Category Archives: use for natural stuff: vines, sticks…

Sweet Valentines Carved In Tree Bark

A few years ago, my daughter brought home a piece of bark she had carved a design in. I liked the idea so much that I thought wouldn’t it be cool to carve a valentine out of a piece of bark. I like the way it makes you think of the sweet affections of youth carved in trees. However, I don’t really like the idea of scarring a tree.  They can be used in a variety of ways from napkin rings to Valentine ornaments.

You could also carve things like: T.B. + N.R., U R Sweet, Hot stuff, or Kiss me. I used a metal barbecue skewer to scratch out the letters. Bark pieces can be found on the ground around some pine trees or possibly around a log pile.

Napkin rings are made from a slice of a toilet paper roll with the bark Valentine glued on.

Hand carved tree bark Valentine ornament.

Leave a secret love note for someone special to find.

These love notes are carved into tree bark but not into living trees. 

Assortment of hand carved tree bark love notes.

This I heart you message was made to decorate a gift box top.

Upcycled Plastic Pots: Beautiful Bark Covered Pots

Something as simple as covering a plastic nursery pot with bark can have wonderful results.

Adding a ribbon around the pot is a nice touch.

Nice for a house-warming gift or teacher gift.

Beautiful for a wedding or dinner party.

Add bark in a horizontal pattern or a vertical pattern.

We have a wood burning stove so I’m able to gather bark from around our log pile. Alternatively, you can harvest some from fallen trees. Using a hot glue gun, attach strips of bark. I used a pair of pliers to break the pieces to the appropriate length. Work your way around the pot: adding strips as you go. Reuse plastic pots you have hanging around your garage or find some secondhand. This blog is about wise use of resources so ask around and reuse items as much as possible.

I used 3 inches tall pots with square tops for a windowsill herb garden and I used a 4.5 inches tall round pot for a centerpiece.

Decorative Trees Made From Scrap Fabric

When I think winter, I think evergreen trees. Here are some easy to make stylized evergreen trees made out of fabric. They can easily be made by children and given as a charming Christmas gift.

Here are some of the trees done by one of my students from my winter sewing/crafting workshop 2010.

Make the tree stump(s)

Find a tree branch of the desired diameter. Cut tree stumps using a miter saw if you have one.

Keep in mind, if the stumps are too small in diameter, the trees will fall over.

Make the tree top

1. Cut Fabric

Use a plate to mark a circle on your fabric and cut out. Next, cut the circle in half. Each half can make a tree.

2. Sew

Fold the semicircle in half with the good side of the fabric facing in. Use a sewing machine or hand -sew a straight line up the side as shown in the photo. Make your cone wider or narrower by adjusting your sewing line.

3. Turn and Stuff

Cut off the extra fabric. Then, turn the cone right side out and add stuffing.

4. Stitch

Using large stitches sew all the way around the bottom of the cone.

5. Gather

Pull the thread from both ends until the fabric is gathered together and the hole is gone.

6. Tie A knot

Knot the thread.

7. Glue

Add glue to the stump and glue in place.

8. Let Dry

Use a glass or another object to weigh down the tree top until the glue is dry.

9. Done

10. Make More

Make a whole forest of trees!

Making Flower Crowns For Your Little Pixie

Flower crowns are beautiful and your little pixie or princess will love it.

Make a bunch for a fairy party or just enjoy a little mother and daughter time.

How to:

Cut a vine and remove the leaves. I used a wisteria vine this time but you can use whatever you have on hand. Cut and bend it into a circle. Check the size of the hoop by putting it on the child’s head. Use a piece of wire or a string to hold the vine. Use flowers and leaves that are available in your garden. Use a wire or string to wrap around the hoop securing more flowers as you go around.

Pretty little pixie girl wearing a crown of fresh flowers.

Wonderfully Fun Fairy Houses Made By Imaginative Children

During a recent “green” sewing and crafting workshop I was giving to children, these fairy houses were made. I’m continually impressed by their collective creativity. Now the woods surrounding our house are filled with welcoming homes for visiting fairies. Don’t you want to go out and make your own?

Let these pictures inspire you but not limit you in your building. Start by taking a walk and gathering supplies along the way. Scout out good locations for your fairy home. All manner of natural materials make good additions to these structures: flowers, feathers, leaves, sticks, bark, moss, pine cones, rocks, acorns, berries…

*Be sure not to overharvest living materials. Moss for example is very slow growing.

Moss table with pinecone seats for fairies.

Moss chair cleverly designed by 10 year old for the comfort of her fairy friends.

Fairy doll in her garden.

Doll was a gift made by a talented friend.

Artist at work.

Welcoming fairy accommodations.

What fairy could resist?

Don’t forget a stash of food to offer visiting fairies.