Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DIY Birch Bark Luminaries

Z and I have been property shopping lately. Sunday, on our trek through a 98 acre, heavily wooded tract of land, inspiration hit. I kept seeing pieces of birch bark that had fallen on the ground and knew I had to do something with them. I absolutely love white birch trees- I grew up around a lot of them, and their white trunks are just breathtaking when seen in a large cluster.

I picked up a couple of glass vases at Wal-Mart for $2 each. I also used some spray adhesive and mod podge I already had. I pulled the bark apart into smaller pieces, and even separated the top layer from the thicker bottom layers where it was possible. The thinner the piece of bark is, the easier it is to attach to the vase.

One piece at a time, spray the back with a thin layer of spray adhesive. After letting it set for ~10 seconds, press it firmly onto the vase. Then, 'paint' a moderately thick layer of mod podge on top & secure with a rubber band. As long as the pieces were staying on okay, I applied several before putting a rubber band around them.

It's important to remember to take the rubber band off before the mod podge dries. If you don't, you risk pulling off part of the bark with the band.

Keep repeating the same steps til you have the whole vase covered. The mod podge will look pretty milky, like below..

But will dry clear, like this:

I opted to leave the glass rim at the bottom free of bark. However, there was mod podge residue there when it dried. So, I took some steel wool (any abrasive scrubbing pad should work) and rubbed around the bottom, being careful not to pull or tear any of the bark in the process.

Once I finished, I placed a smaller glass candle holder with a votive in it inside the larger one. Using the extra candle holder makes it easier to change candles when one runs down. Here's the finished product without the candles lit:

And.. with the candles lit:

Gorgeous, if I do say so myself. What do you think? Would you bring the outdoors into your home like this?


Debilou~Mississippi Mama said...

I love this,, and i just passed up some vases at the dollar tree tonight that would've been perfect..

S. said...

SOOOOO cool!!

pk said...

What a great idea! I love they way they look when the candles are lit.
pk @ Room Remix

A Touch of Country said...

I would love this in my home...YES!

I would love to see the bark torn in smaller pieces and hot glued on some styrofoam balls too!

Great job!

Fall blessings,


The DIY Show Off said...

Beautiful. I love them and I just happen to have birch bark in the yard. Thanks for the inspiration!


HomageBlog said...

That looks amazing! I would never have thought to do that. Thanks for the inspiration! ~K

Michele said...

Where did you learn to do this stuff? You really have a knack for these projects. You should write a book or make some you tube videos. I'm clueless. I have no idea what modge podge is so I'll probably never make the things you show here (because I really suck at this stuff) but I LOVE to look at them!!!

Brittany@Superwoman said...

I'm going to send my husband out to pick off some birch when he goes hunting soon =)

Steve the builder said...

DIY Birch Bark Luminaries

Thanks for sharing!

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

These are very pretty and look fantastic with the light shining through. Someone on my Christmas list would love these. Thanks so much for the idea!
Found you at Room Remix btw and like what I've seen so far. I'll be back for more!