Learning how to make twig furniture involves a bit of talent and a lot of patience. Wood twigs most suited for this project include soft wood varieties that are easily bent, such as willow. It also helps to select twigs made from wood that don't crack or break when nailed to the main wood frame. Twig furniture is different from bent wood and birch bark furniture options. Twig furniture adds a rustic feeling to the decor and is perfect for use in cabins and resort houses.
You'll need a few basic items, including:
- draft paper and pencil
- eye protection
- soaking tub
- Draw the plans. Even a free form piece of twig furniture requires an overall design concept. Sketch out the general shape of the furniture, noting the main supports in the piece. The points on the seat, arms and back rest are typical support points.
- Collect the twigs. Fresh twigs work better than dried out wood. While you can buy supplies of twigs, it's easier to select your own twigs directly from the tree or from dropped branches. Collect twice as much as you need due to breakage and trail-and-error damage.
- Select main support wood for frame. The larger support pieces need heavier wood members. The legs, backrest and seat typically require rounded logs to provide a sturdy base for the twigs.
- Cut the twigs. Saw twigs into sizes appropriate for your furniture design.
- Soak the twigs. Once you've selected your twigs, fill the soaking tub with water and gently place the twigs in the tub. Depending on the size of the furniture piece and the amount of twigs collected, you may need several soaking tubs to provide enough twigs to construct your furniture. When working on a set of furniture, it's best to work on only one piece of furniture at a time.
- Buy supplies. While your twigs are soaking, head out to buy your supplies. Select a small hammer that suits your weight and skill. Finished carpenter hammers work best for nailing twigs due to the light weight and easy use.
- Construct the frame. Use the largest twigs to shape into the basic pattern. For chairs and sofas, this is the seating frame and the back. For tables, this is the leg segment. Use the nails to secure the wood in place. Some crafters like to cut into the wood to make a joint. If you have this skill, use this type of joint to make the furniture sturdy. If you don't, make sure you use enough nails to hold the frame in place.
- Soften twigs. Take the twigs from the soaking tub and lightly bend the twig back and forth. An essential part in how to make twig furniture is developing a touch for bending the twigs.
- Bend twigs into shape. Once the twig is pliable, bend it into the shape using your design pattern. Tuck the twigs under other twigs to get the perfect shape. Keep working while the twigs are moist and pliable.
- Nail twigs. Any twig that doesn't tuck under part of the pattern must be nailed. It also helps to nail any twig that may be exposed to danger of pulling from the person sitting in the furniture. Twigs on sofa or chair arm rails frequently need nails. Tables also usually need a few nails to add trim work around the tops.