I have been a busy little bee. This last week I have spent a little time creating these DIY cotton stems. I think it is not secret that I have champagne taste on a beer budget. Or I guess you could say, I would rather spend that money elsewhere, like on college classes. Ugh. I have been wanting to make these for a long time, and I am excited to show you how I came about making them, and exactly how you can make some yourself.
I have been a fan of these cotton stems for a while. They are a fun addition to your home, especially if you are looking for something to add to your farmhouse decor. The problem is, faux cotton stems can be quite pricey. More pricey than I would generally like to spend. Especially when I think I can make it myself. Now, if you could get artificial cotton stems wholesale, then you would be in luck, but that just isn’t the way it works.
I have been brainstorming for a while how to DIY cotton stems. I went through a few different phases. I started by creating the leaves around the cotton with craft paper. They looked great but did not look real enough to me. That is when it hit my as I was cleaning up some of my winter decor. If it was a snake, it would have bitten me….thats what my husband always says.
Hey pine cones! How are you doing? Ready to be transformed into cotton stem bundles?
It was like a light went on in my head! I started to figure it out. Honestly, this is why I love what I do. I am able to create and find ways to do it. I am able to take an idea or a theory, brainstorm and experiment and in the end create something really and truly cool. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way and I end up scrapping the whole project, but that’s okay, because at least I learned something!
Trial and error is definitely part of building, creating, and you just have to be okay with that. That is how we grow and learn.
Now, lets see how we make these lovely cotton stems!
How to make DIY Cotton Stems
Here is what I used for this project:
- Tree branches ( if you cant find the real thing, use a faux flowers branch.)
- Large cotton balls
- Hot Glue Gun
Now, I think we all have cotton balls kicking around in the bottom cabinet in our bathroom. Pull them out! They are so versatile and can be used for so many different things! So, the first piece of my supplies has been acquired.
Now it was time to find the branches I wanted to use for my cotton floral stems. I wandered outside the other day and decided to trim a few of my peach trees. Now, we already needed to trim some of the branches off since it was pruning time, so I helped myself to some of the branches.
These are the limbs I used to create the DIY cotton stems. If you don’t have peach trees, you can really use any other type of limb. Really, ask a neighbor or maybe go to a nursery and see if they have any dead clippings you could use. What you do need to look for is a branch with many branches coming off of it. You want it to branch out. The more individual branches, the more cotton stems you will have. This will make these cotton stem bundles come to life and have more to them.
Also, if you have branches with long limbs, you will want to trim them. Trim them from the bottom so that you do not cut off any valuable branches at the top. Make sure that you pick a branch that is strong, not a more bendable type like Quaking Aspen( these will come in handy for one of my upcoming projects though). I do love my Quaking Aspens though…and they are so flexible you can use them to form a really cool twig wreath base!
Here I am ready to set at it. I started by laying a piece of brown butcher paper to protect my floor. I gathered up my hot glue gun, my branches, pine cones and cotton balls. It was time to create some cotton stems.
I started by pulling the individual pieces from the pine cone. Be careful, sometimes they can be kind of sharp. Start at the bottom of the cone. I would highly recommend either using gloves, or pliers to pull these apart. They are very rough and pokey and can really harm your hands if you do not take care…..trust me, I learned this the hard way. Plus they give you a bit of a time getting them off. They are attached pretty good at the base.
I applied a dollop of glue to the middle of the cotton ball. Be careful here because the hot glue can seep through and burn your hands. I would recommend using a low temp hot glue gun, so that the hot glue is not quite as hot. You can also use gloves at this point as well, just to protect your fingers from the heat. You could also use different glues if you so desire but I find that they will all take too long to dry and you will end up waiting and waiting for the cotton stems to dry, and if you try to mess with them before they are dry, you will have a big mess.
I then stuck the section with the hot glue onto the branch, wrapping and forming the cotton around it. Make sure its nice and secured. This is where you will form the cotton pieces.
I then applied hot glue to the outside of the pine cone scale. I looked it up, this is what they are called. You want the pieces to curl around the cotton balls. Imagine that they are like flower petals. They will cradle the cotton ball.
I then applied it to the cotton, making sure to secure it at the base where the cotton meets the branch. Remember to be careful with the glue. It can stick to those fingers.
Some of the cotton I tore in half if they were too close together. I created small bundles together on some of the branches. You can add as many as you would like. This is your project!
I applied 3-4 pine cone scales to each cotton balls.
Repeat the process until you have filled all the individual branches. If you find a place on the branch that looks bare, you can glue the cotton ball to the main part of the branch. You will never be able to tell it didn’t have a branch there.
I set them in my trusty galvanized bucket. Don’t they look wonderful there? Decorating with cotton branches can be really easy! If you are looking for some farmhouse decor to add to your home this is the perfect way. I could spend all day buying galvanized metal accessories. Another reason I wanted to make these myself was that just in case, I got tired of having them in my home, I would easily be able to trade them out for something else without feeling guilty because I spent a ton of money on them.
What do you think? Are these cotton stems something you would make for your own home? They were so easy to make! I really could not believe how easy! You definitely should try this method out for yourself! I am sure you have most of the supplies sitting in your home somewhere.
Now, if you aren’t interested in making your own, I’ve pulled together a few items from this post:
This was a really exciting project for me. I love figuring out how to make something on my own. Now that I have an easy way to create them, you might see them popping up all over the place. Why not though? Maybe make some for your friends or family. I think this would be an awesome Christmas gift for a farmhouse loving friend. I know I have a few friends that would love them!
I hope you try this for yourself.
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Have a great day and remember….
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