Birch bark comes in many layers. The outside
layer is the typical white color most people relate to birch trees (see photo on the right). The outside white is extremely
thin and tears easily, making it very hard to work with, which is the reason I haven't been able to use it in any of my crafts.
The inside layers
can come in many different earth tones; from eggshell to even a darker orange, depending on the age of the tree.
One layer is as thin as tissue paper, which is the thickness I use for the Strip Ornaments. I keep three
or four layers together to create the paper punch design.
The brown bark, which is found on a few of my paper punch ornaments and
the cones on the matchboxes, is found on the very inside of the bark, right against the trunk, of dead trees (see photo on
the left). The inside of the bark is more orange on live trees. Bark is harvested only from dead trees. Taking
the bark from live trees does serious damage that could kill the tree. However, every tree is different, and the brown
bark is tricky to harvest, leaving my supply of brown very limited.
The best time for me to harvest the bark was always winter. I'd strap on my snowshoes
and head for the bush. Snowshoes always made the bush more accessible. Swampy or wet areas would be frozen and
snow-covered and it was always much more enjoyable without bugs in the bark or mosquitoes buzzing
around my head.
|Birch Bark Strip Ornaments
These birch bark strip ornaments were my first design way back in 1997
and they quickly became a favorite to many.
They are made by taking thin strips of birch bark, which are almost
as thin as tissue paper, and wrapping them around a shape.
|Birch Bark Quilted Ornaments
These quilted ornaments were quite the trend a few years back with many
crafters using only fabric. I turned them into a different ornament by adding squares of birch bark, mixed
with the fabric to add some color.
|Birch Bark Paper Punch Ornaments
This was my first paper punch
design; the egg shape, resembling a pine cone. The birch bark is paper punched and
then each dot is glued on a shape and layered like shingles
on a roof. I have recently created many new shapes which are cut out from half inch sheets of styrofoam. The state
of Texas was my first design in that category. If you have an idea for a new design, feel free to contact me and I'll
see if I can create it for you.
|Birch Bark Birdfeeder Ornaments
These are birch bark birdfeeder ornaments which
were originally designed by my Mom. They're made with real birdseed; the roof and bottom are made with birch bark, decorated
on top with greenery, bells and berries. On the bottom is your choice of 4 different mushroom birds; blue jays,
cardinals, doves or finches.
boxes made with matchboxes that pull out like little drawers. The top is birch bark, and the cones are made with the
hole punched brown bark from the inside of
|Birch Bark Matchboxes