city and check if you have a place where you can get sticks. We have a place where you can take natural trash and donate it or go and take what you want. Some take big bags of leaves and some go get them for mulch if they live in a new area with twig trees with 15 leaves. I just went and got evergreen cuttings to fill my porch planters. I could bring home enough sticks to fill my house. They also chip up stuff and you can load the mulch there. I’ll bet other cities have this too. Some years there is no evergreen and I have to use artificial that comes from along the curb on trash day but this was a lucky year. I don’t have an empty wall in my house to put up a twig tree but it’s a great idea. What really worries me is that finding sticks is the best day of your young life. You better have some babies or even get a better fella if sticks are as good as it gets. On this subject for once I’m serious and hoping you were not. I’ve grown fond of you in my grandmotherly way and now I have to worry that you are missing something vital for you to be gaa gaa for sticks. Please give my grandmotherly heart rest and tell me you are joking and I will try to not over analyze you and try to figure out what you are compensating for. I have so many grands to work on you would think I’d not have time to worry about you but just saying………

  9. Karen says:

    Absolutely love it! So much so, that I had to pin it on Pinterest. And yes, the little bend at the top just makes it sooo cute.

  10. Amy from Utah says:

    Are you kidding me?!

    Coolest. Tree. Ever. I love that it bows slightly at the top.

    I’m so happy I’ve discovered someone who shares my affinity for sticks. Seriously. I brake for branches.

    Great. Great job.

  11. Sandy says:

    You’re brilliant!! This is so awesome!! 🙂

  12. Kay says:

    I swear…………whenever I need a pick me up….I just read your blogs…… are too funny ………… & brilliantly creative.

  13. Chau says:

    Ah! Here you go again Karen with your clever idea. I’ll copy this of course so I can have a Christmas tree finally. Thanks, Karen, you’re awesome!

  14. Kate S. says:

    Are your cats attacking the glass balls? I’m pretty sure my rat-fink cats would break them or I would try a twig tree myself.

    • Karen says:

      Kate S – The one cat sat on the back of the couch trying to bat at the balls for about a second then got bored and never looked at them again. ~ k

  15. Cynthia says:

    You are hilarious AND I was happy to see Martha had no impression on your gift wrapping. Don’t get me wrong, I just loved the present where the wrap didn’t quite meet up. You’re brilliant, funny and HUMAN. Thanks for paving the way for the rest of we mere mortals!

    • Karen says:

      Cynthia – Oh dear God. I should explain. I’m not actually human at all. Just before i had to take the pictures I realized there needed to be something on the floor around where the table normally goes, LOL! I wrapped those presents in about 30 seconds flat. Trust me … I’m as big a nutbar as Martha when it comes to wrapping. If it makes you feel any better I haven’t dusted my front hall light in about a year. ~ karen

  16. Eleni says:


  17. Nancy says:

    WOW..I expected something awesome from you and you never fail to deliver..Thanks for sharing this!!!

  18. Jennifer H. says:

    I am insanely jealous of your Dollarama store. I’ve never found anything close to as awesome as the items you show, especially not anything like name brand Command strips for $2. Please recommend to them in the nicest way possible that they should open stores here in the U.S.

  19. Thank you. Now I’m all set until I’m paroled.

  20. Mickey says:


  21. Betsey says:

    Thanks to you, I now have the room for a tree!

  22. Ruth says:

    awesome. I LOVE things with sticks.

  23. Liz S. says:

    Love it. I did something similar in my apartment because I just didn’t have room for a tree.

  24. Jeanette B. says:

    Love the tree! To late for this year. Going to spend the next year gathering sticks for next years tree. Merry Christmas!

  25. I can’t believe they just GAVE you the peed upon sticks. No way!
    I love what you did with them, and I don’t think it’s Charlie Brown at all. Just simple, which I like.
    I love Command Strips too, only I hang frames with them. Keep expecting a loud crash in the night when they finally give out, but they haven’t and it’s been at least 6 months since I put them on the wall so I call that win!

  26. Sarah says:

    Love your twig tree!!!!

  27. Jen A says:

    You are brilliant. That’s exactly the kind of simple beautiful creation that i love. I’m going to do this one! Whoooooooo weeeee!

  28. maggie says:

    Love the tree so so funky and unusual but what I want to know is where did you find Command strips for 2 dollars cause I am going there. I paid 4.59 for 2 strips at Home hardware

    • Karen says:

      A pakage of 60 I believe is $2 at Dollarama! ~ karen (they must be a different size from the ones you have … but they are brand name Command and they work great) ~ karen!

  29. Christina says:

    Fabulous idea. This is a great solution for someone like me who lives in prison. Oops! I meant an urban area where people have small apartments and no cars and the idea of lugging home a tree of any size is just plain exhausting. I like this much better. Thanks!

  30. Lisa says:

    One time, I painted a tree on a piece of plywood, taped ornaments to it, and propped it against the wall for Christmas.

    This is better. You could permanently glue the sticks on to a board, drill tiny holes in it, and light it from the back.

    Beautiful job.

  31. Kim R says:

    You are amazing. I heart you!

  32. Kerri says:

    Love it! Already have the tree up (I would have it up year round if I could), but I want to do this too, my boys would love it! Especially love the ornaments. I have a love-on for vintage ornaments and lucky me, whenever I go to the Salvation Army they usually have big boxes full for a dollar or two! My grandmother’s are the only ones that make it to the tree though so the extras would be great for this.. awesome idea 🙂

  33. Babie Knoop says:

    Hey, anytime you need twigs just let me know….this is what I do for a living. Wreaths, (wholesale manufacturer)…and a lot of them are the twiggy natural kind. 🙂

  34. Langela says:

    I love your pine garland on the shelves next to your tree! I wish I could find some like it.

  35. mary c says:

    HEY! Don’t pick on your nose. Or in it either. BAHAHAHA.
    The tree she is beautiful.

  36. marilyn says:

    karen i love the twig tree. it is so neat!

  37. Nicole2 says:

    Woah, it makes a great impact, great statement. Love it! And the vintage bulbs give it just the right touch of colour and shine.

    I’m a big fan of “curbside shopping” too. My husband, not so much. I ask him to stop the car and he just keeps going. So I have to go back later when I’m alone. Men! They just don’t get our vision.

  38. Yet again I am left with my mouth hanging open. Should change your blog name to “The Art of Doing REALLY COOL Stuff With Old Crap”

  39. Love it, minus the urine. Even though I’m sure that creates some kind of nature scent! You crack me up in a good way!

  40. Karen J says:

    When it works it works!
    It’s all in the little tilt. Kind of like you Karen:)

  41. Diane says:

    Stunning…I love it!

  42. I love this. It is so, so clever.

  43. Lucy says:

    This would be something you (well, maybe only I) could leave up all year. Just take off the decorations and call it art. Makes sense to me….

  44. Bea says:

    I LOVE this! If it wasn’t supposed to rain again tomorrow, I’d be on the hunt for sticks. I know where the curly willow sticks are I gathered a month ago, and hmmm… wonder what they would look like? I’m making a list of the tape and to check and see if I can find those lights! Great idea!

  45. Brenda Massey says:

    Honestly…you NEVER cease to amaze me. That tree is gorgeous!

  46. Lori says:

    If I hadn’t just yesterday hauled a tree up from storage, this would be happening. Next year for sure.

  47. Centsational Girl says:

    I LOOOOVE it! So natural and simple, but makes a statement too, and the ornaments are perfection!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kate! I *knew* I’d have a use for the massive cardboard box full of vintage ornaments. (other than just staring at them and sighing) ~ k!

  48. SK Farm Girl says:

    K – to start with, I’m kinda/sorta a dumpster-type girl myself so I can relate to your excitement!!! Love this twig tree – too cool! I found a tinsle and green table-top tree from the 50’s/60’s (complete with box and instructions) at the local Salvation Army . . . for a buck!!!! I had some beautiful old ornaments waiting for a tinsle tree so they got pulled out and used – finally! Love it! Michelle, I think your twig tree would be so groovy – but then I’m kinda twisted and gnarly so it only makes sense I would love your tree! Happy Eggnog Season everyone!

  49. Marti says:

    I absolutely ADORE this! I sold my (too big for me to deal with) artificial Christmas tree today and this may be the perfect solution! I absolutely love this!

    I particularly like the third picture. There’s something about all the textures shown that gives me a real feel for your place. I can almost feel the hardwood floor over by the fireplace under my bare toes before I cross onto the carpet to sit on the couch. It’s always so great to see your decorating ideas, Karen, and part of it is the tactile stuff that runs through the pictures.

    Now I want to start collecting vintage ornaments. Darn.

  50. Michelle says:

    Love it – I ended up doing a twig tree this year as well, but mine’s not straight and pretty like yours – more twisted and gnarly – kinda like my hair when I wake up in the morning, but that’s another issue.

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