Over Christmas, Brian and I went to Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru. There, is where I found these pencils made out of branches and crayons. I did't know what I was going to use them for, but I just had to have them!!! Maybe I was going to give them to a kid I know, or they were just gonna sit on my craft table and stare at me...

And that's what they did! SO, I decided to paint them and see what happens.

I had seen some "painted sticks" ,on etsy.com, which were exactly what they sound like: painted sticks! The shop was selling them for about $120...?? yeah, right! (find those here). I could make coffee table art-to-go-in-a-bowl-and-just-sit-there for free!!! Well almost for free, because I did buy the pencils for 5 soles, which is about $2...I already had the paint.

Now, if you have some sticks/branches laying around your yard, or craft room...(I'm not judging) and want to create your own nature inspired art, this is what you'll need: branches from your yard, paint brushes, acrylic paint, painters tape, a jar/cup of water and imagination!

Before you get started have your branches cut/broken down to the size you want and give them a good scrub, maybe even sand them down. I used a Clorox wipe on mine, because I'm a clean freak. Also, you want all the dust and dirt to come off so your paint sticks to them better.

Next, take your painters tape and tape up stripes any size and shape you want. I made mine horizontal, also some were thin and some were thick. You can also skip the tape and go freehand, get even more creative.

Paint your stripes in different colors, or all the same (= and LET THEM DRY. Acrylic paint is water based and dries pretty fast. I had bought these metallic colors awhile back from a craft store and this was the perfect project to use them on!

Once dried, carefully peel the tape off and enjoy. You can put them in a bowl on your coffee table, or console table. Maybe you can tie them with some thread and use them on your mantel, or as bookends...the possibilities are endless! I was thinking this would make a cool handmade gift for a crafty friend (=

Honestly the best part of this project was peeling the tape off!!! It might even be better than popping bubble wrap...

Happy Crafting and Happy Monday Friends!!!

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