How to make a birch bark wreath

I started this birch bark wreath project with grandiose ideas.

I was driving down the road behind an international harvester (where I spend most of my time) and I got the brilliant (or so I thought) idea to make my own wreath.

You see….when I featured the pallet letter…I photographed it with a wreath.

A wreath that I get questions about all the time.  

So why not make it?

Detail of the birch bark pieces for the wreath

Except….see the thing is….this doesn’t exactly look like the wreath I posted.

Not that it’s bad to look at.  I think it’s kind of cute.  It’s just that the other wreath is totally Brad Pit….

….and this wreath is a little like the boy you sat next to in class who spent all that time drumming on his English book with his drum sticks.

It’s trying really hard to impress you….

…but if it asked you to the homecoming dance you’d have to think twice.

DIY this gorgeous birch bark wreath

Birch Bark Wreath Project

Start with birch bark plywood

Step 1:  Start with birch bark plywood

You can find this at the craft supply store on the aisle where they have all the other wood supplies.

Do not get distracted by the wood slices and make stocking tags with them.

Oh wait….that was me.

Cut the pieces into this shape- it's easy with a scissors

The plywood is super, super thin and you can easily cut it with scissors.

Do not get distracted when you realize how cute this would be if you cut a monogram out of it and make an ornament.

Focus people.


Cut it into kind of a leaf shape as seen above.

No perfection needed.

Soak the birch bark pieces in water

Step 2:  Soak your wood pieces

The plywood is thin and pliable….and even more so when you soak it in water for about an hour.

Let the leaves soak thoroughly.

Bend the pieces into a curved shape

Step 3:  Bend the plywood into a curved shape

I used hair bands to do this.

I know….brilliant….right.

I tried several things…but hair bands totally worked the best.

Let dry in place and then remove the bands.

Start with a grapevine wreath and add the birch bark pieces to it

Step 4:  Start gluing the birch bark to a grapevine wreath

Here’s the wreath before I started.

Slowly add the birch bark pieces to the wreath

And here’s the first layer of the birch bark wood pieces going on.

Simply add layer after layer of the wood pieces with hot glue.

Keep going until you get the shape you want or you want to throw up your hands and simply buy the wreath instead.

After the pieces are on the wreath, add some white paint

After the wreath was finished….I brushed on a dry brush coat of white paint.

Let the paint dry and then hang the wreath.

Let the paint dry and your project is done

At first I wasn’t sure.

I didn’t know what to think about my version of the wreath.

I couldn’t decide if I liked it and then every time I walked past it…..

… got cuter and cuter.

And it grew on me.  Just like that drummer in high school… know….

….the one I married with the twinkling eyes. 🙂

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  1. Image for Jenn Coffman Jenn Coffman

    Again, you've made me smile! I am a huge fan of birch & I'm always looking out for unique items to buy/make. You've explained this one so simply, I'm ready to run out & make it. .. but I have to go work out first! Have a great day & thank you for this! I can now go confidently into my urban Christmas!

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    What has Brad Pitt got?? Does he sing you songs handed down from your dad? Does he get you out of a grumpy mood by getting you to clap in the rain? And does he look at you with twinkling brown eyes and make you feel on top of the world?? A big resounding NO!!!! It is the hidden qualities that are enduring and so is your adorable hubby and wreath!! I love it and YOU made it. Makes a big difference. Big hugs to you for another genius project.

  3. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Such a cute wreath & even easy enough I can pull it off! Thanks for the smiles this morning. Stopping by here always brightens my day. =) Hope you are doing well my friend!

  4. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    Your Brad Pitt wreath was a favorite of mine for some time, but this homemade version is every bit as lovely. Given the sweet story you told, the drummer boy wreath has now stolen my heart and become my new favorite. Thanks for the inspiration, Suzanne Pieced Pastimes

  5. Image for Rochelle Rochelle

    I'll have to check this plywood out at the hardware store. I wonder if I could cut it with my Silhouette to make monograms!

  6. Image for Mary B Mary B

    I love your wreath, but I love even more what it is tied to - is that a heater grate? Its gorgeous!!! Love your blog.

  7. Image for Peggy Zortman Peggy Zortman

    You never fail to amaze me! This wreath is adorable! While I am driving down the road behind a John Deer, I am thinking about cleaning the closet. Boring!

  8. Image for Kris Kris

    I never thought Brad Pitt was that cute. I've always had a soft spot for those slightly awkward drummer types--they are the real deal! My hubby had tape on his glasses on our first (blind) date--his glasses broke and he didn't have time to fix them and didn't want to be late. Not a "Brad Pitt" first impression, but he's got way more going on than Brad does! I had no idea you could buy birch bark plywood. You are amazing (and perhaps you live in Hobby Lobby??? How else do you know this stuff???).

  9. Image for Cindy@Diybeautify Cindy@Diybeautify

    It is very cute and I love your story! I think the difference is that the original wreath had leaves that curl outward, and yours curl in. If you make another, try cutting your leaves a little longer, narrower and glue them so they curl up and out. I'm no expert, it's just what I see when I look at them both. I had no idea you could buy Birch bark like that... I've been in that aisle and never noticed it.... I was probably distracted by all the other goodies!

  10. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, This is so cool! I want to hang them in the window like they do with the little green wreaths. Hanging by a fat silk ribbon/bow. Thanks, Doll! Christine

  11. Image for Donna Donna

    Karianne I just love your blog! You inspire me to create wonderful things. Oh..and I never thoughts twice when the boy asked me to the homecoming dance thirty eight years ago, thank goodness we've been together ever since! I look forward to your posts. Thanks a million.

  12. Image for Cristiana Cristiana

    Super cute!! You sure you weren't writing about me!! Focus!! Nah, not me you finished the project and wrote about it!! Mine would be half way done!!

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