If your gardening to-do list includes pruning deciduous shrubs and trees, consider recycling some of the clippings to make a natural chandelier like the one pictured here. Gather plenty of long, pliable branches from plants with soft wood, such as wisteria, stone fruit trees, or elderberry (pictured). Then bend them to form a hoop, fasten them together with floral wire, and festoon them with string lights.
You can hang the chandelier right away, or allow it to dry completely before adding the lights; drying before hanging cuts the weight in half. We stored our hoop on top of a garden shed for three months before debuting it in the garden.
- From your garden: Pliable branches (we used 40), each about 1⁄2-inch thick and 4 to 5 feet long.
- From a crafts store: Heavy gauge floral wire and globe lights
- From a hardware store: Nylon rope, S-hook, cable ties, and extension cord.
- Bend a bunch of six or so branches to form a large hoop (ours is 5-feet across); fasten them together with heavy-gauge floral wire.
- Working clock-wise around the hoop, continue adding more branches about every 2 feet, securing the cut ends to the base with floral wire.
To keep it horizontally balanced, attach three pieces of the rope, each about 4 feet long, at evenly-spaced points around the hoop, then gather them in the middle, around an S-hook. Wrap two strands of globe lights around the chandelier, securing them with cable ties. Plug the light strands into an extension cord attached to a tree branch or garden pergola.