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DIY Frosted Branches

Let’s make DIY frosted branches to use for winter decor. This is an easy and inexpensive project and it’s one that can be saved to use from year to year.

Branches coated with Epsom Salt, white paint, and glittered Mod Podge used for winter decor.

I’m sharing my DIY Frosted Branches for this month’s Thrifty Style Team project hosted by Julie of Redhead Can Decorate.

You’ll find links to all of the projects shared this month at the end of this post.

DIY Frosted Branches

I have been busy taking down Christmas and changing my decor over to winter. It has been a slow process and I’m still not finished decorating.

Branches frosted with Epsom salt in a vintage engraved ice bucket

Last year when I decorated for winter, I made some frosted branches but didn’t share how I made them. I saved those branches and used a few of them in my vintage Coke crate coffee table arrangement that I shared in November.

Making frosted branches is easy and I love how the ones I made look on my great-great-aunt’s music cabinet in our formal living room.

Living Room Winter Decor with icy branches, white candles, and gold

I’ll explain the easy process to make the frosted branches in a bit, but first will share how I used them to make this winter arrangement.

Epsom salt coated branches in a vintage silver ice bucket

The container is a vintage ice bucket that served as a trophy for the singles division of a 1975 tennis tournament. I bought this at an estate sale, so I don’t know any details on what LBA stands for or where the tournament was held.

Engraved vintage ice bucket

To make it easy to arrange the branches, I filled the container with dried split peas. I’ve used the same split peas for years as an anchor for stems in various arrangments.

After I arranged the frosted branches, I covered the split peas with Hemlock cones picked up on walks with our dog.

Hemlock pinecones in a vintage silver ice bucket with Epsom salt coated branches

Vintage Ice Buckets You Can Buy

Frosted Branch Detail

When I made frosted branches last winter, I didn’t paint the branches white before adding Epsom salt which gives the branches the icy, frosted look.

This year I painted the branches white before I added the Epsom salt, and I like this year’s look much better.

It is hard to see that there is white paint under the Epsom salt.

Epsom Salt coated branches

Any branch will work for this project. I used Shasta Viburnum because I liked how straight the branches are and I liked the buds along each branch.

Icy branches made with spray paint, glitter, Mod Podge, and Epsom Salt

How to Make Frosted Branches

To make frosted branches you will need:

Start by cutting branches. If you don’t have branches in your yard, look around your neighborhood or in public parks for branches to use.

Supplies to make DIY frosted branches

Paint the Branches

The next step is to paint the branches white. I used materials that I had on-hand, so my white spray paint was flat. I believe that any finish would work just fine for this project.

To make painting the branches easy, I stuck them in leftover floral foam and oasis. Styrofoam packing from a package would also work.

Branches in floral foam for spray painting.

I should have moved my cardboard off of our concrete stoop before painting but it was really wet when I painted, so I didn’t. That was a mistake because our concrete stoop now has white spray paint on it. Oops.

Branches stuck in floral foam spray painted white

Make the Branches Look Frosted with Epsom Salt

After the spray paint dried, it was time to add the Epsom salt. I have had this Epsom salt for a long, long time. I think it now only comes in plastic bags.

I used glitter Mod Podge as my glue. It adds a subtle touch of glitter to the Epsom salt. I keep this old cookie sheet in my craft cabinet for projects like this.

Lining the cookie sheet with waxed paper makes clean-up easy. If I’m glittering something, the waxed paper lets me pour the unused glitter back into the container so that none is wasted.

Supplies use to make frosted branches.

I poured Epsom salt into the cup so that it was ready to be used and then working one branch at a time, painted Mod Podge over all of the surfaces that I wanted to add Epsom salt to.

Glitter Mod Podge on a stick painted white

Then I held the branch over the cup of Epsom salt and used the spoon to sprinkle the Epsom salt onto the Mod Podge.

Epsom Salt sprinkled on a stick painted white coated with glitter Mod Podge

After I finished adding Epsom salt to each branch, I put it back into the floral foam to dry.

Once the branches are dry, they are ready to be used for decorating.

Last year when I decorated with the frosted branches that I made, I poured Epsom salt into a clear vase and used it to anchor my branches. This was a really pretty look.

Storing the Branches

To store the branches, wrap them in tissue paper. When I unwrapped the branches that I made last January, I was surprised at their appearance.

Winter Decor with icy branches, white candles, and gold

The crystals of fresh Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate) are easily seen.

Branches covered in Epsom salt

When I unwrapped the branches that I made in January in November, I discovered that over time the MgSO4 crystals become much smaller and resemble snow.

Here is a branch made in January 2020 used in November 2020. See how much smaller the crystals are?

Branch covered in dried Epsom salt

I really enjoyed making this craft and I love that I can use it for winter decorating now and Christmas decorating in the future.

Icy branches made with Epsom salt

Here are branches available to purchase

More Projects to Enjoy!

Now it’s time to enjoy the projects that the rest of the Thrifty Style Team is sharing today. Click on the links below to see each project.


Redhead Can Decorate – DIY Home Gym
The Painted Hinge – How to Repurpose Cabinet Doors into Wall Decor
DIY Beautify – 7 Thrifty Cleaning and Organizing Solutions for the Home
2 Bees In A Pod – Repurposed Vintage Tea Towel
Postcards From The Ridge – Paper Heart Wall Art
The How To Home – DIY Family Charging Station
The Tattered Pew – Bergere Painted Shutters
Sweet Pea – DIY Frosted Branches
What Meegan Makes – How to Refresh a Stand Mixer with Spray Paint
Cottage At The Crossroads – Fabric Hearts with Yo-yos
Lora B. Create & Ponder – Upcycled Old Tin Organizer DIY

10 Thrifty and Clever Home Projects

52 Comments

  1. These frosted branches are so pretty! You made the step by step process easy to follow. Who knew to put split peas in the bottom?! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These are lovely, Paula! So smart to paint the branches white first, and I actually like that it looks like snow after they have been packed away… it’s another lovely look! PInned!

    1. Winter decorating is always hard for me. Probably because I want to pack ALL of Christmas away and not use any of it for winter decor. I had a lot of fun making these.

  3. Well, if there is one thing that I have a lot of, then it would be branches!!! I am staring at an empty space right now and I’m thinking some of these branches would look pretty in a vase. Wish I would run across one of those trophy ice buckets, though!

  4. These are really pretty, Paula. And your tutorial makes it sound super simple to make. And since I also have a very old carton (not bag) of epsom salts, I’m thinking this is a great use for it, lol. Actually I made some bath salts with some of it recently, but there’s still plenty left. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Paula, I absolutely love this idea & am going to collect some fallen branches on my walk tomorrow. I was just telling my daughter how I wanted to do a craft of tree branches & place paper Valentines on it.

    1. I am so glad that I inspired you and now I think that you may have inspired me. A Valentine’s Day tree is a great idea!

  6. Thank you for sharing, Paula. I was hoping to find a tutorial like this. It’s perfect for what I need in my living room. I hope you are doing well.
    Happy New Year, my friend!

  7. Thank you for sharing your technique, Paula. I have a Walking Stick Tree and the branches would be perfect for this idea. Pinning and thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

  8. Love these perfect-for-winter branches. And that container is fantabulous! Such a great idea. And how awesome is it that you get to say “my great great aunt’s music cabinet”?! So fun!

  9. Your frosted branches are so beautiful, Paula! I love how you styled them in the vintage trophy bucket with the pinecones on top. Now I want to make some, too! Thanks for sharing the great tutorial. Pinned!

  10. I am in love with this project and can’t wait to try it! I love how you displayed them!!! Pinned to remember for my Winter Decor! Thanks for sharing the inspiration at Charming Homes & Gardens!

  11. These are so pretty–impressive but so simple, too! It’s a gotta do later this year! I have a warped sense of humor—and a time/energy conservation bent. One year I sprayed my dried hydrangeas while they were still on the bush; gold and copper. I’m sure my sister-in-law across the street was sure that I’d lost my mind! Hey, it worked!

  12. Love these winters branches. I have always wanted to make some bug didnt know how. And that they keep from year to year is a bonus!

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