What an adorable for a cute little rustic addition to your decor! I love candles and lanterns, and this rustic tree bark lantern decoration is absolutely gorgeous! A simple candle is nice, but one in a beautiful or unique candle holder is even better. This project combines the rustic elements of the outdoors with a simple candle to create a stunning look. While this screams fall and winter to me, you can easily use it any time of year.
Rustic Tree Bark Lantern Decoration
I've seen looks like this in many magazines and on websites a lot this year. There is something so fun about the rustic look these days. That, along with the popular farmhouse style that is evident everywhere, brings a look of the outside inside once again. Simplicity, minimalism, and the natural beauty of the outdoors combine to create a stunning addition to your home.
Where Can I Get Tree Bark?
The easy answer is to look in your own yard. However, one thing you should know that removing bark from a live tree can leave damage, and in some instances kill the tree. While a few small patches won't usually kill a tree, it can definitely cause harm.
So, to keep your trees nice and healthy, I recommend looking for a tree that is already dead, has been cut down, or even some firewood you have picked up or purchased. Peeling the bark off of a dead tree is easy, and won't cause damage.
If you don't have trees in your yard or easy access to firewood, put out a message to your friends and family. They will likely have access to some you can have. You can also ask around on local social media groups or neighborhood groups.
You can find fake bark in some craft stores, but that will be expensive and not as nice a look. If you go the route of using a synthetic bark, you'll find the look not as nice but still pretty and a bit more durable.
What Can These Be Used For?
As I have mentioned before, I love having candles around my home. So, obviously, adding a candle to these is the first thing to do! That said, I also love the idea of placing these in a grouping to create a centerpiece. They look great on tables, shelves, or even on a mantle.
Adding these lanterns to a table over a table runner with other rustic items like pine cones, nuts, or even a few fake berries can turn a basic table into a gorgeous showpiece. They are also ideal for parties, weddings, or events. Just add them to the center of a table alone or with other decors to create a pretty look.
How Can I Customize This Lantern?
There are so many fun ways to add a unique look to your lanterns. I went basic with just bark and twine, but there are tons of other ideas that might fit with different holidays or needs. Below are a few ideas I had.
- Replace the twine with colorful ribbons that match holiday themes.
- Use raffia or rope in place of the twine.
- Tie a length of beads or pearls instead of twine around the middle.
- Add flowers around the center of the bow.
- Glue a button in the center of the twine bow.
- Create a solid base by gluing the bark pieces to a wooden slice and use it as a candle base.
- Glue the bark to the outside of glass candle holders to secure.
What About Bugs?
One question I have seen asked about similar projects is the fear of bugs being on the bark. This is a valid fear because trees are the home to many bugs, insects, mites, and even larger critters like squirrels. Because this will be in your home, it's important to be aware of what may be there.
The best way to remove bugs from the bark is to spritz with lemon, lavender, and/or peppermint essential oil mixed with a bleach solution. I use 1 cup of water, a few drops of essential oil, and a teaspoon of bleach.
Then, wrap the bark that has been sprayed in plastic bags and seal completely. Some say to leave it in the sun for a few days to heat, but 24-48 hours in your garage, on a porch, or outside your home should kill the bugs and critters. The essential oils will usually deter the insects and in many cases kill them, but what that won't do, the bleach solution will.
What Candle is Safe to Use With This?
While the bark is flammable, it is around a glass candle holder so it is less likely to catch fire. I find that this is safe enough to use with real candles, but only when closely supervised. If you are concerned about fire, just use a flameless candle instead to create the warm glow without fear of fire.
How to Make a Tree Bark Lantern Decoration
Measure how tall you want the bark pieces to stand above the candle holder.
Using a saw or sharp knife, cut the bark so that one end is straight and even.
Around a glass candle holder, add a rubber band.
Stick the bark pieces around the candle holder tucking under the rubber band to hold in place.
Cut a length of twine, and wrap around the middle of the bark covering the rubber band at least 4-5 times.
Add additional embellishments if wanted, then put a candle inside and light to display.
More Rustic Craft Ideas
The rustic look is one of my favorites. There are so many gorgeous ideas and crafts to consider. I've made a lot of unique rustic and farmhouse style decorations and crafts, and am happy to share a few more with you. Below are some of my favorites.
- Rustic Fall Grapevine Wreath with Fabric Flowers
- Upcycled Cardboard Fall Leaf Placemat
- 40+ Cozy Rustic Decor Ideas for a Bedroom Oasis
- Upcycle Pringles Cans Into These Rustic Storage Containers
- 25 Rustic DIY Old Book Page Wreaths
- 17 Gorgeously Rustic Log Planters and How to Make Them
- Rustic Paper Vase Decor from Old Book Pages
- Upcycled Clothespin Napkin Holder
If you want to just buy bark and not worry about finding some locally, you can pick up birch bark sheets on Etsy. They are economical and look great on projects like this one.
- Measure how tall you want the bark to be above the candle holder;
- Use a saw or sharp knife to cut the bark into smaller pieces with an even edge on one side;
- Add a rubber band around your glass candle holder;
- Tuck the bark pieces behind the rubber band until the entire candle holder is covered;
- Wrap twine or ribbon around the middle of the candle holder 4-5 times until the rubber band is covered;
- Tie the twine in a bow;
- Add embellishments if desired then a candle inside and display.
Use any color ribbon or twine to create a look to fit your own home decor or a holiday.
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Finished Project Gallery
These little lanterns are so pretty! They are great to make individually or in pairs or even trios!
Group them together and tie a ribbon around all three to keep them together in a bunch.
They are gorgeous when lit and ideal for a picnic table outside on a cool evening.