recycled branchesOh no! A tenacious storm just knocked down several trees in your neighborhood. The good news is that no one got hurt, and all of the cars and homes in the fall-out zone managed to emerge from the incident entirely unscathed. Beyond the tattered leaves and bits of bark shards littering the ground, the bad news is that everyone has been pointing fingers, trying to heap the responsibility of cutting up all of that dead wood into manageable pieces on someone other than themselves. Time is precious, after all, and who really wants to spend their valuable free time wielding a chainsaw so they can drag dead tree chunks to the curb for the sanitation department to take away? Um, you do! Here’s your chance to become the neighborhood savior. While you gallop in on your white horse to save the day, there’s no need to broadcast the fact that you will then take the fruits of your labor — limbed tree sections — into your garage for a DIY free-for-all. It is there, behind closed doors, that you will transform what others view as a pile of unwelcome refuse into multiple décor-enhancing items that most people would willingly shell out beaucoup bucks for. Think you need special skills to make your homemade tree branch creations come together? No way, Jose. Take a gander at the diverse possibilities below and you’ll quickly realize that with very little effort, you will be able to festoon your home with gloriously free, 100% tree-tastic, decorator-worthy specimens.

Inside the home

Granola-lovin’ tree huggers aren’t the only ones who will appreciate this thrifty yet easy-on-the-eyes jewelry organizer. Infuse your wardrobe with earthy soul courtesy of woodsy clothing hangers (and if you’re feeling especially crafty, don’t forget to add a few handmade twig buttons). A ho-hum mirror can be trimmed with layers of branch segments for a pleasing textural facelift. A rustic branch bookshelf can be easily adapted to suit a living room or bedroom wall, no matter your current interior design style. Adorn vases, wreaths, tabletops and even walls with mosaic-style circular branch slices (or more haphazard slabs for a truly rough yet esthetically pleasing look). Fallen tree branches morph effortlessly into tabletop or floor lamp bases, requiring no more than a fresh coat of paint to make them really shine. Your feline friends will be tickled pink when they behold the splendor of their outdoorsy yet equally refined tree branch grooming perch, and if you have children, why not make them their own playtime version? Curtains will get a welcome dose of down-to-earth style when they are artfully suspended on reclaimed tree branch rods. Separate rooms with a dramatic vertical branch divider. Hang keys, purse straps and reusable shopping bags on tree branch wall hooks. Don’t forget to treat your jackets and coats right, as well. For a family photo-displaying twist, take snapshots off the wall in favor of a new tree branch perch. This concept can also be adapted to accommodate a paper rose-adorned table centerpiece. Create a grand décor statement by suspending massive crystal and light strand-wrapped tree branches directly above a dining area. Dial it back a few notches with a slightly more modest candelabra chandelier or a comparably tame branchy tabletop candelabra.

Outside the home

Move over brick, tile and stone garden pavers. There’s a new sliced branch kid in town. You can frame the perimeter of your garden with a woven tree branch fence or train limbs to form a living framework. Emulate the majestic horse sculptures of Heather Jansch or introduce a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor to your back yard with a decidedly more quirky artistic statement. Enhance the façade of a storage shed or greenhouse with stripped branches. Try making a decorative overhead trellis or perhaps something more functional for your container garden escapades. Bask in the sun while reclining ever so peacefully upon a beefy, reclaimed tree bench or a two-seater with built-in back support.