Take a walk into nature and bring home a bunch of twigs or branches!
Any branches will do. From deciduous trees, bushes, or shrubs! My favorites are birch trees, apple trees, and branches of wild blueberry plants.
Place them in a container with water. In a few days they will sprout sweet, new leaves!
Branches adorned with colorful feathers is a Scandinavian Easter tradition. In the photo below my Anna is proudly showing off her twigs way back in 2001.
This year I crocheted some colorful birch leaves for the branches. I took one from a Walnut tree in my daughter’s backyard in Minnesota. A side growth that needed to come off anyway.
Here’s how to make the leaves:
I used Peruvian wool yarn, Cascade 220 from Cascade Yarns, and a US E (3.5 mm) crochet hook. You can use any yarn of your choice and a corresponding hook.
Do go through your yarn stash and use small leftovers. You do not need more than about 65” (165 cm) of yarn per leaf! (Yes, I measured!)
Also, the yarns do not need to be of the same weight. Chunkier yarns just make bigger leaves.
US terminology (UK terminology in parenthesis)
SL ST slip stitch
SC single crochet
HDC half double crochet
DC double crochet
TR treble crochet
HTR half treble
Medium Birch Leaf
Chain 6, SL ST in second chain from hook, SC (DC) in next, HDC (HTR) in next, DC (TR) in next, 3 DC (TR) in last chain. Do not pull the starting tail or the stitch will tighten, making it difficult to insert the hook!
Push the tail to the side, underneath the work, and turn the work upside down. Add 4 more DC (TR) into same stitch as the previous three. (Seven DC (TR) in same).
The last stitches will go in the third loop of the foundation chains as seen in the photo below.
DC (TR) in next stitch, HDC (HTR) in next, SC (DC) in next, and SL ST in last stitch.
Pull the loop somewhat bigger and remove the hook. Insert the hook at the tip of the leaf (under the unused chain, the “turning” chain) and pull up the waiting loop.
Top stitch along the center vein of the leaf (along the foundation chain): Insert the hook through the leaf, yarn over, pull up a loop, pull it through the loop on the hook. It’s basically a slip stitch made through the fabric. Continue along the “vein”, make one through the center hole, one through the middle stitch of the 7 stitch cluster, and make one more over the edge. Cut yarn and pull through.
Bind off the ends with a simple knot on the backside. Fasten the leaves to the branches with wire or use a glue gun.
Smaller Birch Leaf
The small leaf is made in the same way, but with fewer stitches.
Chain 5, SL ST in second chain from hook, SC (DC), HDC (HTR), 3 HDC (HTR) in last stitch. Turn. 4 HDC (HTR) in same as previous. HDC (HTR), SC (DC), SL ST.
Make the vein.
Bigger Birch Leaf
It’s made in the same way, but with more stitches.
Chain 7, SL ST in second chain from hook, SC (DC), HDC (HTR), DC (TR), TR (DTR), 4 TR (DTR) in last. Turn. 5 TR (DTR) in same, TR (DTR), DC (TR), HDC (HTR), SC (DC), SL ST. Make the vein.
I used mostly the Medium Birch Leaves for my branch. And I wrapped yarn around the bases of the branches.
More ways to adorn branches:
A) Simply arrange them in a dry container. They will dry, stay pretty forever, and they look marvelous!
B) As in A, but add water. You’ll soon get pretty baby leaves! Just make sure you have freshly cut branches.
C) Spray paint, then arrange in a dry container.
D) Add leaves made of paper or felt, arrange in container with or without water.
E) Use any method above, then hang cute spring ornaments from them.
F) Wrap the branch with colorful yarns. Or use black/gray/white for a dramatic look.
Dry branches do not need to be in a container. Try hanging one or more on walls, from the ceiling, or above a window.