Monday, November 23, 2015

Have a snowy birch bark holiday along with me

Nothing says “home” to me quite like the bright white trunk of a paperbark birch tree.

This tree speckled the forests of upstate New York where I grew up. We even had one in our front yard, and I used to compete with friends to see who could peel off the biggest piece of bark.

In Indiana, where I’ve lived since age 13, we have river birch in abundance, but I seldom see a white birch—occasionally in someone’s yard, but never in the wild. Betula papyrifera doesn’t do well here, thanks to heavy clay soil and our regional smorgasbord of pests.

So why not give myself an early Christmas present and decorate for this holiday season with a little shot of white birch bark home sweet boho home?

Sheets and rolls of bark, as well as birch twigs, are available from most craft suppliers, and there’s a seemingly endless variety of birch-bark-themed products out there. Birch partners well with cardinals, bright red berries, pinecones and pheasant feathers. It can be dressy (think flocked snow, silver and white lights) or casual (think burlap, rusty metal and craft paper).

At the very least, it’s a theme I can put to use all winter and possibly beyond. If the birch-bark look is part of the year-round room design, it makes it even easier to dress up for winter holidays.

See what I mean:



a. Birch Trees on White by Avery Tillmon, high-quality paper; 36 by 24 inches, unframed, $17.99; 41 by 29 inches, framed as shown, $143.99. 
b. Safavieh Lightwood Tree Table Lamp, ceramic, clear acrylic base, cotton shade, 27.5 inches high, 100-watt maximum, $129.99. 

c. Candlewick Stripe Bedspread, platinum, 100-percent cotton, tufted and embroidered mirrorwork inspired by Moroccan wedding blankets, $69.99. 

d. Brooklyn & Bond Fine Stripe Sheet set; in grey, navy, red or yellow, all with red-stitch trim; 100-percent cotton, 200 TC, $39.99 to $65.99. 
e. Birch Tree Design Sheer Curtain Panels, 30 by 84 inches, one design split between 2 panels, 100 percent polyester chiffon, $76.99. 
f. Chandler 4 Corners “Gone Skiing” Hooked Pillow, 8 by 24 inches, 100-percent wool front, cotton velveteen back, zip closure, insert included, $45. 
g. Christopher Knight Home Finlay Fabric Chaise Lounge in Grey, hardwood frame, 32.5” H by 27” W by 62” D, $290.99. 
h. Ralph Lauren Winter Lodge Holiday Plush Throw Blanket, 60 by 70 inches, 100-percent polyester, machine wash, tumble dry low, $37.73. 
i. Birch Forest Yellow Lab Hooked Throw Pillow, 18 by 18 inches, 100-percent wool front, velveteen back, removable cover, insert included, $74.99. 
j. Saro Knitted Tassels Chunky Throw, mustard, 50 by 60 inches, acrylic, machine wash, $83.99. 
k. Chandler 4 Corners Back Country Skier Throw Pillow, 18-inch square, 100-percent wool front, velveteen back, zip closure, insert included, $85. 
l. Pillow Perfect Ikat Argyle Throw Pillow, birch, 18.5 by 11.5 inches, 100-percent cotton exterior, 100-percent polyester fill, $28.99. 
m. Red Pickup Truck Yellow Labrador Dog Hauling Tree Throw Pillow, 16 inches square, 100-percent wool front, cotton velveteen back, $74.99. 
n. Flat Owl Birch Forest Throw Pillow Cover, 16-inch square, hidden zipper, 100-percent spun polyester poplin, insert sold separately, $20. 
o. Fred the Moose Recycled Cardboard Sculpture, 25 x 12.5 x 2.8 inches, available in 2 smaller sizes, $54.93. 
p. Bundle of Birch Logs, 8 logs 1.5-2.75 inch diameter, 18-20 inches long. Clean, kiln-dried northern white birch, basket not included, $39.50.


















And look how birch bark dresses up a holiday table...





a. RAZ Lighted Birch Grove, 88 warm white LED lights with 10-foot cord and AC adapter, 50,000 hours, indoor use only, $107.99. 
b. Martha Stewart Living Spun Glass Icicle Ornaments, set of 24 in three sizes, $35. 
c. Carmine the Cardinal tabletop figurine, set of 2 handcrafted natural birch bark and powdery snow, 5.5” H x 7.5” L x 3” W, $28. 
d. Birch Bark Taper Candles, set of 2, wax designed to look like birch bark, $20. 
e. Birch Tree Pattern Placemats, set of 6, 20 by 12 inches, subtle white and grayish-brown realistic trees, 100-percent cotton, polyester batting, $44.99. 
f. Mercury Glass Letter Ornaments, in red or silver assorted letters, 4” H x 2” W x 2.4” L, $4 each. 
g. Mary Elizabeth Arts Birch Tree Glasses, set of 2, 8 inches tall, hold 16 ounces, silkscreened, dishwasher safe, $19.95. 
h. The Lovely Glass Jar Birch Tree Mug, rustic white coffee mug, handmade to order, patterned on one side, dishwasher safe, $18. 
i. Kikkerland Birch Bark Straws, box of 144, biodegradable/compostable paper, 7.5 inches, $7. 
j. Evergreen Berry Napkin Rings, set of 4, $14.99. 
k. Oh Little Rabbit Birch Tree Cloth Napkins, set of 4, 19-inch square, natural cotton, handmade, silkscreened. Machine wash warm, tumble dry, $22. 
l. RAZ Faux Birch Bark White Stick Deer Figurine, 9” H x 7.5” W, $14.99 
m. Artificial Red Berry Garland, 6-feet long, easily separates into 4 reattachable pieces, $16.99.


It makes a great packaging theme too.

We can't use ribbon at our house because Maisie, our cat, tries to eat it. I'm always looking for ways to pretty up the packages that she either can't destroy, or, if she does, won't harm her. This year I thought I'd try these pretty bark and berry garlands instead of ribbons, as well as the bark package tie-ons and colored baker's twine.





a. Real Birch Bark Tree Tags, set of 8, 3.5 by 4 inches, $3.84.
b. Country Cabin Glitter Birch Wooden Star, 4.25 inches in diameter, handcrafted ornament or package tie-on, $3.99
c. Caspari Birch Gift Packaging: 30" by 8' roll, $9.99; bottle bag, $10.61; large gift bag, $5.70; tissue paper, 4 sheets, $11.57.
d. Red Pip Berry Garland, single ply, 18 feet, $9.25.
e. Martha Stewart Frosty Elegance Treat Boxes, set of 8 with tags, die-cut window, boxes assemble into 9.5 by 5.6 by 0.5 inches, $15.95.
f. Kate Aspen “Winter Dreams” laser cut snowflake favor boxes, set of 24, boxes assemble into 20 inch squares, ribbon/bow included, $20.60.
g. Felt Holly Garland, handmade in fair trade production center in Nepal, 100 percent natural wool, nontoxic azo-free dies, on-site recycling, $19.59.
h. Glittered Birch Bark Star Garland, 65 inches, twine threaded through 3-inch bark stars, $6.99.
i. Vickerman Birchwood Snowflake, 4.75 inches diameter, use as ornament or package tie-on, $8.99.
j. Regency Baker’s Twine Cone, red and white, 2300-foot roll/half-pound cone, professional grade, $7.99.
k. Vickerman Furry Birch Bird, 4.5 inches, wings and tail are birch bark, sits on twig with pine/berry sprig, $3.59.



You might also like these additional decor ideas and timesavers... 



a. Snowy Birch Prancer the Reindeer Tabletop Figurine, set of 2, 9.75” H, handcrafted bark deer wear burlap boots and artificial pine wreaths, $28.
b. Vickerman Birch Bark Wreath, 13-inch diameter, 14 by 14 by 5 inches overall, indoor use only, $18.99.
c. Caspari disposable plates: silver faux bois birch dinner plate, 16/pack, 10.25", $17.99; Silver Leaf salad/dessert plates, 8/pack, 7.25", $7.91.
d. Caspari Birch disposable napkins/towels: 20/packs, dinner, 7.8", $8.99; luncheon, 6.5", $6.30 ; cocktail, 5", $4.95; guest towels, 15/package, $6.95.
e. Snowy Bob the Rustic Birch Bark Bear Tabletop Figurine, set of 2, 5.5” H by 11” L by 4” D, handcrafted, $28.
f. Lightshare LED Birch Trees, indoor/outdoor: 4-foot, $64.99; 5-foot, $79.99; 8-foot, $134.99.
g. Caspari Birch Celebration Crackers, set of 6, 12.5 inches; each includes a trinket, a tissue crown, a joke; $17.62.
h. Birch Bark Banner Garland, 57 by 8.75 inches, $8.79.
i. Vickerman Birch Christmas Trees: medium, 12 inches high, $14.83; large, 17 inches high, $22.39.
j. Birch Bark Candleholders: set of 5; 3-inch diameter; heights run 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 inches; tealights included; $22.95.
k. Birch Tree Musical Snow Globe, 3.5-inch diameter, 5.5 inches high, $29.



Stay busy until Christmas Eve with these 10 birch bark craft tutorials:


1. Birch yule log favors from Martha Stewart





2. Birch bark pine cone ornament from Craftberry Bush





3. Birch bark garland from Dream a Little Bigger




4. Gift tags made with free printable download from Home Work




5. Birch twig stars from Lark Nest Design




6. Birch bark Father Christmas from Styrofoam Crafts




7. Birch bark topiary trees from Alderberrry Hill




8. Birch stocking ornament from Home Stories A to Z




9. Birch canoe ornament from Lil Fish Studios




10. Birch vase/planter from Lolly Jane



If you try any of the DIYs or other ideas, I'd love to see results. Just post a picture in the comments section. Happy shopping, happy decorating, and please follow my blog with Bloglovin so you never miss a batch of boho fun.

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