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.

These are 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 the tree.

Birch Bark Matchboxes