It’s that time of year. You see trees being trimmed, bushes being pruned, and dead trees taken down.
This means easy decor projects and garden assets are at hand!
There are some pretty awesome things you can do with all of these woody treasures whether you like rustic decor or something more sparkly.
Here are some of my favorite DIY projects using branches and logs.
1. Easy DIY Wooden Candle Holder
Cut a slice of wood from a thick branch or small log. I had my husband do this when he cut down a dead tree in the yard. Make it any length you like. The most important thing is to cut it so it’s level. Otherwise your candle will burn at an angle with wax running down the side too much.
2. Easy Natural Art Object
This is the easiest of all. I had my husband cut a thick slice from a log from our dead peach tree. It now is on display on our book shelf. You could sand it down and get a more polished look, but I prefer the rough texture. I set it near some polished geodes for contrast. Love it!
If you have a gnarly pice of stump from a dead tree, it could be worth some money. I saw one that sold for $125. Amazing.
If you have a fairly thick log, you can slice off a cake platform for a wedding cake! This rustic cake platter is very popular now and they are very expensive to buy. Be sure to leave the bark on as that is part of the charm. Just put a piece of waxed paper under the cake.
I’ve even seen rustic platters made from a slice of wood. We at at a trendy restaurant where a selection of meats was served on a platter that still had the bark on it. It was unique, but I couldn’t help but wonder how they cleaned the platter. I guess you could scrub it with salt and lemon juice like you do a wooden cutting board.
3. Tree Limb Coasters
Saw off some disks from branches to make plenty of natural coasters. These can be a nice gift and if you use a wood-burning tool you can add names, initials, even monograms to be extra special.
4. Decorative Branches
It’s getting so I think all flower arrangements need some branches sticking out the top. It’s an easy way to add height and accent. This goes for silk flower arrangements too
I like branches painted shiny red and added to Christmas decorations. Spray paint them outdoors while the weather is nice and put them away for Christmas.
Painted or natural, twigs add a welcoming touch to your holiday decorations.
Sparkly branches are beautiful for holiday decor. Choose different ways to make them to get the look you want. You can also make beautiful twig wreaths to leave natural or paint. Click here to see how to make all of these beautiful looks.
5. Twigs Around Candles
Just glue sticks around the outside of candles for an interesting look. For the holidays you could use twigs that you add some sparkle to, as linked to above in #4.
6. Use Branches in the Garden
Branches make good plant stakes in the garden and are more attractive than straight lumber yard stakes. They look nice in potted plants too.
Willow or bamboo branches can be used to make trellises and even woven arches for a graceful, natural look. Some people use willow branches to weave all sorts of furniture if you want to try your hand at that. They command pretty hefty prices too. Side business?
7. Potted Branches as Indoor Decorative Trees
This project is really easy to do. I use a fairly big branch with lots of little branches and twigs on it. If it looks like a little tree, it’s the right one for this. You could also use more than one branch to get a full look. Spray paint and/or add glitter before putting the branches in the pot. I like to just paint it white to use for different holidays.
Even easier, put branches in a tall vase or umbrella stand without anything to hold them in. This looks good with almost any decorating style.
8. Make Log Side Tables and Outdoor Chairs
Cut fairly thick logs to the length/height you want. They make nice end tables for the house or outside sitting area. Or use them as seats around a fire pit.
9. Use Logs of Any Size for Hugelculture (HugelKultur)
Hugelculture is a way to grow plants without water. It sounds too good to be true, but it really works, even in a drought.
You just cover one or more logs with dirt and the rotting log provides plenty of moisture for the plants.
Think of it as long term underground mulch. I see a log and think of it as gold! Click here to learn the secrets of this old method of gardening without water.
10. Make a “Logjam” for Areas Prone to Wash Away
Do you have an area of your property that is often washing away because of run-off after rains? If it’s at an area out of sight put any extra logs, branches and tree debris into this washout area. Add any yard waste, leaves, grass clippings as you get them. The branches will help hold them and slow done the water run-off. Eventually the erosion should be slowed by this trap.
If you don’t have any branches and logs in your yard, you can ask to have any you see. Neighbors might be glad to be rid of them.
I know of a place that will take in logs and tree branches if you pay them. They eventually sell the logs for firewood and grind the branches into mulch that they sell. Seems like a pretty good business model!
Do you use logs or branches in any way? Please share in the comments!