Manzanita Tree Tutorial

I’ve always wanted a potted tree for my home to decorate throughout the year. Something sturdy to dress up for different holidays and special occassions… I recently saw one online for $150 (plus shipping costs) and thought, “There has GOT to be a more affordable option out there!”

Photo Ornaments 18

After some research and a lot of experimenting, I found an affordable (and surprisingly, easy!) way to make one. I’d like to present to you: a Manzanita Tree tutorial!

Manzanita Tree 01

If you can set aside $20 and 1-hour, I’m confident you can make one yourself! Gather your supplies and let’s make a tree!

Manzanita Tree 02

Materials Needed:

  • Flower pot
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Branches
  • Garden clippers
  • Plaster of Paris

Step One:  Select the right size flower pot. Square pots have greater stability, so if you decide to get a round pot (like I did), make sure it’s 6″ in diameter or larger. Once you find the right flower pot, paint the outside with acrylic paint. (Depending on the color you use, you may need two coats.) Let the paint dry thoroughly.

Manzanita Tree 04

Step Two:  Paint the inside lip of the flower pot as well. You won’t see the entire inside of the flower pot once you’re finished, so you only need to paint 1″-2″ down from the top. Set aside to dry.

Manzanita Tree 05

Step Three:  Select the branches you’d like to use. I prefer Manzanita branches because they are the strongest and most durable branches available – perfect for home décor! Place your styrofoam ball into your painted pot. Starting with the largest branch, push the stem into your styrofoam ball. Depending on the thickness of the stem, this step can take a little muscle. Try to get the stem at least half way into the styrofoam ball.

Manzanita Tree 06

Step Four:  Repeat step three with your smaller branches until you have a full looking tree. You may need to use a pair of garden clippers to trim away access branches to get the desired effect. (Note: Remember, Manzanita branches are VERY strong. Be careful when trimming branches.)

Manzanita Tree 07

Step Five:  Mix up your Plaster of Paris. (I ended up using about 1 pound of plaster mix.) Carefully read the directions and follow all instructions – especially if you’ve never used plaster before! Pour your plaster mixture into your flower pot. Cover the styrofoam ball and get in between the branches. I filled my pot until it was 1/2″ from the top edge. Then I used a plastic spoon to move the plaster around, trying to get it as flat and level as possible.

Manzanita Tree 08

Now let your plaster dry for 24-hours. NOTE: Plaster can get hot while it’s setting. Do not touch the plaster while it’s drying and wash your hands thoroughly after mixing and pouring. Never touch the plaster with your bare hands.

Manzanita Tree 09

After the plaster dries you’ll have a gorgeous and sturdy tree to decorate! The possibilities are endless:

  • Fresh or faux flowers
  • Teardrop crystals
  • Hanging votives
  • Strands of pearls or Swarovsk crystals
  • Photo ornaments
  • Holiday decorations
  • Lights
  • Ribbon

Did you make your own Manzanita tree? Head over to our Facebook page and share your photos and decorating ideas! Enjoy!


Comments are closed.