DIY: Manzanita Trees for Any Occasion

I’m sure you’ve all seen these sparse looking twigs dressed up in crystals, flowers, votive candles, and whatnot mainly at weddings. Manzanita trees come in a variety of colors, which you can also easily spray paint, and they’re super easy to dress up. Not only that, but their height makes them a focal point for extravagant centerpieces that can really set the tone of an event, from elegant…

to casual…

and even whimsical.

Here are some super easy Do-It-Yourself tips on making your own Manzanita tree from the Wedding Chicks’ blog:

Materials Needed:

  • One 5 x 5 block of foam
  • One plastic container (8 inches in diameter, 7 inches tall)
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Newspapers
  • Disposable container for mixing the plaster

(Note: You can purchase the foam and plaster at pretty much any craft store. Check out home improvement stores (i.e. Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) for plastic containers such as the plastic flower pot used here.)

Step 1. After preparing your work area to protect from plaster mishaps, start by inserting the base of your Manzanita tree into the block of foam. Use firm and steady pressure, being careful not to move the branch around. We don’t want to make the hole in the foam oversized. 2 or 3 inches ought to be enough. If something goes wrong, you can always turn the foam over and use the other side.

Step 2. Gently lift the block and branch together, and place it into the container. Use gentle pressure to seat the block snugly down into the container, making sure it’s level.

Step 3. You can fill the rest of the container with Plaster of Paris, however for this demonstration we rolled up small sections of newspaper and stuffed them neatly around the foam block, leaving about 2 inches of space to the top of the container.

Step 4. Mix your Plaster of Paris according to the instructions on the can. A heavier batch (not too soupy) is easier to work with, and sets faster. Pour the plaster into the container, spreading it evenly over the top of the foam block. Fill to within 1/2 inch of the top. Be advised that a glass container may be a problem, as this material can expand and heat up a bit and could break the glass.

Step 5. That’s it! Set your tree out of the way for about 20 to 30 minutes while the plaster cures. After the plaster has cured, place other materials on top and around the base to conceal the plaster.

VOILÀ! Now you can have your very own Manzanita tree for just about any occasion. Stay posted as later this week, we’ll be sharing with you some innovative ways you can style your new, homemade Manzanita tree for your next special event…just in time for the holidays!


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