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diy project: twig push-pins and wall hooks

by Grace Bonney

we have a big tree in our back yard that has become somewhat problematic. it grows at a very perilous 45 degree angle; i think it’s because its roots were dislodged by the placement of the neighboring fence and paved ground. anyway, our landlord has ordered a landscaper to come in and occasionally hack off bits, but the landscaper does this in a very haphazard manner. now the tree has all these blunt stumps where it has been cut and starts to grow new branches all askew…it looks ike it has a franken-elbow (technical term). they also never clean the pieces up AND they throw large pieces in the dumpster, not the green waste bin! okay, that’s enough complaining. here’s the lemonade from this situation: free twigs and branches!!

i have been collecting some of the nice round branches hacked off from poor sad tree and kept them for future projects, and on a rainy day like today one came to mind. the little twig push-pins are SO cute and take under an hour to make. dare i say thirty minutes even? the larger version is also a great way to add a little fun to your hanging collection of art. i hope you have some twigs lying around or a park nearby, so you can make these cuties. have fun!  kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

1. twigs, .25″ – 1″ diameter (at least 10″ long – so you can keep your fingers away from the saw)
2. saw (if you have or know someone who has a chop saw, good. that makes this project awesomely fast. if not, a simple hand saw will do work fine because these are so tiny)
3. hammer
4. small t-pins
5. small finishing nails (1.5″ long)
6. super glue (the gel is preferable, but any strong glue will work)
7. needle-nose pliers (with a cutting edge)
8. safety goggles and mask (for use during sawing)

t-pins, nails: $3
twigs, tools, etc: free, on hand

30 minutes to an hour


1. cut your twigs into small nubs, about .5″ long for the push-pins, and 1.5″ – 2″ long for the wall hooks. when using the saw, make sure your hand is far from the cutting area. do not use a twig that is under 5″ because your hand will be too close to where you are cutting. be safe!

2. take your needle-nose pliers and snip off the top of your t-pins and your finishing nails. for the t-pins, you want your headless pin lengths to be about .75″ long. for your nails, you want to cut off the small head part only, leaving the whole length of the nail. save one nail for later.

3. for the twig push-pins, hold your cut t-pin in the center of a round twig nub with the sharp point facing up. tap the pin with the hammer until it sinks into the wood about halfway. this won’t damage the tip too much (it will still be sharp enough to be a tack) and it will firmly secure the pin into the twig. repeat with the rest of your twig push-pins.

4. for the wall hooks, take the saved nail and hammer it into the top center of the larger twig nub, stopping when it has sunken in about .5″. use your pliers to pull the nail back out again, leaving a small hole in the center of the twig nub.

5. take one of your headless nails and dab superglue on the non sharp end. use your hammer to tap the glue end of the headless nail into the hole about .5 – .75″, leaving 1″ on nail exposed. let these dry.

6. now your hooks and push-pins are ready for use! depending on that surface you are nailing into, the hooks can hold about 10-15 lbs. – enough for a small mirror or picture frame.


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