Icy-looking branches for winter decor that won't break the bank

Nov 30, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. ET

Every year I see these beautiful icy branches at home decor stores. They make just about any urn, vase or Christmas tree look chic and sparkly without even needing any lights. Then I see the price tag, and think to myself, "Whaaaa! For a tree branch? Pfft. Nope." And that's when I go home and realize I really, really want them anyway — but not for that price. The good news is you can make your own and it'll only cost you about $5.

Supplies:

  • Wood branches (which you can get for free if you're willing to go outside)
  • Rubber cement
  • Epsom salt
  • Clear vase
  • Filler beads
  • Scissors

Directions:

First thing is the glue. Rubber cement comes with its own handy brush so application is simple. Make sure to get it on the branches nice and thick. It doesn't dry too quickly, so you can feel free to apply glue to the whole branch rather than having to work in small areas. Use newspaper or some craft paper to cover up your work surface because glue is bound to drip.

Sprinkle Epsom salt and/or the vase filler onto your branch. Once you have a bunch of it on your work surface, just scoop some up and sprinkle more on. You'll need to constantly move the branches in different directions to cover them all up. For smaller branches, just place them directly on your pile of salt and beads. Easy peasy!

Lay the branches down to dry flat. I used a few plastic shopping bags to rest them on because the glue will not stick to the plastic. Leave them to dry (at least) overnight. You will find that some beads fall off — don't worry! This happens to the store-bought stuff too and I assure you, it's normal.

Now you're ready to use the icy branches around your house. Displayed on their own in a vase, they make quite a statement. I love the height of the branches, the mixed colors and, of course, the sparkle.

If your branches break, or if you plan ahead, you can also make some smaller versions that make great vase fillers for small arrangements or, better yet, lovely decor for a holiday table place setting.

Note: If you intend to use these outdoors, do not use Epsom salt as it will dissolve when it comes in contact with water. Stick to the vase filler instead.

See all of our holiday articles

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