Easy & Inexpensive Decorating With Nature

Woman making nature-inspired decor

Living in the northwoods of Wisconsin, I have access to so many natural elements that I love to use for both indoor and outdoor home decorations. (Don’t fret if you don’t have bark, branches, and trees at your disposal – I have easy access options for you!)

Birch and pine are my go-to trees that I find particularly fun to use for every day AND holiday decorations.

Easy and inexpensive DIY home decorating idea using items found in nature.

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Decor That’s Beautiful AND Eco-Friendly!

In addition to having unique decor, the other major benefit of decorating with nature is that it is 100% environmentally friendly.

There is no plastic, ceramic, metal, or any other material that will take up space in a landfill once I want to swap it out for something new. Wood, branches, and boughs are all 100% biodegradable.

Use fallen trees and excess pine boughs to decorate your home.

The white textural bark on birch trees makes these logs perfect for rustic decorating. Compared to other types of trees, birch tend to have a shorter lifespan, making them relatively accessible.

Living in Wisconsin, I have easy access to birch trees as they are often found fallen in the woods. However, city trees need regular trimming…perfect time to snatch them for decorating purposes!

Decorating Ideas Using Items From Nature

Let’s get to the pictorial ideas. These are meant to give you ideas. Be sure to add your personal touch based on the materials you have and your unique decorative style.

Bringing the Outdoors In

Home decor using birch logs

Welcome your guests with this easy-to-make birch log candle holder on your porch. This “yule tide” log has multiple uses and is completely unique.

To create the candle holes, my husband used a hole saw to make the hole cut, and then chipped out the circular hole.

Select a candle color that is appropriate for the season: orange for fall, red or green for Christmas, etc. I inserted a glass votive holder into the hole to hold the candle. Any size candle can be used, just be sure to have an appropriate candle holder to prevent accidental fires.

These logs have many uses, such as:

  • A table centerpiece: wow your guests with this table centerpiece. It can be stacked (as pictured) with two logs as a base, or placed solo on a low metal bowl or plate.
  • Fireplace inset: Place in your log(s) on your fireplace grate. Light the candles for every day use, as well as when you have visitors and don’t want to tend to a fire.
  • Porch decor: place them either on the ground or on something that gives height (such as a chair or crate). Light the candles before guests arrive so they have a warm welcome to your home.

Here’s a similar alternative that uses lights wrapped around the logs rather than candles:

Decorating with birch logs

Logs can also have candle  holes cut on the vertical (round) end.

Birch logs on a fireplace hearth

Again, the hole saw can be used to ease the task of creating the hole. To avoid cutting out the hole, make it even easier by simply placing a candle in a candle holder on top of the log.

Polish it off by adding a little raffia in a color that compliments your decor.

These birch vases were made by removing the birch bark, and simply hot gluing it to a recycled tin can.

Vases made of birch logs

As an alternative, use twine or colorful raffia to hold the bark to the container. Place flowers, pine boughs or even twigs in the containers.

A smaller container would make a decorative pencil holder. These birch bark containers are perfect for mantels, shelves, dinner table centerpieces or anywhere!

Simple, attractive, and using a recycled container makes this project even more eco-friendly!

Quilt rack made of birch logs

This creative blanket and quilt rack just took a few screws to hold it together. Simple and unique!

Wall divider made of birch

A container made of scrap wood and a bag of concrete mix was all that was needed for this incredible birch wall divider.

Birch bark glued on thin wood or heavy paper

Cut birch bark and glue onto heavy paper or thin wood to create decorations such as trees, stars, or any shapes. Shapes can be added to enhance a holiday figurine collection (such as santas or snowmen), as hanging window decor, or as wedding table-top decorations.

Keep it simple! A few pine cones can add texture and interest:

Basket of pine cones

Pine cones with home decor

Pine cones in a home decor arrangement

Creative Containers

Suitcase style basket as a decor container

Creative containers used for home decor

Birds nest displayed in tea cup

Table Centerpieces

This table centerpiece is an example to a few traditional holiday decorations added to pine bough to create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece:

Table centerpiece made of fresh pine boughs.

This centerpiece uses scrap trim strips to create the rectangular box, with pine cones and  birch log pieces as candle holders:

Table centerpiece with birch log candle holders

Table centerpiece or fireplace box?

Decorative box with natural boughs in front of fireplace


Nature-Inspired Place Settings

Table place setting with pine cones and boughs

Just a touch will do! Play and have fun adding natural touches to your table setting.

Sprig of pine bough on dinner plate setting


Porch & Outdoor Decorations Using Natural Elements

Pine bough decor

The possibilities are endless!

Bike porch decor

Wreath made with pine cones, pine bough, and other items found in nature.

Porch decoration using pine bough and birch branches

Porch decor made with birch logs and pine boughs

Window planter decorated with birdhouse and natural elements

Window planter decorated with a birdhouse, birch & pine boughs

Decorative outdoor planter using elements from nature.

Home decor made with items from nature

Purchase Natural Decorating Items

Amazon offers some great deals for natural elements if you can’t harvest them yourself.

↓ Click image to buy on Amazon ↓


I use fallen trees for decoration purposes, giving the tree, branches, and bark a second life. You will harm a living tree by taking off its bark.

Find trees that have died or knocked down from a storm.

Other types of logs can be used, each will offer a different look and texture. Experiment, but please don’t harm a living tree!

More Ideas for Decorating

Join 'If It Brings You Joy' on PinterestFor more ideas, visit my Home & Garden Ideas board on Pinterest and discover the joy of decorating!  You may also enjoy reading my other  “Home Sweet Home” articles. Please share your ideas and thoughts in a comment below.

Preparing birch logs for house decorations
Thanks to my husband for helping me cut fallen birch trees to size for decorating.

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Nature inspired DIY home decor

4 Replies to “Easy & Inexpensive Decorating With Nature”

    1. That’s one of my favorites, as well. My good friend, Marlene, made that arrangement. She’s very talented with home decor!

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