Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ornamental Bead Sticks! Part Four: Mother Nature Made Me Do It

Hi!  Welcome to Part Four of my fun little tutorial series, Stuff On Sticks.  Today's entry: beautiful natural branches that make their own beaded embellishments every fall!

Take a peekie at these purty arrangements:

Those dimpled pods on sticks actually came from two different types of trees in my garden.  I had to do a teeny bit of tweaking to get the ornamental sticks, but really these are more like found objects than a craft project.

First, meet my no-longer-in-bloom bottlebrush tree.

 After blooming, the branches form strange seed clusters that - at first glance - don't look terribly decorative.

But with a snip and a rip, you can turn them into 'beaded' ornamental sticks.

Choose a branch with an attractive seed cluster on a long-ish stem.  Snip off the little tuft on top.

Strip off the leaves, and voila!

Add them to arrangements, weave some into a wreath, or use your imagination for ways to use them in your nature-inspired decor.  (Check out a whole bunch of great ideas from my readers in Part Two of Stuff On Sticks!)

(Do you like the vase?  My husband painted it.  A multi-faceted dude.)

I have another tree called a Showy Honey Myrtle.  Here's what she looks like right now:

Snip, snip!


Aren't the naked seed clusters beautiful?!

Don't neglect to consider the nearest Sycamore tree.  To me, these mini-branches always look like something out of Dr. Seuss.

Maybe you don't have a Bottlebrush, Honey Myrtle or Sycamore?  Go outside and hunt the winter landscape for other trees that form Stuff On Sticks.  Post pics in the comments if you find some good ones!

Hope you enjoyed my I-didn't-really-make-anything-because-Mother-Nature-got-there-first tutorial.  More Stuff On Sticks coming soon!

To see the rest of the Stuff On Sticks:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six 

Part Seven 


  1. Who else but you could think of something like this? Awesome as always!

  2. Oh, use them for earrings! They would make beautiful beads! I love their strange shapes :)

  3. I have seen these bottle brush pod thingies are often spray painted (in gold/silver) and used in dry flower arrangements or bouquets but never seen them in their real form until now. I really like the arrangment with the stone

  4. Mother Nature....such fascinating decor! She should start a blog! These are fun and I'm gong to have to go for a hike and see what's out there this time of year!

  5. I have really enjoyed "creativity on a stick"! Thank you

  6. Those Sycamore ball things look like what we call Sweet Gum balls or burs here in the south. Very pretty, but a major pain to step on with bare feet.

  7. A little silver paint and glitter would make them quite festive for Christmas decorating. Heck, any color with glitter would be quite festive.