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How To Make A Picture Frame Using Birch Bark Branches

Bring nature inside with this easy craft.

Bring nature inside with this easy craft.

Make At Home Nature Craft

The greatest beauty comes from nature - a master was at work with the design! I like to bring a little bit of that inside. This is an easy craft idea that anyone can do and the results are so elegant.

Simply purchase a wood picture frame. Inexpensive picture frames can be found at a craft supplies store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I buy mine from an art craft store where they typically go on sale for 50% off.

Next, take a nice walk in the woods - if you live in the city, you can also purchase birch branches from most any craft store. You should be able to find plenty of birch branches fallen on the forest floor. If you don't have birch trees, look around for what you do have in your area that could work just as well. Gather up the longest, thinnest branches you can find and bring them home. Now you are ready to assemble your masterpiece.

1. Take the glass out of the picture frame so you are only working with the wood.

2. Lay one branch across the frame.

3. Glue the parts of the branch that come into direct contact with the frame, using a hot glue gun. You will need to work somewhat fast before the hot glue hardens. Keep several glue sticks handy to refill the gun as necessary. Since the branch isn't straight and flat, parts will stick up, leaving some gaps. This is good.

4. As you put more tree branches or twigs on, you can start weaving them through the gaps of other branches where needed.

5. Once all of the branches are in place, spray the whole thing with a glossy polyurethane to protect it.

6. After it dries, reassemble the frame and enjoy!


Close Up Of Finished Frame

The close ups give you a better idea of how the branches are woven together. There is not a real pattern to it which gives it more of an artistic finish.  It is just a matter of weaving a branch through an available gap so that you can get them to lay straight and secure.

At the corners you will want to weave where the two sides come together rather than simply laying one section on top of the other. This way it will be secure and flat.  You might have to clip some branches when you are finished if they stick out wider than the frame at the corners.  A pair of scissors or branch trimmer works well for this.

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The thinness of the branches are what allow you flexibility while weaving. If a branch is too thick to bend, just throw it out or save it for another project.

The shine that you see is from the polyurethane spray. I like to use glossy buy you can also get it in a satin finish.


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Other Ways To Dress Up A Frame

  1. River rock, pebbles or any kind of stone look great hot glued on a frame. Just make sure to lay the stones out so that all of the gaps of the wood are covered up.
  2. Acorns work the same way as rock.
  3. If you have a large frame, small pine cones, of uniform size, glued on in neat rows makes a work of art.
  4. Seashells can be glued all over. Or, if you find some with small holes at the top, string some thin roping through several and glue the two ends to the frame so the shells hang down - kind of like a necklace. You could also drill small holes in the frame and feed the rope through and tie in the back.
  5. Finally, you could peel birch bark from a fallen trunk as seen in the picture. The bark peels easily and can be glued with craft glue to the frame. You can then dress it up with leather or birch twigs.

**For more craft ideas like this, check out my blog at Rustic Crafts & Chic Decor.

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Susa on February 05, 2016:

Thanks for share!!!

Liz Goltra on May 15, 2011:

Great hub. Very creative ideas. Thanks for posting!

agusfanani from Indonesia on March 31, 2011:

That's very creative. Useful products made of natural recyclable materials are always awesome. Thank you for sharing.

amybradley77 on January 03, 2011:

I just love all of your work, ideas, and craft tips here it's very well done. I have done just one of these pictures frames before, for my Mother it wasn't as professional looking as yours are, but it was still nice looking. Thanx again for the great ideas, I may be able to make more of these now for other family members, and not get too shy of my work. A.B.

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