Posted by: Emily Schmutz Garcia | August 18, 2013

Oh the cleverness of me!


I feel like a genius! I had a problem. There was a large blank wall in my home. I needed something to clear up that situation, but my husband and I just moved to North Carolina for him to go to the MBA program at Duke. I’m staying home with our 19-month-old, which means we have no money to spend on expensive wall decor.

So, clever me, decided to make something. But what to make? That was the question. I had a clever friend in Southern California who put a bunch of sticks together in a circle and made a really cool wall art piece. On my walks/jogs around the neighborhood here, I have noticed a great many sticks on the ground. (Durham is covered in trees, so it is not surprising that there would be lots of sticks on the ground.)  I decided to look online and see if Google had any ideas for stick wall art.

Pinterest had some etsy pieces that looked rather cool, as well as something that I might be able to duplicate, so I decided to give it a try. I started collecting sticks at a park day my women’s church group had. One of the little boys had found this awesome stick that he was playing with. I waited patiently until he was done playing and then snatched up the beautiful stick. The next morning on my jog I picked up a bunch of sticks (I jog slower than a snail’s pace, so stopping to pick up sticks really doesn’t affect my pace). That night after little David went to sleep I dragged out my sticks and started arranging.  Conveniently enough our backyard has a bunch of trees and sticks right behind it, so when I realized I needed a few more sticks, I just went out and grabbed some.

I used a pocket knife to saw one of the sticks into quarters for my fence post. After nailing the fence together and some of the “tree trunks” and “branches,” David came and helped with a couple more of the “trunks.” Not all of the “branches” seemed like they would survive a nail and hammer, so I attached them with twisty ties. I stripped the plastic off the twisty ties to make them less noticeable. I also read something about a finisher or sealer, so I went to Lowe’s and picked up a spray wood finisher/sealer thing that I used after my sticks had been assembled. I also decided to add a couple of little fake cardinals because I saw a cardinal in our backyard the other day.


I ended up nailing the fence to the wall as well as one of the tree branches. I think it will stay up and be quite decorative for the next two years. It is not sturdy (how the Little Pig who built his house of sticks managed to get them to all stay together long enough to call it a house is a mystery to me), but I made it and think it is fabulous! Not perfect, but fabulous.

I also decided to make a second bit of stick art for our bathroom, which has a woodsy theme going on. Another something I saw when looking up stick art. I rather like the way this one turned out as well. David had to help me mount it on the wall, and it too will not survive a move or excessive huffing and puffing, but I’m hoping I will also enjoy it for the next two years.

Feel free to admire and adore the craftiness and cleverness of me! I know I do. Cheers.



  1. So clever and beautiful! That is the Emily I know and love. Glad to hear you are settling in.

  2. I am so greatly impressed with your ingenuity and artsyness! They both look great! We love you!!
    BBEL and I Love You all!

  3. Yay for stick art!!! I love it! I’ll be commissioning your next piece 😉

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