Sapling valence tutorial

I brought home a couple pieces of white birch from our parents' farm, and didn't make any spoons while they were green and fresh. I still wanted to do something crafty with these branches since they are so lovely-we don't have white birch in KY. Here is what I came up with-a simple valence for the top of my bedroom window:

If you want to make a valence, here is what you need:

Pine board-1 inch x depth of your window minus 1.5 inches x inside width of your window

Branches-I used birch, but you could use any type of branches-they need to be from 1.25-2 inches in diameter. Line them up as pictured to determine how many you need-the length of the lined up branches should be just over half your window width.


Nail gun with finish nails in it OR hammer and finish nails


Wood putty



Use the saw to cut the branches into 4 inch lengths:

Use the hatchet to split the branches down the middle. I found you can tap the hatchet into the branch, and then pound the whole hatchet-wedged-into-the-branch situation on your work surface to split with more precision. Use a scrap of wood under your splitting set-up to protect your hatchet and floor:

Use the nail gun/hammer and nails to attach the flat side of the branches to the narrow side of the board. Make sure they are flush with the wide side of the board. You may need to pre-drill the branches if you are using a hammer and nails.


Use wood putty to fill the nail holes.

Pre-drill holes at either end of the board for installation. Put the valence in place, and use screws to attach it to the top of the window.