You + Me And A Family Tree

Shut the front door.

No, really. Shut it. You have nowhere to go except back to the couch. Grab your favorite snuggie, curl up and get cozy because I want to talk about love.

Or rather, the day of love. It won’t be long before Valentine’s Day is among us and partners world wide are forced (Did I say forced? Obviously I meant over-the-moon-ecstatic) to show their love and affection to each other.

In our house Valentine’s Day just isn’t like it used to be. Now days we show our love and affection more to the tune of ‘I’ll give the bath, you clean up the puke’.

And they say chivalry is dead.

Surprisingly it’s in those moments, when we’re up to our elbows in fluids better left unidentified, that I am reminded we are truly a family.

We are in it together for the smiles that melt your heart and the times you have nothing left of yourself to give.

We are all in.

And so it’s only fitting that for Valentine’s Day I made our family tree.


We had some tree limbs leftover from yard clean up just sitting on the side of our garage and I’d been looking at them for over a year, so it was high time those logs were put to use.

I started by bringing the logs inside the garage to dry for a couple weeks, then inside the house for several more days. There’s a rule about drying wood, and it’s typically one year per inch thickness of wood. However, this is a small vase that’ll be sealed and I’m not too worried about it splitting, shrinking or having to hold up to a lot of wear and tear. So. A few weeks is good to me.

I also wanted to make sure there were no stowaway critters on board. So I baked the log (yes, in the oven) at 200° for two hours to remedy that problem.

After they were dried, it was time for some fun.

 I decided how big of a base I wanted and used a miter saw to cut the log to 12 inches.

(Be careful doing this, being it’s not flat you’ll want to make sure you have a firm grip while sawing)

I used a 1 1/8″ tri-flute wood boring drill bit to create an opening.

tri flute drill bit

Just a side note. You’ll want a powerful drill for this bad boy.

I didn’t need a large opening as I only planned to use it for a few branches. You could get creative here and make a larger opening, large enough for a plastic container so that you could use fresh flowers as well. I drilled down to about 2″ from the bottom of the vase.

I used rough grit (80) sandpaper on top of the vase followed by a finer grit (120).


I used my wood burner to make the heart and initials.


Then applied a thin layer of Minwax Helmsman spar urethane on the ends of the vase. I didn’t apply this over the bark as it’ll probably hold up better in this case, left alone. White birch bark may yellow if a finish is applied and I didn’t want to risk that.

I added a couple branches, then added little felt hearts, one for each of us.


And I loved our little family tree so much once finished that I wanted to find a way to use more of the birch log.

So I cut small discs, approximately 1/2″ thick and 3″ in diameter.


I baked those too, after all we have enough living creatures in our house the way it is.

I drilled small holes at the tops so I could later hang the discs. Then sanded the fronts and backs of each disc and in keeping with the Valentine’s Day theme I painted on little hearts. I applied the same spar urethane to seal the discs, added the jute twine and hung them from the window.


Admittedly, Valentine’s Day isn’t a holiday I typically decorate for. But ever since the dining room addition of the sideboard I find myself coming up with new excuses to decorate it.

Shocking, I know.



I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with lots of love, chocolate and sloppy kisses! I’ll let you decide who those sloppy kisses come from.

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About Amanda

I’m a Minnesota mama of three, wife of one, and human to our 4 legged canine friends Charlie and Jack. I’m a lover of all things DIY, coffee with cream, summer nights at the lake and good craft beer.


  1. What a beautiful display! I love your family tree and cute decor on the sideboard. I don’t typically decorate for Valentine’s Day, either, but the house looks so barren now with all the sparkly Christmas decorations down. Might have to pull something together!

    • Thanks Meg! I agree, the house feels far too empty after Christmas, I’d love to see what you come up with and I feel like those dark chocolate cupcakes of yours may be making an appearance in my kitchen soon!

  2. Very chic vignette…love it!
    Christine recently posted…Updating the Foyer with PaintMy Profile

  3. Your family tree turned out wonderfully. I have some birch logs made into candle holders but never thought of making vases. Like the idea of using just a few branches inside. Your whole vignette looks terrific!
    Lori @ Dining Delight recently posted…Snow Day TablescapeMy Profile

  4. This is just beautiful! So glad that you shared it on the Spring Craft Blog Hop. I love the rustic, yet soft look of it with the little hearts. I’m going to have to spend some more time here. I’ve seen the two projects you shared and loved both of them. I’m betting there will be lots more to find.
    Beverly recently posted…Spring Craft Blog Hop~Weekend Favorites # 2 from Across the BlvdMy Profile

  5. SO cute <3<3

  6. Love this idea Amanda. I’ve pinned it for wedding inspiration as my daughter is having a DIY wedding in 2016 and this would be adorable on the tables! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  7. Such a lovely idea! It’s so pretty how you’ve pulled it all together.
    Jennifer recently posted…Bunting Pillow How-toMy Profile

  8. I love your family tree what a great idea – Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.
    Amberjane recently posted…Pin Worthy WednesdayMy Profile

  9. Love your family tree and vignette. It’s featured as one of the highlights on the Spring Craft Blog Hop.
    Erlene recently posted…Spring Craft Blog Hop Highlights #2My Profile

  10. Everything made from bark is so lovely!
    And ‘real’ family tree idea is very charming :)

    I hope you will share your post with our Link Up – Idea box:


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