In keeping with my tradition, I went on the hunt to find a fairly easy DIY woodworking project. Never would I have imagined it would also include a tree branch! Don’t let that part intimidate you though. Even working with a tree branch can be easy (that speaks volumes coming from me!). So let’s get to it, shall we?
Drill Bit Set
24 x 48 x 3/4in Plywood
1 x 12 shelf
The kids and I did this project together so we started by gathering several forked branches. I wanted the branches to be around 2ft long and about an inch in diameter. Once we had gathered several we started comparing the lengths and diameters and putting them in separate piles. Keep in mind they will not all be alike and that is fine. You can cut the ends off or cut some of the branches off to make them the same length.
In the end I cut a few inches off of one branch and a few inches off of the stem of a branch to make ours even at 1 ½ ft. This worked out perfect for where we wanted the shelf. Picking out the branches that have the straightest sides possible is the main goal.
Now that you have your forked branches, it is time to cut them properly. Start by laying your plywood on your workbench and setting the 2×4 upright along the edge.. Using your clamps, clamp the 2×4 and plywood to your workbench. Then clamp your branch to the 2×4. Now you can cut the branches. Make sure to cut them even and long enough to hold the shelf. This is very important: if both sides of each branch are not even the shelf will not fit properly.
We cut a few inches off and then placed the shelf on top to make sure we had our desired length and to make sure the shelf was even. It is always best to cut a little at a time and test the shelf out. If the forked branches are too long you can always cut them down some more. If you cut too much at once and they end up too short, you would have to start over.
Next, you want to remove the branches from the clamps and replace them with your shelf. Once secured, place the branches up against the shelf like it would be once you hang it up. Trace the branches onto the shelf; one circle at the top and one at the bottom. Do this to both ends of the shelf. Now you want to drill a hole at the bottom of each circle. Place the branches back against the shelf and use your screws to secure the shelf to the branches.
Place your shelf against the wall and drill one one in each branch through the wall. Secure the drywall anchors and you are all done.
This shelf only took a few hours and was a great DIY project to do with the kids. We are actually thinking of making a few more because we loved how this one turned out.