The boy and I made a coat rack for our hallway out of an old branch.
We had gotten a few branches from an old tree that was cut down and immediately we thought of a picture we had seen somewhere on the internets that showed just such a coat rack. The boy got to work with his Swiss army knife and stripped the branches off their bark. Here you can see the mess he made:
We spray painted the resulting naked branches in white. Next we placed two white chains on either end of the branch. It was important to wrap the chains around the branch at least twice to keep them secure in their place.
To fasten the construction onto the ceiling, we installed two simple white hooks. Finally, we hung the chains on the hooks in the desired heigt. Voila!
For more info you can also read about this project on my blog: http://www.ourlittlebox.com/2009/03/branch-coat-rack