eHow Crafts Blog

Sliced Birch Branch Place Mats



I am always looking for creative ways to bring natural elements into our home. After the holidays, we had some leftover birch branches laying around that I thought could create a rustic place mat display for our table.

Things You’ll Need

  • Birch or other type of tree branch (I used birch branches varying in size from approximately 1 inch to 5 inches in circumference)
  • Miter saw or small handsaw
  • Ruler
  • Burlap, 1 yard
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue



Use the miter or handsaw to cut 55 to 60 wood slices from the branches that are approximately 1/2 inch in thickness. You can pre-measure the slices before cutting to be precise, or you can eyeball it. Just be sure to make the thickness of the slices consistent, so plates won’t wobble when set on top of the place mat. Peel off any lose bark from the wood slices.

Note: This is enough wood slices to make one 12-by-16-inch place mat.


Cut the desired shape and size of your place mat from the burlap (this one measures 12 inches by 16 inches). Prior to gluing the branch slices, arrange them on the burlap to fit as closely together as possible, using the smaller pieces to fill in the empty spaces. When you are happy with the configuration, hot glue the branch slices in place.


You could stop here and enjoy your birch bark place mat as-is.

Another option is to trim away the excess burlap around the wood slices to create a more rustic edge. You could also glue some slices so they overlap the outside edge of the burlap.


Many variations on this craft are possible. You could cut a longer piece of burlap and make a table runner or cut a circular piece and make round place mats. Play around with the shape and size. You just need to adjust the amount of wood slices to cut.


Should you have any questions or need clarification, please leave a comment below or write me at


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