Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Birch Bark Houses • DIY

Earlier this year I made my husband, David a new desk for his studio space from a massive live-edge slab of birch. When we first purchased the slab it still had some impressive chucks of thick bark on its edges and I saved those knowing I would find a use. Today I did. I crafted minimalist tiny houses out of the bark to be displayed above the desk from which they originally came.

My goal with this area of David's studio is a contemporary, clean feel in mostly black and white warmed up with touches of wood tones.  The thick birch bark with it's recognizable outer black and white layer is a perfect texture to add to this space.

The warmth of the grain beneath the bark and left exposed in this application emphasizes the wood desk already in place.

This simple craft started as the sides of an impressive birch plank. Before I handcrafted the desk. I carefully pried these from the plank edges and saved them.

Using a band saw I cut them into simple house forms. The cuts are easy and could have been completed with a hand saw as well.

I made a collection of different shapes and sizes.

I had previously purchased a small, black floating shelf at Target. It was for this location and my original plan was to put the black bottles with wood veneer that I made a couple of weeks ago here.  But after installing the shelf I really likes a combination of the birch bark houses and the stark white winter photograph above.

Combine that with the birch desk and a small rock vase of black and white feathers and David's desk space is starting to look down right artsy!

The photograph is the one we purchased at the Paradise City Arts Festival over Memorial Day weekend. It is by Jon Olsen and we had a hard time selecting just one photograph to purchase.

Quick, easy and elegant! My kind of craft.

Not a bad place to work!

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©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Sharing this post at some of these link parties. They are worth checking out for other ideas.


  1. what an amazing desk, and love the little houses!

    1. They reeally are improving the space David works in. One step at at time.

  2. Thanks. We are really pleased with the results. Always looking for new and creative solutions.

  3. these are amazing, so pretty!!

    I would love you to share these on my link party Serenity Saturday

    Natasha @ Serenity You

  4. Wow - LOVE these little houses!! So pretty. Pinning this. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!!

    1. Yeah, I have a thing for little houses. I have made them in so many different materials!

  5. Cute little houses Marji! How special that they came from the desk slab.
    Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!


    1. I smile every time I walk into that room and see the combination.

  6. So beautiful! One of the things I miss most about living in Alaska are the birch trees. I even looked into transplanting one when I moved, but I guess they won't survive the Texas heat. Maybe I could get my mom to send me a birch log so I could make some of these.... :)