Introduction: Easy Birch Bark Christmas Tree Ornaments

Picture of Easy Birch Bark Christmas Tree Ornaments

These ornaments are dead simple if you've got birch bark around. We make them from the leftover bark from our firewood, as well as other Birch bark crafts. Each one takes (at most) about 5 minutes and the only resources required are a way to cut the bark and a tool to cut wire. The wire is cheap and colorful from the local dollar store.

Step 1: What You Will Need (substitutions May Apply)

Picture of What You Will Need (substitutions May Apply)

You will need:
- some birch bark: You'll need enough to make a circular strip and a piece for a simple shape you will cut out
- a razor blade knife: To cut the bark strip. You can also use scissors just fine.
- scissors: To cut out the shape. You could also use the razor blade knife, but scissors tend to be easier. Cutting birch bark is similar to cutting thick card stock.
- something to cut wire
- wire

Step 2: Making the Strip

Picture of Making the Strip

I find it easiest to score the bark then snap it free, then trim a little with the blade afterwards. If you have better scissors than I do, you may do better with those.

Step 3: Make Your "dangling" Shape

Picture of Make Your "dangling" Shape

Taking an appropriate-sized piece of Birch bark, trim the shape you want. If you like the rough grey bark, you can stop here, but the bark is fairly easy to separate and expose the white-ish (occasionally pink-ish) underbark.

Step 4: Prepping the Bark Strip and Shape

Picture of Prepping the Bark Strip and Shape

I find it easiest to use a drill for this step...to make a hole through the top of the shape, and to make a hole in each end of the strip. I've also done this with a thumb tack / push-pin, so don't assume you need power tools.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

Picture of Putting It All Together

To put it together, do the following:
- Put the wire through the shape and fold it over. You don't need to get fancy with this. with a relatively stiff wire, this will suffice.
- Feed the wire through the two holes in the bark strip. Judge where it needs to be in the circle and with your fingers bend the wire so that it forms a tight loop.
- Push that loop up against the top inside of the circle, then (while holding the bark strip tight) bend the wire again against the outside of the bark strip, in order to hold the strip nicely into the circle shape.

Step 6: The Complete Ornament

Picture of The Complete Ornament

Here's what it looks like completed and ready for hanging on your Christmas tree.

Comments

creekology (author)2010-12-15

When I lived in the frozen North, I would go to a sawmill that let me collect all the birchbark I wanted.

beth1322 (author)2010-12-13

This is such a great idea! Next time we are at my aunt's I'll be getting some of the birch bark from her firewood.

finbar galdeep (author)2010-12-13

I,ve seen candles done inside of birch bark as well

Be VERY careful with that. Birch bark is quite flammable! In fact, we use scraps of it as firestarter in our wood furnace. I wouldn't want to put a candle anywhere near it.

lemonie (author)2010-12-12


What effect (if any) does this have upon birch trees?

L

Kickstart70 (author)lemonie2010-12-12

In our case, nothing. The (dead and standing) trees are already cut down and split into firewood.

However, Birch is one of those trees that has a tendency to rot from the inside and fall over, so if you are opposed to cutting down trees or cutting off limbs, you could harvest from already-down trees.

I've heard of others trimming the outside bark from living trees and claiming no harm to the trees, but I have my doubts and have not tried it.

lemonie (author)Kickstart702010-12-12


Yes, birch does rot like that (I'd forgotten) - useful stuff birch-bark.

L

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