This is a Copyrighted, 14 - 15  page e-book  that we are offering here for you to read on our website or print out.  Please link to this page if you enjoy it and find it helpful.  No need to read it all if you don't have the time.  Just read the sections that meet your needs.  It contains the most comprehensive or complete  "How to Make a Crystal Tree" details  on the internet.  There is a Natural Branches Info Video and then the Container Method "how-to make a crystal tree" video further down this page.

No need to buy an e-book or download.  No stone is left unturned from where to buy branches cheapest and includes dozens of tree decorating help.  Every method is Easy and do-able by amateurs.  You will get more useful, free information than any video or  paid download.  We were the first to publish detailed "How to Make a Crystal Tree"  instructions nearly 2 years ago and have now added some even easier, faster techniques.  Instead of a charging for a download, we are offering it for your reading pleasure, in it's entirety on our website.  Be sure to check back periodically as it is constantly being updated and added to.  In addition to the written information, you will also find an instructional video showing how to make a tree in 5 minutes.

DIGI-Amazing-Silver-Crystal-Wedding-Tree.jpgThe crystal tree pictured here is one of our huge 7' professionally made trees, heavily weighted with a lighted wood base.  We sell these finished, Deluxe Crystal Trees, already standing. Just visit our  Crystal Tree Product info Page

The crystal wedding tree shown here took weeks to make (not minutes), but you can make crystal trees just this big or smaller but simpler versions of this outrageous tree or any tree with our without crystals, candles or  flowers, using these helpful instructions. 

If making your crystal wedding tree, you can purchase the exact same, premium quality, stunningly sparkly crystal ropes or chains right here on our site on the Crystal Chains Crystal Decorations  page in the left navigation bar or just click on the picture.

These crystal tree secrets and professional tips with complete (easy) step by step Copyrighted instructions can be used to make any type of  decor tree for any home or event decoration purpose, including a crystal wish tree, crystal money tree or candle tree  normally within 5 -10 minutes once you know how.  It's not hard.              

By Making Crystal Trees & Saving, You can Buy BETTER CRYSTALS


By using yard or woods branches, you can make centerpiece trees for as little as $5 each since the branches are free, no shipping cost is involved and all you have to do is pay for the materials to complete the mounting or base of your crystal wedding tree

What  Specific Types of Branches work well for Crystal Trees?

Manzanita
Red Shank
Dragon Wood
Curly Willow

Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.

If you use the weaker Curly Willow,  use 14mm or 16mm crystal chains, hang them in shorter lengths such as 1' foot ong or for heavier crystal strands (larger mm sizes or longer chains), just reinforce the crystals branches with solder from hardware store and paint over the curly willow and the solder and the two will appear to become one, but super strong for holding heavier items. You can even twist on short pieces of solder (attach like a twist tie) horizontally along the vertical branches to add more vertical or side to side  hanging points from which to hang more crystal chains, etc.

These are just a few of our favorites but there are many other types of branches that would work.

If you just love the Manzanita branches instead of common backyard branches for your crystal tree, birch or curly willow, we'll give you steps to make a  3' tall manzanita tree for about $20,  4' trees for about $28 and  5' trees for about $35.  To make centerpiece trees for as low as $5 complete, use these tips and use simple backyard branches or branches from a nearby woods.  If you finish the trees properly, they will still be gorgeous.  You can get free branches and we have a section on how to finish these types of branches to make them gorgeous.

crystal wedding trees crystalsBy making gorgeous crystal wedding trees yourself, you don't have to settle for plastic acrylic or crystals that don't deliver.  Save on the trees without sacrificing on the final effect.  Save that money for the finest crystals such as these fabulous, sparkling Swarovski crystals or our fine Ethereal brand crystals, available on our website. (More tree-making info below crystals videos)

Whether you need wedding crystals, crystal chains or ropes for crystal tree centerpieces, large crystal wedding trees, large installations or crystal curtains, we have the finest crystals available anywhere.

Each video below shows our crystals in various lighting. Some professional lighting and other videos use amateur lighting (throwing on an uplight or a downlight only, combined with regular lighting already in the room.

Our Ethereal Brand & our Swarovski Crystal Chains Chosen for
6 Figure Wedding - Platinum Weddings TV Show!

The video above which aired on Platinum Weddings TV show on WeTV (same channel as Bridezillas TV show)  features both our highest quality Swarovski lead free crystal chains and also our Ethereal Brand crystal chains mixed together on the Manzanita branches crystal wedding trees centerpieces.  The crystal trees with fine glass crystal strands or garlands attached to the painted branches were  table decorations as an alternative to the traditional floral arrangements.  Note: Using all Swarovski crystal chains instead of mixing the two, brings even more sparkle than you see in the video above. 

Easy D.I.Y Painted Branches & Swarovski Crystal Chains Tree

 Manzanita branches spay painted Tiffany Blue and placed in a silver vase. They were then hung withour fantastic Swarovski crystal chains in 16mm and 20mm sizes with standard straight silver connectors. The video above was taken by a photographer.  No computer sparkle added.  As with all of our videos, the sparkle is all natural ... no additives! Just crystals and light.
 

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Our tree in the video directly above, is actually a huge 7' tall Manzanita tree painted in a lighted base and finished in silver.  It is covered with 250' feet of fine Swarovski crystals in 16mm medium sized and 24mm large sized lead free glass crystals with our standard straight connectors. When it comes to Swarovski fine crystals, the arger mm size means larger facets, larger flashes of light and larger rainbows! Mix in some big ones if you can ... you'll have to  pick your jaw up off the floor! This video was not photographed with any special lighting design, just a simple downlight done by an amateur that works for us. All we did was turn on the light and the camera. As with all of our videos, the sparkle is all natural ... no additives!

In the video shown here (directly above, you see a differant tree that is much smaller than the other silver tree video seen on this page. This smaller one is an  approximately 4' foot tall Crystal Tree that is hung with about 150' feet of 1' Swarovski crystal lead free chains (lighter in weight and less fragile than Swarovski's lead version called Swarovski Strass).  Some of the originally  1' chains have been hooked into 2' long chains (two chains hooked to one another. In the begining of the video, you see a 3rd chain added to one of the chains that is 2' long.  After that, the video changes and you see the same tree and someone connecting a 1' long chain into a 2' long chain.

As you can see, it takes only seconds to turn a 1' long chain into a 2' long chain by hooking one connector on the top of one chain through the hole on the bottom of the second chain. To separate is simply the reverse motion and takes about the same short  amount of time.

This is due to the type of connector we use. It is much simpler and faster to make adjustments than with the less attractive "loop", "jump ring" or "split ring" commonly found on various crystal chains. In addition, our connectors don't rust out or "spring out"  like loops do over time. This type of link or connector can simply be adjusted with the thumb if it starts to change position. It is the same type connector used by Swarovski and inserts similarly to the common bow-tie, but looks much more subtle and hangs neater and less stiffly than bow-ties.  This video was not photographed with any special lighting design, just a simple downlight done by an amateur that works for us. All we did was turn on the light and the camera.  As with all of our videos, the sparkle is all natural ... no additives!

Crystal Trees that Require No Mounting: Use Natural, Living Trees

You can also make gorgeous centerpiece trees with no work involved at all in getting the trees standing.  You can purchase real, living trees from a local garden center.  These will be young trees of course, not 10 foot tall older trees.

Trees for transplanting in the yard are  already in plastic pots and standing.  You can simply place the simple plastic pot inside a nicer, more suitable container, fill in the gaps between the small pot and the larger pot with newspaper and then cover the top of the new pot with sheet moss to finish it off. Almost any variety of tree has branches strong enough to hang crystal ropes, however, a skinny tree will not be able to hang hundreds of ropes of crystals as  seen on our big dried tree at the top of this page. 

Leave all the lovely leaves on the tree if there are any.  Leave the tree it's natural color.    If you like the look, you can also place orchids or other  flowers up in the branches with the leaves if you like and simply hang your crystal ropes or crystal pieces down from the most suitable branches.  Remove any branches that are too low on the tree or disrupt the design.  In minutes, you have gorgeous, natural crystal trees. 

After the event, you have beautiful living trees to plant in your yard and to give away to special people who will plant and cherish it for many years to come.

4 Different, Quick, Easy, Professional Techniques to Make:

Crystal Tree, Crystal Wedding Tree, Centerpiece Trees, Table Decor Tree, Candle Tree, Orchid Tree, Focal Point Tree, Home Decor Tree, Wishing Tree or  Crystal Wish Tree, Champagne Bar Tree, Dance Floor Tree, Jewelry Tree Gifts, Elegant Christmas Tree, Crystal Wedding Trees or Any Type of Decorative Trees (except live trees)

You can make decorative crystal trees with a container base or without a container base and using absolutely no Plaster of Paris (says on the box it causes cancer). 

We Reveal the Secrets in Detail:


* Exactly Where to Get Your Natural Wood Branches (Manzanita, Curly Willow and all other desirable types)
* Exactly How to Get Your Natural Branches at the Lowest Price Anywhere
* How to Decide on the Size of Your Tree
* How to Get Your Tree Standing in 5 minutes
* How to Get Your Tree Properly  Weighted (if it's a Big Tree)
* How to Make a Crystal Tree Base (multiple methods)
* How to Hang Live Orchids or Other Flowers Easily and Neatly
* How to Determine How Many Crystals or Crystal Garlands You Need
* How to Stretch Your Crystals Budget
* How to Airbrush Your Crystal Tree for Professional Finish
* How to "Gild" a Manzanita Tree or Other Tree instead of Painting
* How to Prepare Your Tree Branches for Hanging Crystals
* How to Hang Candles Safely in Trees & Inexpensively
* How to Properly Light Your Crystal Tree for the Best Sparkle Possible
* and Much More ...
crystal wish tree
Our Fine Ethereal Crystals on a Wish Tree

After you've learned how to make all types of tree arranements for any event, home decor or purpose, be sure to check out our beautiful Ethereal Brand Glass crystals.

They are a fine alternative to the better Swarovski crystals, but at a lower price.  They aren't as good as the Swarovski but they were featured on Platinum Weddings TV and are far better than most of what you will find on the internet in a similar price range. Generally, because we are the manufacturer, not a distributor, you will find that we are able to  price them  lower than most crystals that are not even in their league. If you can't do Swarovski, be sure to use them.  Click on the picture or on the Crystal Chains link in the left navigation bar to find out more about them.

Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.

© Copyright 2007 Ethereal Decor. These instructions are copyrighted to us. No posting elsewhere is permitted.  Copyscape Company monitors the internet regularly for any portions of our original content (modified or not) and sends us detailed results about the site in question for assistance in opening a U.S. Copyright infringement case.  This tree making tutorial is for your own use.  Please link to us if you want to share our tips and instructions with others.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

make crystal wedding trees

5'  Crystal Wedding Trees Made Using  1 Of the 4 Methods Detailed (Container Method)

We no longer sell these decorative manzanita trees (only our Deluxe, natural wood crystal wedding trees or Complete Crystal Tree Sets), however, you can make trees that look like this in minutes.

The manzanita crystal wedding tree shown here is 5' tall so you would need a single Manzanita branch (or other branch from the woods, a vacant lot, etc.) that has a nice, Bonsai-like, twisted shape. 

One that is semi-straight enough to stand alone is best, but if you can't find one you like, simply put two crooked manzanita branches together to form one semi-straight crystal tree. 

Use the Permanent Container Method described below and you can be finished in 5 minutes once you know how.

Once the tree is finished, simply spray paint it gold or another metallic color (dark gold is the color shown above) and hang it with some of our fine Swarovski crystal garlands or our more economical wholesale crystals called Ethereal Crystal Chains.  Notice that 1'  foot long crystal garlands or ropes are indeed long enough, even on this big 5' tall tree.  Look at the glasses and plate on the table to really see the scale of the tree in comparison.  

1' crystal strands  are long enough since the side branches are staggered, not all at the top of the tree.  If you like longer, then hang longer.  You could also hang much more crystal or hang the crystal ropes longer, but horizontally as crystal garlands and add tear-drop crystals on the ends. 
instructions to make manzanita centerpiece treeThe crystal centerpiece tree shown here and the one below were made using just one of the methods described in this e-book. 

The first tree centerpiece is natural manzanita wood, planted in an inexpensive metal pot from a craft store.  It took just 5 minutes to pot and another 5 minutes to finish with painting, etc.  Total time, about 10 minutes. 

Once solidly potted and properly weighted for hanging virtually any amount of crystal garlands,  the finished table tree  was spray painted gold with a $3 can of spray paint from a hardware store.  Covering the top, inside of the pot is simple green sheet moss which has also been sprayed gold.

This tree is nearly 5' tall and makes a lovely height for a fantasy centerpiece.  You can see in the second picture where it is decorated with crystal wedding decorations and flowers, that one foot crystal garlands do indeed work and stretch your budget, even if used on tall tree centerpieces. 

We hung just one crystal chain  in a 2' length in the center of the tree, hanging nearly down to the table.  You can separate longer chains such as our Ethereal brand Meter long (3' foot 3' inch) strands of crystals into the same length.   If you hang more of these from the center to lower branches of the tree, you can see it would be nearly reaching the table which is plenty long. 

This way you don't have to separate any 3' foot (yard long) or Meter long (3' foot 3" inch)  garlands  into shorter lengths.  make your own manzanita crystal treeThe second centerpiece tree, is the same tree as the first tree.  It is finished  into an orchid tree with mauve artificial cymbidium orchids attached (you can use live orchids; we give instructions on our instructional page). 

We used just a few crystal decorations for demonstration purposes.  It also has 3 candle cups hanging in the candle tree with tealights inside.  Tealights don't burn high in the cup (votives burn higher in the cup). 

We think it is safer to burn candles lower in the cup so there is no risk of the flame coming out of the cup and touching the candle tree. 

You can use votive size if you hang them lower in the crystal tree as Preston Bailey does in his Platinum events (see Decor Ideas Page 2 for one of his real wood trees with candles hung low and in a lovely gold pot similar to the one you see here).  Most guest table crystal wedding trees average about 25' of crystal.  In addition, about 15, 1' ropes of fine crystals were added. You could add dozens more ropes if for a single installation or focal tree for a champagne bar or buffet, etc.

When choosing a planter or pot, if you plan to use it on guest tables, be sure the pot is no taller than 14" tall.  This way the bulk of the pot will be way below the view of your guests.  Preston Bailey uses these type of planter or pot based tree centerpieces in his million dollar wedding books.  You can see one of his trees done like this in a gold painted terra cotta planter on the Decor Ideas page 2 of our site.  He is one of, if not the top pro wedding and event planners in the world and he has very elegant taste.

Secrets of How to Make Crystal Wedding Trees

Crystal trees or any type of table centerpiece  trees or wish trees can be inexpensively made and within 5 - 10 minutes once you know the steps.  Once you make your first tree, any additional trees will run smoothly and quicker. 

With these detailed instructions, you can set things up like an assembly line with a helper and get 10 trees done in less time than you ever imagined.  You'll be a tree making fool.  You can use also use these instructions with our fantastic simulated manzanita branches as well (all but the plywood method).

To make your own crystal tree, wish tree, guest book table tree, candle tree, etc., you will first need a base of some sort and suitable branches. We'll teach you how to quickly do one in a container and how to do one without any container at all.

crystal-tree-centerpieceThis easy to make crystal wedding tree centerpiece was made using the "container method" of tree mounting detailed right here on the Secrets of How to Make a Crystal Tree page of our website.

Read further down this page if you want every last detail, but summarized here, we basically  used just one approximately 4' real wood manzanita branch.  It took about 10 minutes total.

We took the manzanita tree branch, dropped it into a ceramic, rectangular vase, poured in some pebbles and set it with spray foam sealant in 5 minutes.  When hard set, we sprayed the hold thing with a dark gold or bronze colored spray paint.

You can finish the crystal tree table arrangement  off with our Ethereal, Meter long glass crystal chains (just divide each meter long chain into three shorter chains of 13" inches long and hang them by the top hook directly to the tiny branches of the manzanita.  We covered the top of the pot with simple greeen sheet moss from the craft store.  That too can be sprayed with gold or left green. 

Where to Get  Local, Natural Branches for a Crystal Tree

If you are using a natural tree and plan to just hang votives and individual crystals, a local tree or even branches from a tree available at your local nursery center may do just fine.  Branches can be found in forests (obviously), in a friend's back yard, on trees at plant nursery centers, at Home Depot and Loews in the Garden Center. 

Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.

If you use another type of tree or branches, most trees have branches thick enough or strong enough to support the weight of crystals and glass candle holderss if you plan to hang them as well.   Consider how much crystal you plan to hang and the size of the crystals.  If using 16mm ropes (dime sized crystals in a 1' long chain), most trees found in the backyard are strong enough to hold those.  If you want to hang heavy candle holders and lots of crystals, look for those with thicker or tougher branches.

In addition, on centerpiece crystal wedding trees placed on multiple tables, most people do not hang enough crystal to make the thickness of the branches an issue, except in the case of large trees. 

Curly Willow branches and Birch branches are much less expensive than Manzanita branches and also ship at a fraction of the cost of Manzanita, but are generally not strong enough for holding large crystal strands and certainly not large amounts of crystals and votives.  If you get thick Curly willow, you can hang smaller mm size crystal ropes or parts of ropes or loose pieces and very light weight candle holders such as blown glass. 

 Stregnthen Curly Willow or Weaker Branches to Hold lots more Crystal

If you use the smaller, weaker Curly Willow or other questionable strength branches,  you can simply use 14mm or 16mm crystal chains, hang them in shorter lengths such as 1' foot ong.

To hang lots more crystal on weak branches or to hang  heavier crystal strands (larger mm sizes or longer chains), just reinforce the crystals branches with solder from hardware store and paint over the curly willow and the solder and the two will appear to become one, but super strong for holding heavier items. You can even twist on short pieces of solder (attach like a twist tie) horizontally along the vertical branches to add more vertical or side to side  hanging points from which to hang more crystal chains, etc.

What  Specific Types of Branches work well for Crystal Trees?

Manzanita
Red Shank
Dragon Wood
Curly Willow

These are just a few of our favorites but there are many other types of branches that would work.

Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.

Backyard or Woods Branches

The cheapest way to go for making a crystal tree is of course, free backyard branches or branches from trees in a nearby woods or forest.  By using yard or woods branches, you can make centerpiece trees for as little as $5 each since the branches are free, no shipping cost is involved and all you have to do is pay for the materials to complete the mounting or base.  Here's how:

Purchase some tree Pruners with long 2 foot or longer arms from the garden center of the local hardware store, Loews or Home Depot.  Get some with a large jaw opening and a curved blade.  You can get these for as little as $12 at Ace. Bolt cutters can also work well on cutting off thick branches or even a small hand saw.

Choose your centerpiece tree branches based on how heavy the items are you plan to hang.  If you plan to hang smaller mm sizes of crystals and not a ton of ropes, you can use thinner branches, even as thin as Birch branches.  One rope of 16mm crystals for example is not very heavy and even the thinnest branches can hold these if strategically hung in the correct places.

It's not necessary to have very strong, thick  trees to hold the amount of crysal most people use on decor trees.  In reality,  the average person does not hang enough crystals on each centerpiece for that to be a problem.  This is only a problem if you plan on making a huge focal tree that needs literally about 50 lbs. of crystal hanging from it.  On average 3' - 4' table centerpieces, most people hang 25' feet or less. 

Choose the best shaped tree branches you can find and simply cut them off with the pruners or bolt cutters at the length you desire.  If necessary, bring along a strong friend with strong forearms and biceps if you plan to cut throug branches thicker than 2" inches diameter.  He (or she) will be able to apply enough force to the pruners or bolt cutters to cut through the thicker branches.

Beautifying Common Yard or Woods Branches for Tree Centerpieces

If the branches you chose are shedding bark or have a white or grey bark that does not look so lovely you can do the following:

1.  Use the most coarse grade of sand paper or sandpaper blocks from the hardware store and simply rub it over the branches to remove the shedding bark.  You can actually strip the branches down to the under wood which will look nicer. 

2. You can strip off the loose bark from the tree branches and if it still is not as lovely as you want, you can and then spray paint  or wood stain the branches.

For a natural look, you spray paint each tree branch in two shades of browns (two tone effect) or you can spray paint  each branch just one shade of brown.

3.  For a natural look with a little glitz, you can spray paint your tree branches a metallic bronze or metallic caramel brown.  These are in the hardware store.  Metallic paints are usually used on metals so they say "metal paint" on the can or "metallic", but they work on wood as well.  Basically, look for a brown with a hint of shiny metal in it.

4.  You can spray paint your tree branches black for a modern look, white, gold, silver or even your wedding colors.  You can paint some branches one color and other branches another color.

Wood Staining Natural Branches to Change Their Color

You can stain the branches with wood stain.  You simply open the can of stain, use a cloth and rub it onto the branches.  If your branches are a light color once sanded of bark, you can stain them virtually any color from cherry wood to chestnut.  There are numerous stain colors in the hardware store.

Manzanita Tree Braches 101

If you plan to do a large installation Crystal Tree holding a truly large amount of crystal garlands or if it will need to hold heavy candle holders, Manzanita wood is the most commonly used tree  since the branches are very artistic looking, gnarly and are super strong  to hold wedding crystals, crystal decorations, candles and more.

Manzanita branches are big and bulky and large sizes over 4.25' can not ship by oversized UPS at reasonable cost without selecting narrower branches. 

What does this mean?  The taller the branch is, the narrower the box must be in order to ship by oversized UPS.  If you want a wide branch, it should not go above 4.25' feet long or it will push you into higher UPS shipping rates.  It will nearly double your shipping cost so if to keep the costs down, keep your trees no taller than that.  If you need a 5' tree, buy 4' branches and raise them up using a container base that is at least 1' tall. 

Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.

branches for centerpieceWe can provide the best  Manzanita and other decorative, natural wood branches, for making your crystal trees or regular tree centerpieces with flowers or orchids, etc.

Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.

In most cases, you can work with just about any tree branches for hanging crystal garlands or other wedding decorations, regardless of shape, especially if you are doing many centerpieces for example.  If you get a weird branch, you can simply pair it with a branch that compliments it or fills it in where it's too flat or too crooked and make a lovely centerpiece. 

However, if you are needing two lovely 8' Manzanita trees to sit on both sides of an altar in order to hang some gorgeous crystals or to make full blown crystal wedding trees, you will want appropriate trees that can look good alone and stand up reasonably well in a planter. 

If you need a nice 10' Manzanita tree that is nice and full and rounded and semi-straight instead of sweeping wildly to the left or right, they have the ability to hand pick if necessary.  There may be an extra charge if you must be very specific (within reason), but at least you will get a tree that was picked with deliberation and your specific needs in mind. 

If you plan to do many crystal tree centerpieces using Manzanita branches, you may save by ordering them shipped by pallette on tractor trailer truck instead of in several oversized boxes by UPS.  A pallette of manzanita branches can cost anywhere from $150 - $500 in truck shipping, depending on how many, how big and what state you live in and the distance. 

Although the shipping cost on your manzanita branches for your tree centerpieces  may seem high, when you compare the cost of your finished trees to the cost of large , tall floral arrangements $200  -  $500 range each and then  include their shipping cost, you still come out ahead cost wise.  Natural manzanita at a good price is about $7 or $8  per foot wholesale.  Note; prices may have gone up since this book was written. 

This means a 5' Manzanita tree should cost you a certain amount for the branch, then you break down yours shipping cost by the number of branches needed and arrive at your cost.  Since nothing looks more natural than natural, you end up with a finer finished look since metals are replicating the real.  The smaller the branch, obviously the more can fit in your box and therefore reduces your cost per tree.

That covers the cost of the manzanita trees themselves.  Once you figure in shipping cost, it still works out lots cheaper than many other options

Your additional cost would be determined by the method used to stand the tree up or the "mounting" method.  We give you 4 different ways on this page.  If that cost is still out of your budget, simply use cheaper branches. Manzanita is strong and lovely with lots of character, which is why it costs more and is a favorite of florists and event planners.  You'll get some ideas and sources for other lovely branches here as well.

Other Varieties of Branches Ship Far Cheaper than Manzanita

Other varieties of branches such as Curly Willow or Dragon Wood do not cost nearly as much in shipping since they are individually long and norrow instead of long and wide like Manzanita.  You can fit a lot more Curly Willow branches into a much narrower box which means more savings.  Locally obtained branches from forests don't cost any shipping at all.  Branches don't have to be purchased in order to make lovely centerpiece trees. 

Remember, the beauty is in how the crystal decor tree is finished or decorated.   Those are the show-stoppers.  The branches or tree itself is merely a framework on which to display something beautiful.  It's like a mannequin or a coat hanger.  Your guests will remember what it was dressed in.  Gorgeous pink orchids and Swarovski crystal ropes can make a masterpiece out of just about any branches.  If they are really unattractive, spray them a metallic bronze or brown with spray paint and they will be transformed and will draw raves once decorated.

Natural or Sandblasted Manzanita Branches

Sandblasted Manzanita simply means that the outer bark of the wood has been knocked of to display the lighter colored wood underneath.  Manzanita naturally comes in varying shades of dark brown (almost black) to redwood colored with a burgandy cast.  Don't count on receiving a box or pallette of manzanita branches that match in color.  They are natural and will come in lots of shades of brownish burgandy. 

Natural Manzanita (bark still on) is  less expensive than sandblasted Manzanita but does not look as "finished" as the sandblasted.  In addition, sandblasting knocks of most of the tiny branches that give the tree so much character.  Without them, what's left looks a lot like driftwood. 

UPS shipping for one oversized box of manzanita branches is about $50 to just about any state.  How many branches fits in that box will be determned by the size you need.  A 4.25' tree that is up to 24" wide would fit 2 branches in the box, end to end.

Regarding shipping cost on Manzanita branches: Do not think the company is simply overcharging you in shipping, because it really is UPS.  They charge based on the large dimension of the box, not by the weight when it gets this large.  You could put one feather in a box this big and it would still cost about $50.

Combine Branches for Your Centerpiece Trees if Necessary

Manzanita Trees grow crooked and usually leaning in one direction or the other, so in some cases, you will need to use more than one branch, to even the tree out so that it appears semi straight. For example, using one branch leaning one way and another leaning in the opposite direction, putting the two together will give the illusion of a straight tree.

It will also save you from having any useless, wasted branches that cannot be used alone.  When buying manzanita, you don't get to pick and choose the branches and they will vary wildly in appearance so you have to make the most of every branch.

Cheaper Alternative to Manzanita Branches

If using Curly Willow branches to make your crystal wedding trees or crystal trees for any other event,  purchase several branches and group them together. Curly Willow will be much less expensive, but can be gorgeous. They too can hold crystals and very light glass votives if you use the thicker Curly Willow branches instead of the super skinng ones. 

How to Shape Dried Curly Willow Branches

Curly Willow experts know how to change them from stick straight and hard to work with to shapeable.  They do this the way basket weavers have done for centuries. 

1.  Soak the willow branches in water for a few ours (bathtub is perfect)
2.  Branches will soften up so you can shape them
3.  Use your fingers to bend them in one direction or the other or put deaper waves along the length of the branch.
4.  Let branches dry and they will retain this new shape!

Hanging Crystals on Thinner Braches like Curly Willow & Birch

Thinner branches like curly willow have bee used for years to create lovely centerpieces and crystal tree type arrangements consisting of just branches and hanging candle cups or branches with  candle cups and flowers.  You can simply do the same thing and take it to the next level: add gorgeous crystal strands. 

Curly Willow  has proven strong enough to hold glass candle cups which means they can also hold crystal chains or crystal garlands.  The trick is to hang the heavier items such as candle cups or crystals, LOW on the branches (midway down; not on the tips which are impossible to hang anything but flowers on). 

Natural Trees Can Still Look Great with Less

crystals and curly willow branch treeA tree arrangement made of natural branches (Curly Willow) that have been simpy stuck in a tall glass vase filled with water for weight.  Acrylic water (sold in craft stores; it hardens clear and looks like water) could also be used.  Either way, weight is added for stability on the table. 

The curly willow crystal tree is hung with just 16' - 18' feet of crystal decorations and a few lovely green cymbidium orchid blooms up in the branches.  It still looks lovely, whereas the same crystals and a few blooms looks completely differant on a large metal tree of the same height and width. 

Basically, big metal trees can use even more crystals (if a crystal tree) and more flowers if  simply a floral arrangement tree.  The photo at left, by Chrissy Lambert Photography shows a lovely outdoor table decoration crystal curly willow tree on a long table with multiple trees on the length of the table. 

This is because metal tree branches are much thinner, less lovely and they need decorating more so than natural branches in order to look "finished". This curly willow branches tree was done with very little crystal.  In the picture are actually two trees on the same table which means the crystal you see is on two trees. 

The crystal chains are hung in approximately 1.25' foot long lengths on an approximately 4' tall Curly Willow Crystal Tree centerpiece with just a few green orchids up in the branches and mixed exotic flower arrangements are also on the table.  

The flowers on the table are not a part of the tree arrangement, but are separate arrangements placed between the multiple trees on the table in order to cover the distance on a very long table.

On a round table, the low floral arrangements can still be used but aren't really necessary since the arrangement is in the middle of the table.

The crystal chains are approximately 16mm and on the ends of just a few of the crystal chains is an approximately 50mm glass teardrop.  To achieve this look, use our Ethereal crystal 16mm crystal chains with our 50mm Ethereal Crystal teardrop on the ends of some of the chains. Purchase crystal chains by the meter and separate each meter in to 3 chains, then attach the teardrop if desired.  Each of our chains comes with a top hook that hangs on the tree branches beautifully.

Add Amazing Sparkle with our Swarovski Crystal Chains Instead

To take this tree to new heights of glamour and amazing sparkle, use our Swarovski crystal chains, hung in 1' lengths or if you want them to hang much lower and the tree is at least 4' tall, hook two Swarovski 1' chains into one long 2' rope and hang.  The crystals will be touching or close to touching the table if hung on lower parts of the branches.

Curly willow is natural, curvy and decorative branch on it's own and as you see, can look lovely as a crystal tree with less crystal and flowers.  Curly Willow below could also be spray painted silver or gold for a differant look.  In the tree above, green, natural curly willow were used.  Swarovki crystal chains would make it much more stunning.

Look for the thicker branches and the thicker parts of the branches to hang these items on.  The branches are super skinny on one end and thicker as it goes towards the bottom.  You will be able to easily determine where you can hang things and where you cannot. The skinny ends, can hold flowers, but not crystals.  Unless you are trying to do a tree that is over the top with crystals like the one at the top of this page, you will most likely find that other branches such as Curly Willow or even Birch Branches can hold a lovely amount of crystal ropes. 

Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.

To Make Your Own Crystal Event Tree or Crystal Wedding Trees,  First Decide:

1. Where and how the tree is going to be used.
2. Whether it will have crystal & if so, how much crystal (a little > or a lot).
3. What type of tree you plan to use.
4. Whether you will use real flowers, fine silks or no flowers 

Where the Tree Will be Used

Will it be a champagne bar or buffet table crystal decoration?  Will it be a brides table crystal tree centerpiece, used on both sides of an altar or as home decor?  Will it be the center of a dance floor? Will it sit atop a table or on the floor?  Will people be sitting at the table?  Will the finished crystal tree even fit through the door where you plan to place it (very important and often neglected)!  If it will be placed on a table where people will sit, then you will need to make your crystal tree tall enough so that the bulk of the tree is over their heads when sitting down.

If using your finished crystal tree as home décor, it will usually need a table to sit on.   If using the tree as a crystal tree centerpiece on a table where people will sit,  choose the size of your tree so that the view across the table is not greatly obstructed by the tree.  If sitting atop a table, be sure  you know how high the ceilings are in the room you plan to place it.  If there are low ceilings, a 6 foot tree atop a 3 foot table may be  too much. Most wedding and catering halls, however, don't have such low ceilings.
 
The stunning crystal wedding tree decor ideas pages on our website are substantially sized trees. The crystal tree with the hanging orchids, votive candles and crystal octagons is over 6 feet tall.  The crystal tree with the long ropes of Swarovski Lead Free crystal octagons hanging from it is exactly 6 feet tall according to the designer.

You can make your own decorative tree of similar height or you can make a smaller version, but keep in mind that ideally, if it is being used for home décor or as a focal point for event decor, it should be at least 4 feet tall so that there is actually room for  "hanging".  Seated guests should be looking directly at or up at the  hanging flowers, crystals, etc., (not down on them). 

If you plan to make a huge crystal wedding tree of 6 or 7' and plan to hang this big tree heavily with crystal, then you will need a tree that has a very hard wood like the Manzanita shown with  the long crystal garlands hanging down from the branches. Other trees have a tough time supporting the heavy weight of the crystal. You will also need to  weight the base to at least 15 - 30 lbs.   You can do this using rocks in your planter or container.

If you plan to hang only  single crystal balls for example or a much less dense display of long crystal decorations,  then you can use a  tree with weaker or thinner branches.   In this case, you will not likely need to weight the base of the  tree.  If your tree is already in a planter of some sort, this weight  alone should suffice. If you plan to hang more than a dozen votives,   depending upon the type and weight of the tree, you may still need  to add weight to the base of the tree before hanging your crystal and votives.

Getting Started

Before you get started, be sure you are dressed for the task.  Manzanita branches can be sharp and scratch you so be sure to get some gardening gloves or other gloves and wear some sort of eye protection when working with them, just to be sure you don't poke yourself in the eye.  Wear long sleaves and pull your hair back into a ponytail if necessary.

Manzanita branches also are narrower from the side than they are from the front and back. This is because they grow crowded together and can't expand in all directions. If you want to fill out your crystal tree from the side view, use extra branches to put in that place and round it out.

Preparing Your Manzanita or Dragonwood Trees or Branches

Safety first.  Keep your face back and out of the way so you don’t get poked in the eye or scratched in the face. If using manzanita, wear glasses or goggles  if you have to. Once on your table, the sharp branches will be too  high up for anyone to scratch their face and they will not be  standing close enough to poke their eyes!

If necessary because you are a perfectionist, you can trim off unnecessary tree branches for best symmetry.  If purchased natural burgundy/red Manzanita  branches, you may want to trim off the tiny, dead branches and any dried leaves. You can simply put on some gardening gloves and pop them off by hand if you like.  Gloves will prevent scratches on your hands from the  little jagged branches.  You could also use gardening or kitchen shears to cut off the small  unwanted branches.

If using thinner, less tough branches such as Curly Willow branches or a  tree from a Garden Center or your yard, this part isn't necessary, but if using tough Manzanita, it might apply.

If using thick, tough tree branches that are naturally crooked like Manzanita, separate out the branches that are full enough straight enough and wide enough that they can be used alone. 

Now make piles of two branches that can work together to make one semi-straight tree.  Once you pick them, take your two branches together and hold them up so you can see which larger branches (if any) will need to be clipped or be sawed off for  symmetry or to make the branches fit together best if you need to use two branches for one tree.  

Keep in mind that the finished centerpiece or display tree should be more “broom shaped”,  or like an inverted triangle in shape, with the widest part on top and growing narrower toward the bottom .
 
In most cases, your finished tree arrangement  will look better if it is not skinny on top and wide at the bottom ... unless you deliberately want it to have the shape of a Christmas Tree.  Clean the wood with a sponge of any dirt or debris so that it is smooth and shiny if using it natural and it helps paint to adhere if the tree is clean.

If you are using a very barky tree from your yard that has grey or white bark or bark that is peeling, use a a block or sheet of sandpaper to smooth it out.

How to Determine Base Size for Stability

To determine the needed size, just take the height of the tree and double it. This is approximately how many inches diameter the base, wood or planter should be; example: 6 foot tree should have at least a   12" diameter base. 

If you plan on hanging tons of crystal strands or garlands and or heavy glass votives, then you should make the base larger. The more weight it will have to hold, the wider the base must be to keep it from falling. For a  tree like the one with the long ropes of crystal, use the formula  above and then add about 4 inches.

For example, for a 6 foot Manzanita or Dragonwood tree double it and make it into inches  (12” inches) and then add 4 more inches for 16” diameter base. 

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Permanent Container Base Method & Steps

This method is so easy you will be amazed.  It is excellent for making larger decorative trees or trees using thick branches that can't stick into styrofoam.  Once your branches are selected and ready to go, your tree will be standing in 5 or 10 minutes.  No need for concrete (way to heavy and requires ridiculous mixing with concrete mixer).  No need for Plaster of Paris which requires proper mixing, is fragile if dropped and says right on the box that it causes cancer. 

Plaster of Paris is a powder which floats out of the box or bag like flower when you open it which means you are inhaling a chemical that says it causes cancer.  Not a good idea.  This method is safer and EASIER and requires no mixing.  The finished tree will be stable, weighted and just right.

What You Will Need


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4.  Branches

make centerpiece  treeBranches can be any kind, real or artificial. Manzanita, Curly Willow, Birch, etc.

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5.y_AfteroaboutX5Iminutes,gcheckZagainAandrbe sure\youJusedYenough.BrIftnot, sprayba`littleQmore.HZ

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video snapshot making crystal treeInqaboutA10Bminutes,jWhennyoufcheckMit,pitlwillvbexfirm^and theatreexwillXbe stable inZthewpot and\weighted.euItTwillqbe[firmMenoughNto useHwithindthe hour,VbutjItAwillncontinue[tophardenwovernight.\yIfzyourLfoam hasurisenUhigher thanVthe[pot,KjustYgetsayboxBcuttervorcsharpbknife\andIcut down thePextra_foamhuntil itYisHbackCinsideZtheIpot.Q^That'sCit.

AnVariationSofRtheRContainereMethod]ofor use withFSkinnyeBranches

The previous method is best for thick branches or large trees.  IfVyouoare making smaller centerpiece trees usingAskinnyybranchesLlikeaCurlyTWillowkor BirchlBranches,Uyougcan useathe samezsteps[aboveobutdyou canLuseilesszrocks by firstvtakingIaXblockXof styrofoamLandHsittingGitYinxtheNbottomPof thePcontainer.pjBeMsureHthe styrofoam isLatPleastL4"LfromFtheZtop ofdtheCcontainer.A]

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How to Finish the Top of the Base / Container
(good for all methods)

Once the foam is hardened, you need to finish the look by covering it.  Use these tips to finish any of the base methods we describe in this information. Some finishing ideas:

-spray paint the top to match the container or
-cover the top with irridescent paper and lay sparkling crystals on top of the paper
-if a natural finish tree (not silver or gold), cover top with sheet moss from the floral supply store, Walmart or craft store (sold in bags)
-cover the top wih decor stones (silver, gold, white, etc.)
-cover the top of the hardened foam with live flowers stuck in wet floral foam
-cover the top of the with silk flowers
-cover the top with artificial dirt, real dirt or sand if it fits your design
-cover the top with chunky vase filler of any type (Target has a wide selection of orbs, natural pods, cones, potpourris, glass stones, etc.)
-cover the top with velvet or gorgeous fabric
-cover the top with spray painted Reindeer Moss, Spanish Moss or Sheet Moss (just spray the green moss with silver, gold, white, etc.
-cover the top with already dyed Spanish Moss or Reindeer Moss
-cover the top with Artificial Snow (sold in bags)

Acrylic Water Method & Steps for Making Display Trees

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Simple Plywood Base Method & Steps for Making Trees

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Quick Cylinder or Pot Method & Steps for Making Trees

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How to Secure More than One  Branch Together

If you are using more than one branch or a group of branches they are both standing and in good position, lash the two trees together at their connecting point with a chord that blends in with  your trees or you can use craft wire.   Try placing the branches back to back, back to front, raise one branch higher than the other, try several positions to find just the right one for your branches. 

Different branches need to be situated differently for the best result.  No two branches are the same and therefore position will not be the same.  There is no need to waste even one branch; you will find a spot on one of your trees that can use it.

You can even take one large branch and cut it down into smaller branches to fit what and where it is needed.  For example a large 4' branch that is wide may look a little lopsided.  Taking a section of branch from one side may even it out and you can take the cut piece and use it to fill in a branch tree that is too narrow for your taste from one angle.  Use it all.
Contact Us if you Need Natural Branches

Shoot us an email to info@etherealdecur.com including the number of trees you would like to make, the height and your event date and we will supply you with a quote. We can suppy you with natural Manzanita, Curly Willow, Dragon Wood, Grapewood and others.
 
Where to Buy Tree Planters Containers for Bases

You can buy a large planter for your tree. These are available cheapest at most major hardware stores such as Loews or Home Depot and in the garden center of Wal-Mart. Some stores also sell wood planters which are an excellent choice as well.

If doing a big tree such as a 6' or 7' tree, you  will need to find a very wide, but shallow planter. It should not   be more than 12" inches tall, but at least 12” inches wide. The reason: If it is too tall, it will hide too much of the trunk  of your tree.    A 12” tall planter will take a whole foot off the finished look of  your tree. 

How to Paint a Crystal Tree or Orchid Tree

Most brides just spray paint the trees instead of gold or silver leafing, but the final look is more beautiful when gold or silver leafed. To paint it, you can purchase wood paint in any  hardware store. The easiest is of course, spray paint, but you can  also use brush paint if you don’t have a suitable area for spraying indoors. 

Whatever paint you use, purchase an inexpensive strap on painting  mask. Some paints are harmful if the particles are inhaled (spray  paint). Using a brush is better if the mess is a concern because you can  just do it indoors (windows open of course) and use a small brush on the smaller branches and a larger brush on the larger branches.

The brush method can even be done inside an apartment. You can choose  either a matte or flat silver, gold or color paint or a metallic  finish paint which makes the tree look more like metal.  If you plan to spray paint, just make yourself a cardboard   booth/shield to go around the sides and behind the tree and cover  the ground or floor with cardboard or paper and spray. This keeps  the over-spray from going on the grass, floor, etc.   

They can be painted or spray  painted white, silver, gold, etc. or if you prefer not to paint or  have no place to paint, you can silver-leaf them or gold-leaf them with a leafing kit from any craft store. It's more work, but gorgeous

For a winter event, almost any branches or trees look lovely painted white.  In most cases, they look best left natural wood color, especially if hanging with orchids and crystals. If using crystals only, they look best painted a reflective color such as silver or gold. 

How to Airbrush Paint a Crystal Tree

Airbrushing is a fantastic way to paint your crystal tree with a smooth, glossy, very professional looking finish.  No one will believe you did it yourself.  Buy a simple airbrush kit from a craft supply store such as Michaels or online.  You can purchase a compressor to use, but those are more expensive so definitely buy that online somewhere, but the cheaper way is to buy the set that includes a can compressor.  Use this outdoors only and not near any open flame for safety. 

Lay out your table with a drop cloth or old sheet for protection.  Put on your cloth painting mask if you have one (available for $3 in hardware stores) or you can buy  a better one made of plastic with filters on it.

I suggest using airbrushes outdoors if you are not buying an electric compressor.  The aerosol can compressor involves chemicals and there is no chemical that is good for you.  Be sure you have lots of air circulation.  To avoid all of that, use the electric compressor instead of the can type. Can type is much cheaper though.

Follow instructions on the airbrush to put your paint into the jar that attaches to the air brush.

Spray your decor tree , (starting at the fine branches in the top of the tree) with the paint until fully covered.  It conserves your paint so you use less because it is a very controlled spray, unlike with canned spray paint.  The paint also does not contain solvents which means the paint is non toxic and a much healthier way to paint, especially if using electric compressors.

The finish will be very professional and you can buy the little jars of paint in gorgeous colors such as  Pearl White which is  stunning white that looks like pearls instead of flat white. 

How to Lacquer Natural Color Tree Centerpieces for Shine

This tip is for unpainted wood.  Lacquering is not necessary, but if you like a shiny, glossy "furniture finished" type wood (especially if the tree is for home decor), You can lacquer your tree.  It will give a glossy shine with spray lacquer on  the natural tree or you can prime the tree and paint it (see > section: How to Paint Your Tree) and then lacquer over the paint for protection and a glossy, professional finish.

How to Gold or Silver Leaf a Crystal Wedding Tree

If you want to gild a tree, you will need to purchase a few leafing or gilding kits (if they are  small kits you will need more than one) at any craft store and follow the precise directions on the package, but here are some tips where your tree are concerned:

Purchase a Chinese Wash Brush if you can find one at the craft  store. If you can’t then use regular wood paint brushes. You will need both a large one and a smaller one for doing the smaller  branches. Purchase only the softest brushes you can find (not stiff,  hard synthetic brushes). I believe natural fiber brushes work best.

Prepare the tree beforehand according to the instructions on the box and then apply the gold or silver leaf sheets to the various areas  of the tree with the brush. Don’t worry about cracks/holes in the  leafing. You can double back and go over those areas with another small piece of leafing later once you have covered the whole tree.

After you have covered the whole tree with leafing sheets according  to the instructions, you are ready to burnish it. Take a woman’s nylon stocking and role it into a ball. Gently rub the leafing.  The purpose is that the rubbing of the nylon will help remove any wrinkles that are in the leafing so you have a smoother finished  result and causes the leafing to shine more. 

If you want to best preserve the leafing on the finished tree, consider clear-coating it by applying a coating of polyurethane or  gloss. This also is available in craft stores . 

How to Hang Flowers in Centerpiece Trees

Almost any flowers can be used. You can wrap your tree with  garlands of bunchy flowers along the trunk and branches. You can  hang balls of flowers from ribbon in the tree, you can place  individual flowers up in the high branches of the tree. The possibilities are endless and the crystal trees at two events not look the same. Your tree can be unique to you. 

You can attach flowers to the ends of the branches by wrapping them to the tree with thin, colored wire (orchids work fantastically) or flowers can be hung from ribbons with crystals on  the ends or in between. Flowers can be “wired” to the ribbon using  florist stem wire or another thin gauge wire found in your craft store. 

How to Hang Live Cymbidium Orchids in Tree Branches

Cymbidiums are fantastic for hanging on decor trees for any event.  They are easy to work with (very hardy) and last out of water a long time as well which means they won't be dead before the party is over.  Simply treat your flowers as usual first, and then hang them by poking a cut piece of craft wire (sold in spools in Walmart craft section or other craft stores) right through the back end of the orchid.  Wrap the ends around the appointed branch and twist to attach.

You can also take an upholstery needle and thread it with colored chord or even monofilament (fishing line) and sew through the orchid back, leave some space and sew on another.  When you hang them from the branches, they will seem suspended in mid air from your tree.  Gorgeous!

Orchids or other multiple flower stems can be hung intact without removing individual flower heads or blooms.  Just take the whole stem (after treating of course) and attach it using brown florist tape or thin gauge craft wire and strap it to the branch of a tree.  This is great for phaleanopsis orchids in particular (the butterfly looking type).   Other types of orchids such as dendrobiums also work well.

How to Hang Silk Orchids or Other Flowers  in Trees

Just clip the heads of the orchids off with wire cutters from the craft store or floral supply store or floral supply section of Walmart etc.  Use a piece of thin gauge craft wire or florist's wire to strap each flower to the tree branches.  You can also secure them by sitting them in the tiny upper branches, using the petals themselves, in front of and behind a branch.  Manzanita branches are perfect for this.  The better way is to use wire though, since you know they won't fall out. 

You can also get a hot glue gun for $4 in Walmart or any craft store, buy a bag of high temperature glue sticks and simply hot glue your silks to the spot of choice in your tree.  Nothing is easier than that.

How to Hang Flowers on Crystal Garlands or Ropes

You can also use the wire through the back method and attach them in strategic places on your wedding crystals.  Hang a few right over the connectors of the crystal garlands, between the glass crystals.  You can also hang flowers at the end of each chain or just at the top of the chains.

How to Hang Live Flowers with Water 

Orchids are very hardy and can last all day out of water which is what makes them ideal for the centerpiece tree since the flowers will have no  water source while in the tree. For hanging other flowers like roses or if you want your orchids to get water, you can hang them from small glass hanging vases or even from test tubes wrapped with decorative wire or chord around the "lip".   They also make lovely hanging keepsake gifts to give special  guests after the event.

You can also use quality silk flowers.  If  you get wedding quality silks, when hanging up in a centerpiece tree, high over head, no one will be able to tell if they are real or not.

How to Make Gorgeous Leaf Garlands to Hang

In addition to flowers, you can hang your tree with long garlands of beautifully colored, unbelievably sheer, natural leaves.   Take the leaves and hot glue gun them into ropes or garlands using a matching colored chord or thinnest ribbon. 

On the end of the garland, attach a gorgeous swarovski crystal ball in 20mm or 30mm size or Ovals in 28mm or 38mm size or even Octagons in  26mm or 28mm size.  This adds weight to the bottom of the garland so they don't fly up and flutter around (very light weight) and adds some stunning sparkle to the finished centerpiece.

Big sizes work best because the larger the crystal, the more the sparkle (larger facets).  The fewer you plan to hang, the larger they should be.

How to Decide What Kind of Crystal Decorations to Use

You can buy fine Swarovski crystal decorations such as loose prisms and crystal garlands on our website. We also carry loose Excellent Quality  Ethereal brand crystal strands which are less expensive but lovely event crystals or wedding crystals.  

Yes, there are lots of party crystals out there, but you really do get what you pay for and if they are really too cheap (price wise) ...  it  usually means it's too cheap (quality wise).  You don't want to sacrifice sparkle for price.  If it your crystal wedding trees are not going to truly sparkle, then what's the point?  We refuse to even sell acrylic because we believe one should do it right or don't do it at all.  Acrylic may shine, but it cannot truly sparkle. Sparkle requires flashes of light and natural rainbows.  Acrylic coated with AB plastic coating can give you a metallic reflection that mimics sparkle, but it is not true sparkle. 

When it comes to sparkle, experts all agree that there is nothing better than Swarovski crystal garlands.  However, if your budget won't allow such high quality crystal decorations or because you have lots of crystal centerpieces to do, consider doing half of your chains Swarovski and the rest Ethereal quality glass crystals and mix them up on your trees. 

In any case, you need a high quality glass crystal.  Our Ethereal crystals measure up.  They were featured on Platinum Weddings television show.  They are a great second choice to Swarovski glass crystals.  We don't sell any acrylic plastic crystals or low grade crystals.  All of our crystals will make a fine impression.

There are lots of acrylic plastic curtain strings and other products out there that simply don't sparkle.  If it's not going to sparkle, what's the point of a crystal tree?

How Many Crystal Strands to Use on Your Crystal Trees

Base this decision on your budget. Our stunning crystal Wedding Tree, positively dripping with thousands of Swarovski crystals used about 240' full feet of finest crystal garlands with straight connectors in silver and in gold.  It is completely over the top for an unreal presentation.  Yours doesn't have to be that way.  You can create a gorgeous crystal display tree that is not over-the-top.

You can use less (still fine) crystals and simply spread them farther apart for a similar  look, but be sure to hang them only on the thicker branches and apply them evenly to both sides of the tree so it does not fall  over. The tree on our site with the long ropes of crystal used 16mm and 26mm Swarovski lead free crystal ropes.  

The average  3' - 4' centerpiece crystal tree will use about 20' (20' ropes) of crystal chains if it is not being filled out with flowers as well.  Many customers do as many as 50' feeto of hanging crystals, but 20 is an average for a nice centerpiece tree.  If you plan to use flowers, you can certainly get away with far less if you want.  An all crystals tree will look a bit naked without enough crystals. 

Using some sort of flowers perched here and there on the branches will allow you to use less if necessary.  For example, a lovely tree with flowers around the base and some buds perched in the branches can be draped with as few as 5' of crystal and still be gorgeous.

How to Determine Your Final Crystal Count

The first step is to figure out what your design will be: with flowers or other adornment or without.  Then you will know if you need more or less crystals as described above.  Count up how many tables you will have or how many trees you will need.  Start with a reasonable amount of chains for your trees and work up or down from there as needed with regard to your budget.

For example, allow 20' or 20 chains for each tree (just a starting point).  Go to our Crystal Chains Ropes page, select the grade you want such as Swarovski.  Once you determine the grade or quality, determine the size: small 14mm, perfect 16mm, large 20mm (like a nickle), Big 24mm or extra large 26mm if available and add them to your cart in the quantiy multiplied by the number of tables. 

A Trick to Help You Determine How Many Feet of Crystal You Need

To visualize how many crystal ropes you will need, try this.  Use craft ribbon or thick string cut into 12 inch lengths.  Use the tape to hang the ribbons on your prototype as if they were crystals.  If you feel the need to, you can add some dime sized or nickle sized children's or office supply stickers to represent  the  16, 20 and 24 millimeter crystal sizes.  Stick them on the ribbon.  Once you think it looks like enough ropes,  measure how many feet of ribbon or string you used on the design.  Order the same number of feet of our crystals. 

If Possible, Go for Quality over Quantity

It is better to go with less total chains or ropes of crystal but better  quality than to get twice as much quantity but so-so quality.  For example, 100 ropes of fine crystals is better (sparkle wise and effect wise) than 200 ropes of acrylic plastic or bad glass.  There is no comparison.  The wow factor will be light-years ahead if you use fewer chains per tree, but better crystals for more impact.  You ultimately get more "bang for your buck".

Just add your crystals choices to the shopping cart to develop your own quote.  If you need help or can't figure out what quantities you want, just give us a call or email us.  Our shopping cart will adjust your totals accordingly.  If you need to add more, change the numbers in the shopping cart.  If out of your budget, try changing the size to a smaller size or mixing it up between sizes and or  grades of crystal.

How to Determine Big or Small Crystals?

Bigger crystals allow you to use less and tiny crystals sometimes mean you will need to use more.   For example, if you plan to hang only 5 chains, go with a larger size such as 16mm or 20mm since the larger the crystal, the greater the sparkle and impact. 

Larger crystals have larger facets and therfore (assuming the grade or brand is the same) the larger one will sparkle more, giving you more bang for your buck.  For example, one would do better in most cases with 5 chains of Swarovski 20mm, than 7 chains of Swarovski 16mm. 

The second choice has more chains, but the larger size means the first choice will have more sparkle, even though there are fewer chains.  The larger ones  will be more visible from across the room than the smaller chains.

How to Hang Crystals from Tree Branches

1. Hang loose crystal pieces with monofilament or thin gauge fishing cord if using  individual crystal pieces  such as 20mm or 20mm Swarovski balls.  If using monofilament, it is slippery so be sure to double not the chord right above the crystal. Make a small loop on the other end (double knot it) and hang the loop on a tiny branch on the tree.

2. You could also hang  loose crystal pieces with colored cord or thin ribbon if individual pieces.

3.  If hanging crystal chains, hang the end of your crystal chain (ours have a perfect little hook on the end of each chain) right on a tiny branch.  If you have very thick branches, simply add a piece of cut craft wire by looping around the branch, twisting it shut and then hang the hook at the top of the crystal rope, right through the wire. 

Hanging this way means the chains still hang straight down and neat.  No looping crystals over the branches s is necessary with 3' or yard long ropes and no need to separate ropes and risk cracking or chipping any crystals in the process.   

1' Foot Crystal Ropes Actually Stretch Your Budget & Hang Better

If hanging crystal ropes over tree branches, 1' ropes are better to use since you can adjust the length easily for a custom length.  If looping yard long chains over a branch, at the top where the crystal chain must bend in order to hang down the other side, you have a crystal laying on the top of the branch. 

In addition, doubling over causes crystals to be facing one way on one side and facing the other way on the way down.  This is especially bad if your chains or ropes use bow-tie connectors which look far different from the front than from the back.  You want the front of the bow-tie facing OUT, not in.  This means you would have to actually separate the 3' or 1 yard rope into two in order to have the crystals all facing the right way. 

If you are using crystals that are pointed on the back and flat on the front (diamond shaped), this is also not good.  The crystals on one side would look fine and once looped over, coming down the back, they would be backwards.  Diamond cut crystals are supposed to be used with the flat side out and the point in, funneling the light up and out through the flat front of the crystal. Better to hang each chain straight down.  Use either one, 1' rope or hook two together in 1 second and you have a two foot rope; perfect for 6' and even 7' trees as you see on our  huge 7' foot tree with thousands of crystals at the top of this page.

Hang Crystals Evenly on Your Trees

Hang your crystal chains evenly on the tree.  This means, if you hang 5 or six ropes on one side, hang similar amount on the other side, then go to the back, then the front, etc. so that you never have a moment in time when there is heavy weight on only one side of your tree which could cause the weight to be poorly distributed and your tree to lean or fall if not properly weighted.  This is even more important if you are using a metal tree which is not heavily weighted on the bottom.   However, a heavily weighted  or big tree should not fall no matter how you hang the crystals.

What Type Connectors Work Best for Crystal Tree?

If using crystal ropes, it is best to not use chains with  "bow ties" as the attachment between each crystal, but a more subtle link. Bow-ties stand out like a sore thumb instead of looking more like "raindrops" on the tree.  They also do not allow the  crystals to turn and they make the ropes stiff like belts instead of chains.  Loop attachments look kind of tacky so we suggest straight connectors or coils as seen on the crystal ropes on our site and on our stunning crystal tree.

Giving Crystal Balls or Teardrops as Suncatcher Gifts

Your crystal tree can hold individual large, crystal balls or drops on ribbons. You can hang enough for every guest at the event and give  them as “sun-catchers” after the event. They can hang them in the window to make rainbows come into a room afterwards.  

How to  Light Your Crystal Tree Properly

If you will be using the tree outdoors during bright daylight, the daylight will hit the crystals beautifully, producing rainbows. Once night  comes, you will need hanging votives or a light. If using your  tree for an indoor event or home décor, be sure to buy a light for  your tree.

You will need ambient lighting cast up from behind/beneath or down from above in order for your crystal to tree  to sparkle it's best.  If you are hiring a lighting company for your event, that’s perfect.  Just tell them about your tree and they will provide proper lighting from the proper angle to show off your tree in a way that  you can’t.

You can also hang lights in the tree instead of votive candles if you like. Twinkle lights or even cube lights can work well but don‘t over do it and don’t use colored lights unless you want a  Christmas Tree type look. 

The light needs to be warm, natural tone light (not white light) and it needs to shine THROUGH the crystals, not AT the crystals and preferably from the inside.  Halogen lighting works well, but gets very hot so be sure not to put anything flammable near you lighting or where it can fall on your lighting.

You can place battery powered lighting in the tree branches using Floralytes or Acolytes available online, just visit their websites.  These are battery powered lights that burn for days and are only the size of half your thumb.  Tuck some up on the branches in strategic places for a little light or consider hanging candles from votive cups in the trees. 

This means, sitting the light directly behind the tree and angled up and on an angle or down and on an  angle.  www.EtherealDecor.com/projects.html 

© copyright 2007 Ethereal Decor.  These articles are copyrighted.  No posting elsewhere is permitted. We search the internet for other sites copying sections of our copyrighted material.  If you found this e-book helpful, please be sure to refer others to our site and link to our site.  We appreciate it.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
 
ethereal-crystal-garlands-120w160h3Light.jpg
14mm - .55" Ethereal Brand, Lead Free Crystal - 1 METER / 39" Rope
Extra Long  39" Inches (3" inches more  than a yard). Can be divided anywhere to shorten.  AA++ Quality. Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #E14OCM
Quantity   3 - 19     20+  
Reg. Price $7.98 $7.98
Sale Ends 7/20! $6.98 $6.48
Price is per chain
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DIG-107-crystals-blue-tree-120w.jpg
*16mm - .63" Swarovski Premium Lead Free Crystal One Foot Rope
AAA+++ Quality. Two or more ropes can hook together in seconds if you need longer lengths. Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #SG16OC
Quantity   4 - 149     150+  
Reg. Price $7.99 $7.99
Sale Ends 7/20! $5.99 $5.49
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hanging crystals
38mm - 1.5" Quality Glass Lead Free Crystal Loose Teardrop
1.5" inch long crystal. Good size & lovely shape for hanging on rope ends or alone.  Most economical; good quality. Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #QG38TP
Quantity   5 - 34     35+  
Reg. Price $0.65 $0.45
Lowest Price each, when you buy 35 or more pieces
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Eth-teardro-p120w160h.jpg
38mm - 1.5" Ethereal Brand Quality Lead Free Crystal Loose Teardrop
1.5" inch long crystal.  Good size & lovely shape for hanging onrope ends or alone.  Nice 2nd choice to Swarovski.  Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #E38TP
Quantity   1 - 34     35+  
Reg. Price $1.29 $0.99
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swar-teardrop-crystal-120w1.jpg
***38mm - 1.5" Swarovski Premium Lead Free Crystal Loose Teardrop
AAA+++ Quality. 1.5" inch long crystal. Good size & lovely shape for hanging on ends of our crystal ropes.  Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #SG38TP
Quantity   10 - 24     25 - 199     200+  
Reg. Price $2.25 $1.95 $1.75
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ethereal-crystal-garlands-120w160h3Light.jpg
16mm - .63" Ethereal Brand, Lead Free Crystal - 1 METER / 39" Rope
Extra Long  39" Inches ( 3" inches more than a yard). Can be divided anywhere to shorten. AA++ Quality. Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #E16OCM
Quantity   2 - 19     20+  
Reg. Price $8.98 $8.98
Sale Ends 7/20! $7.98 $7.48
Price is per chain
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DIG-107-crystals-blue-tree-120w.jpg
***14mm - .55" Swarovski Premium Lead Free Crystal Long One Meter / 39" Rope
Long 1 Meter (39" Inches - 3 inches longer than a yard). AAA+++ Quality.  Can be divided anywhere to shorten. Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #SG14OCM
Quantity   1 - 49     50+  
Reg. Price $15.49 $15.49
Sale Ends 7/20! $10.99 $10.69
Prices are per chain
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ethereal-crystal-garlands-120w160h3Light.jpg
20mm - .79" Ethereal Brand, Lead Free Crystal - 1 METER / 39" Rope
Extra Long  39" Inches ( 3" inches more than a yard). Can be divided anywhere to shorten. AA++ Quality.  Click image for more info.
SKU SKU #E20OCM
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Reg. Price $11.95 $11.95
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Rustic 3' Foot Metal Tree - SINGLE - Rustic Brown -1 Tree & 4 Hanging Candle Holders (flowers and crystals not included; size approximate)
 Table centerpiece or home decor tree.  Rustic Brown (paint any color). Approx. 3' foot tall , x 13" w. (height not adjustable).   4 hanging candle holders included.   Flowers and hanging crystals not included.  Click image for more info.
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Rustic Metal Flower Pedestal - SINGLE - 23" tall - Rustic Brown but is easily paintable in any color (flowers, candle holders and crystals not included; you must add to cart separately).

Rustic Brown pedestal WITHOUT top branches. Flowers not included. Fine crystals can be added to cart separately.  Nearly 2'  tall.  Can create 3' - 4' centerpiece once flowers are added. Spray-paintable Gold, etc. Same item also available with 3 removable branches. Flowers, crystals and hanging candle holders not included but available. Click image for more info.

SKU SKU #FS26KIT-NO-BR
Quantity   1      2 - 9     10 - 24     25+  
Reg. Price $42.98 $42.98 $42.98 $42.98
Sale Ends 7/20! $21.98 $19.98 $18.98 $17.98
Additional savings when you buy 2 or more
Qty:
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