Posts Tagged ‘Trees’


Posted by Linda Bodo of Absolute Bodo 
June 2010

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The next best time is now.            ~ anonymous

It can be modified to almost any degree; coaxed into a magnificent manor or a leaf so thin we can wrap a package in it. Organic and renewable, this substance harvested from the stems of trees boasts an impressive portfolio of accomplishments… including the ability to generate fuel to take the chill off a blustery winter’s day or toast a S’more to perfection.
I have been known to drool over a mid-century chair coaxed from a single piece of teak or weep at the sight of a monumental grain elevator gracing our prairie landscape. But, I also appreciate the diverse properties of wood in the raw—that hard fibrous lignified substance veneered in bark, logs, branches or twigs. Although these leftovers often meet their fate in a pile of firewood or in a chipper, they can be morphed into objects d’art for the home and garden with a little imagination.
Here are a few favourite raw wood projects from my books, columns and to-do folders. I use a pair of sharp pruners to cut smaller branches and a jig or table saw for larger units. When working with natural timber, be sure to dry it for several days to prevent finished pieces from warping or shrinking after completion. Alternately, soak branches or twigs in water overnight to keep timber pliable for shaping if you will be adding decorative elements to your finished project. Use exterior wood glue for adhesion if the finished product will be subjected to the elements; otherwise high-strength hot glue is perfect for wood-on-wood bonding. Finally, seal surfaces with beeswax or furniture wax to add a subtle sheen and offer protection.
So, before you put another log on the fire, consider the possibilities.

You don’t have to sap your pocketbook to create these groovy garden gadgets. Thin branches or willow reeds can be transformed into obelisks for climbing vines or veggies… or al fresco privacy screens.

Stop barking up the wrong tree. Organic furniture does not have to cost a branch and a trunk. Fashion these stylin’ stools from leftover logs or branches. Cheap and chic.

Dramatic lighting is the root of all good decor. Whittle up a chandelier, pendant or table lamp by dressing up a lamp kit with branches or driftwood.

If your thumb happens to be evergreen, you’ll love assembling these crude tables from sticks and stems.   

Leaf traditional hardware behind and construct natural hangers, hooks and rods from unprocessed materials harvested from your own backyard.

Spruce up existing furniture or accessories with twigs or branch discs. Awesome for a cabin or lakeside retreat.

Yew will love these candle holders, simple to make and easy on the pocketbook.


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