50 Ways to Upcycle Tree Branches and Logs

I guess you could call me a tree hugger.  I do love trees enough to hug them.

My appreciation of trees started when I was a little girl.  My mother is a painter, and she loved to paint trees.  I saw the beauty of them through her eyes.

Timber cutting and tree farms are common in east Texas.  It’s a big business and employs a lot of people — and who wants to live without paper?!? — yet I can’t help feeling a little sad about it.

Also, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time at all, you know the reasons why we launched our old home salvage business.

So, all of this got me to thinking about ways to upcycle fallen trees.

Here are 50 ideas.

create dining room stoolsCreate stools for your dining room table.    Here’s another similar idea.   Here, too.

Build a really cool bed using a fallen treeBuild a really cool bed.    Here’s another idea.  And one more.

Living Vintage - Ways to Upcycle a Fallen TreeCreate a garment rack using a branch.  More ideas provided here and here and here and here.

build a garden arborBuild a garden arbor.  Here’s another idea.  And another.

Gridley+Graves House Create a handrail.

build a clockBuild a clock.

#7 Use as a cake standMake a cake stand.  If cupcakes are more your speed, check this out.  Or this.


wood slice flowersCreate pretty flowers from wood slices.

branch bracketsUse them as shelf brackets.

 build a coffee tableBuild a coffee table.    Here’s a similar coffee table, and another idea I love.    This one is really cool, too.


a diy project - copper plus tree branch floor lampBuild a floor lamp.  See another idea  here, here, here, here, and here.    The latter is a DIY project!


display branches for their beautyTrees are nature’s art.   Display them as such.

Want more ideas?  Click here and here.

  build a curtain rod and bracketsUse branches and twigs to create a curtain rod and brackets.  See other curtain ideas here and here.

make candles from branchesMake candles from branches.  Here is another great idea.  And another.  And yet another.

  remarkable floors made from sliced logsLay down a remarkable floor using log slices.


make rolling side tables from tree stumpsMake rolling side tables from tree stumps.  These are similar.  See other ideas here, here, here, here, and here.

build wood benchesBuild benches.


build a cool staircaseBuild a cool staircase.  Click here for another idea.


create a lovely wall mosaicCreate a lovely wall mosaic.    Click here for another idea.  And here.

  update a tired chandelier with twigs and branchesCreate a wonderful chandelier or pendant light with twigs and branches.

See more ideas here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


create plant markers using twigs and a wood-burnerCreate plant markers using twigs and a wood burner … or just a black pen.


cool belt buckleCreate a cool belt buckle.


built a table from a treeBuild a table like the one above or this one.


bowls from branches Create bowls from large branches.


a Christmas tree from branchesCreate a Christmas tree.  Want more ideas?  Click here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


a gorgeous natural fence built with tree limbsBuild a gorgeous fence with tree limbs.   Here’s another idea.  And here.  And also here.

a bug hotel made with branches and small logsBuild a comfortable home for beneficial bugs.  Here’s another idea I really like.


a tree for your catsBuild a cat tree.


a small birdbathBuild a birdbath.


a whimsical piece of jewelry using twigsCreate a pendant or bracelets.


build a campfire area with low fencing and stoolsBuild an area for a campfire with low fencing and stools.

 a business card holder using a tree branchEnvision a business card holder using a tree branch.  See another great idea here.


build a fabulous outdoor showerBuild a fabulous outdoor shower.

  image 163Create a one-of-a-kind room divider.    Here’s another idea.  And one more.

  use a small branch to hang stockings above a mantelHere’s a darling idea.  Use a branch to hang stockings above a mantel.


a pretty centerpiece using twigsCreate a pretty centerpiece for your celebration.  Here’s another idea, and another.    And one more.


valentine's day heart made using tree branchesMake a Valentine’s Day gift using tree branches.    See the tutorial here.

Here’s another idea.

 a kitchen island using sawhorses and a slab of wood cut from a large stumpBuild a kitchen island using sawhorses and a slab of wood cut from a large stump.


 a chaise lounge and chairs made from a willow treeBuild a chair or chaise lounge.    Here’s another idea (it’s a DIY project also!)

Check out this vintage portrait for the same type of thing.

Make a Whimsical Wood Pencil HolderMake a whimsical wood pencil holder.  (This is a DIY project!)

Here’s another similar idea.


adorable reindeer made with branchesMake adorable reindeer from branches.  See the tutorial here.


a collection of faux antlersDisplay a collection of faux antlers.


use a branch to hold a bathroom essentialUse a branch to hold a bathroom essential.

ZB296Use them to add natural light and ventilation.

use them to hang jewelryUse them to display jewelry.  Here’s another idea.  And another.  And another.

alphabet magnets made with tree branchesMake wonderful alphabet magnets.  This is a tutorial!

Here’s another tutorial and an idea also.

lovely placemats made with tree branchesMake pretty placemats.  Here are two more ideas:  one and two.

use large tree limbs as garden edgingUse large tree branches as garden edging.    Check out this idea also.

a rack for towels or magazines using tree branchesBuild a rack for towels or magazines.    Here’s a similar idea that’s also a tutorial.

create a sweet diorama using tree branchesCreate a sweet diorama.  See another idea here and here.


50 Ways to Upcycle Tree Branches and Logs


I hope you liked these ideas.  (I’d love to know which ones were your favorites.)

More ideas coming soon!

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  1. Wow…what great ideas. More than 50 with all your other links. Thanks for sharing, Kim.

  2. I love all of them! Where can I get tree limbs? Do I need to treat them?

  3. Hi Kim !

    Thanks for sharing our twig curtain rod idea ! … more importantly, because it led me back to you and I see all kind of epic twiggy ideas here ! I am so inspired.

    And your house. Oh la la. Amazeballs. Can I come live with you? :)

  4. Angeleque says:

    I love so many of these ideas! I can’t wait te get my hands on some branches and a log or two.

  5. Dennis Platt says:

    Just getting started in repurposing the over abundance of Ash tree remains… the trunks have been harvested to get try and get rid of the trees that were infected to try and save the forests of Ash here in northern Michigan… but to no avail. Now I live a crossed the street from Government land with the remains of hundreds of Ashes to make into things that honor them. Thank you for the great ideas… I would love any other ideas you might be about to suggest… I don’t want to have them just go to waste… many were 1100 plus years old… thank you once again.


    • I’ve found more ideas and will be sharing them soon. Best of luck with your upcycling projects. I love knowing that you will not let them rot away.

  6. Mandy Zhao says:

    I am very happy to see all your ideas, thank you to share those with us. I would like to know how to treat the trees and to be ready to make furniture. Can you tell me?
    Thank you !

  7. What wonderful creations you have made , I love the items 20 and 36 , simple and delicate looking and very eye catching , I would love to try some of your ideas , one thing I had seen in the past from someone who made Christian crosses for walls from raw tree branches and was so beautiful , it hung on my friends wall ,but she told me it was from a different country she had visited ( forgotten which one ) but I would love to have one myself. I would like to learn how to treat the wood before trying to do it ? I live on the Island of Cyprus . Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent.

  8. Andrew Brown says:

    Hi Kim,

    Wow what a great blog! Do you use any kind of preservative or other material to stengthen the branches used on these projects? Thanks so much.

    • Andrew, try oil-based polyurethane. It’s my go to product for sealing. I’m not sure about “strenthening” however.

  9. John bond says:

    Dear Kim, looking through all these great ideas really loved number 15- wood floor. Do you know what is the best type of tree to use and does the wood need to be left to season before laying.? Any information on this would be great. Thanks x

    • Honestly, I have no idea, but if it were me, I’d use oak, cedar, or pine and I’d allow the tree to season for quite a long while before laying it down to prevent any sap seepage issues.

  10. Hi! I simply wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have right
    here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.

  11. Dear Kim, my name is George. I’m from Bulgaria, Sofia. I looked your 50 ideas. I like them because they are simple but fantastic. Congratulations! My hobby is handmade tree lamps, as realize some of my unconventional ideas. I would be very grateful if you give your opinion about them. Thank you very much! My site iz http://www.dia-bg.info.

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