Martha is always looking for unusual containers for flower arrangements. Recently, she fashioned a natural-looking vase from a coffee can and twigs gathered during a walk in the woods. Tied with a length of raffia, it makes a charming holder for garden flowers or a rustic desk organizer.
- Ruler or measuring tape (optional)
- Paper or paint
- Scissors (optional)
- Coffee can
- Pruning shears
- Hot-glue gun or rubber bands
Cut a rectangular piece of paper so that it will be slightly taller than the can and will cover it completely. (You can also paint the can; a dark brown will blend well with twigs.) Wrap the paper around the can so that it projects over the top. With a glue gun, glue the paper to the can. (When working with a hot-glue gun, it's a good idea to keep a container of cold water on hand in case you get any glue on your skin.)
With a pair of pruning shears, cut a twig so that it's a few inches taller than the paper cover (or the top of the painted can). Using that twig as a guide, trim the rest of the sticks so that they are of uniform length, removing any lateral branches or stubs.
If you are using a glue gun, apply a line of glue from the bottom to the top of the vase. Place a twig on the glue so that it's secure and positioned vertically on the vase, with the bottom end flush with the base of the vase and the other end projecting over the top of the vase. Repeat with each twig, working your way around the vase until you have covered it completely. (You can also use a rubber band to hold the twigs in place: Wrap a wide rubber band or a few thin ones around the middle of the vase, and insert twigs one by one so that they are neatly lined up and fully covering the vase.)
Once all the twigs are in place, examine your vase. Add or remove sticks as necessary, and adjust any that are out of position.
Cut a piece of raffia long enough to tie around the vase. Wrap it around the center of the vase (covering the rubber band if you have used one), and secure with a bow.