Capture the magic of an autumn evening in this table centerpiece!
- Wooden Tray (for Base)
- Moss of Your Choice for Ground Cover (I used a sheet of self-adhesive moss but did not remove the backing)
- Brown-Paper Covered Floral Wire for Tree
- Small Strand of Battery Operated Lights (I suggest the kind with a built-in timer)
- Confetti or Silk Flowers to Snip (for the look of fall leaves)
- Park Bench or Other Focal Points (Hint: look in the doll house or railroad items area at the craft/hobby store)
- Other Ornaments of Your Choice (I added small “pumpkins” that I found in a bag of potpourri)
- Heavy Gauge Wire Cutters
- Heavy Duty Craft Knife or Small Saw
- Wood Stain or Paint for Base
- Sand Paper
- Glue Gun
- Clear Drying Craft Glue
- Double Sided Tape (or packing tape folded over) to Secure the Battery Pack.
Preparing the Stand:
An upside down tray works well for this craft as it allows you to hide the battery pack underneath. Taping the pack to the tray allows better access for changing batteries. So, the first step is deciding where you will place your tree and battery pack.
Using a small saw or knife, make a small notch in the side of the tray for the light strand to slip up into. Sand the edges of your notch.
Stain or paint the sides of your tray.
Making the Tree:
Trees have personality, and the tree you create will set the mood for your centerpiece. The fun of making your own tree, as opposed to purchasing a pre-fabricated lit tree, is that you can make your tree as delicate or as thick and gnarled as you like! How you weave, braid, or twist the wire strands together will determine the look of the bark.
I suggest starting with three strands, each one a few inches longer that you think you will need to allow for length lost in the twisting. Braid or twist these three strands together, leaving a couple inches at each end loose for playing with roots and branches.
Make at least three more sections like the one above.
Twist and weave these sections together, using another length of wire to hold them in place. As you work, decide which end will be the roots, and which end the branches.
When working the branches, take a few strands from a neighboring section at the trunk to weave into the base of the branch.
The roots will not only stabilize the tree, but keep it from unraveling. When working the roots, think of a web. Again, use strands from neighboring sections to form the web.
Putting it All Together:
Once you are happy with your tree, use the hot glue gun to secure it to the base. You might also want to place some glue in a few crevices of your tree trunk.
Attach the moss for ground cover.
Attach any decorative items—park bench, pumpkins, bicycles, wheelbarrows, etc…
For fall color, snip some inexpensive silk flowers into confetti-like bits. Use craft glue to secure these onto the ground cover, the park bench, etc… You might even want to place a few on the tree as un-fallen leaves.
Once the glue is dry, simply wrap your light strand around the tree and tape the battery box (and any extra strand) underneath. Be sure your wire is setting in the notched area.
I made this one last October and we decided to keep it out all year. I hope you enjoy your Park at Dusk Decoration as much as we do!