Making bark bows to decorate twig wreaths, as ornaments for a Christmas tree or gift wrapping adds a rustic look to your seasonal decorations.
They can be used any time of the year you choose, but seem to have an affinity for use in a seasonal display.
I make bark bows out of willow twig bark stripped from branches and twigs in the spring. The sap running under the bark makes it easy to pull free.
Other kinds of bark can be used too, depending on the length you want. Willow works well because you can pull it off the length of the twig, not the circumference, like birch bark.
You can simply coil the bark up until you want to use it, and then immerse it in water to soak overnight, making it pliant and supple.
Don’t use it without soaking as it is brittle and just cracks. Once soaked, willow bark has a fragrant odour, making it pleasurable to work with.
Stretch out the longest pieces you have, and gather several smaller and thinner pieces with them to make a thicker bow.
Estimate the middle of the longest length of bark, and make two loops.
Tie these together, and re-arrange the pieces to make an even bow.
This gives a nicer bow than actually tying a bow like a shoelace, which always tries to go diagonally when you attach it.
Glue, stitch, or tie the bark bow onto your craft, and drape the ends. As it dries, the bark bow will hold its new shape.