Creative Tutorial by Abigail Cole

This craft project is definitely in the spirit of super-simple, but very special and effective too.

There are two parts – you can do both, or pick one or the other; I’ll make suggestions on how to create a memory or gratitude tree, whilst the tutorial below will focus on making miniature photo-frames for pictures you love and this can be either explored on its own, or together with the idea of making a memory tree.

This is the time of year of beautiful, reflective walks in nature – the changing landscape slowing us down a little and giving us plenty to wonder at. It’s the perfect time for collecting “nature treasures” too, as there are plenty of fallen sticks and lots of other beautiful items all around…

The idea of a memory tree is quite simple and can be as elaborate or as minimal as you like; a collection of foraged sticks mindfully chosen and artfully curated and positioned, to give you a space for hanging small decorations, messages, hand-made children’s crafts (or your own!). You could choose a theme for your tree – maybe gratitude, and use luggage labels to write the things you are grateful for (this could even become a family ritual?). Undoubtedly, this year has been a challenging one, and focusing on small joys and things to be grateful for holds more meaning than ever.

Or maybe your theme could be photos of the some of the special moments of this year and celebrating loved ones – we may not have been able to see them as much as we like this year, but having photos of them in our physical space is one small way to keep them in our thoughts as much as we choose.     

Your tree could be a simple celebration of colour – something that just makes you feel joyful, no need to explain 😊 It could be one favourite colour in different hues, or all the colours! Paint or wrap yarns on your sticks, hang coloured scraps of fabric, or coloured pom-poms, colourful bead-chains.

Or, your tree could be a combination of all of these ideas! And, it is something that can grow… My old “fairy tree” that was originally taken to craft fairs with me, still sits on a side-cabinet in our living-room and along with fairies, over the years has accumulated a huge number of random and miscellaneous objects – things saved from children’s birthday parties and school discos, broken and saved Christmas decorations, crafts from art-club and summer workshops, broken but treasured jewellery, even some hair-clips and an old novelty car air-freshener hangy thing! It’s full of memories and things from the past, but still somehow feels very much present and alive.

To make your tree – simply gather some sticks you find beautiful, either spray/paint them or keep them natural. Find something to stand them in – this will depend on the size of your sticks, but a recycled jar or vase would work, and you could even decopatch your chosen vessel for added decoration (or use the D.I.Y. version shown in the ‘hanging sign’ tutorial), and of course – fairy-lights optional 😉  

There’s an image of my mini-tree in the tutorial below, at the end of the photo-frame craft. As I was making my own mini-frames, I realised that this craft beautifully echoes the sentiments in my creativity blog post about embracing mistakes – if the wire bending isn’t working quite how you like it (it can look kind of messy along the way) – don’t give up! The more you layer and add, the more beautiful it can become.

May this season bring you plenty of warmth and beauty and…

Happy Crafting!

P.S. The little frames would make lovely, easily postable gifts!For an example of the craft wire that I use and the thickness/weight details etc see here 

© Abigail Cole 2020

For more creative ideas visit

Help us to continue support to all neurodiverse families and individuals

During these challenging times PowerWood facilitates access  – also to non-members – to all information, tests, strategies and tools.

PowerWood offers to (self)-isolating families understanding, simple tools and strategies that enable us and our children to support ourselves and our children through emotional overwhelm. If you enjoy reading the articles please support PowerWood by becoming a PowerWood Community FreeBee or Friend member. Thank YOU!

Leave a Reply