Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors in

Overview

Invite Mother Nature into your home with 35 rustic projects that are both unique and functional. Using found wood and the easy-to-follow instructions, reusing what nature has provided is a simple way to add natural warmth to your decor. More than 35 eco-chic projects such as a coat rack, curtain rods, candle holders, desk sets, picture frames, a table, chess set, and more.

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Overview

Invite Mother Nature into your home with 35 rustic projects that are both unique and functional. Using found wood and the easy-to-follow instructions, reusing what nature has provided is a simple way to add natural warmth to your decor. More than 35 eco-chic projects such as a coat rack, curtain rods, candle holders, desk sets, picture frames, a table, chess set, and more.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Crafter's Choice

Hand expert wood carver chris Lubkemann a piece of wood and a knife and before you know it, a pair of candlesticks, a set of wooden spoons, something wonderful to play with or even a place to hang your hat will emerge right before your eyes. With Tree Craft, this bestselling author of The Little Book of Whittling shows you how to transform mere twigs and branches into coasters, salt and pepper shakers, bud vases, a checker board with game pieces, a coat rack and 35 woodworking projects in all that will bring the rustic beauty of the outdoors into your home. Projects range from simple to complex and Chris does such a fantastic job of introducing the tools and explaining the techniques, that even beginners can get in on the fun.

The Electric Review

Go Green has become the collective mantra of the times, as people from the four corners of the world try to reconnect with the environment and live a conscious life, cognizant of their impact on the earth''s fleeting resources. Accordingly, Chris Lubkemann''s Tree Craft (due from Fox-Chapel in August 2010), adds to the ever-growing canon of green literature – a manual dedicated to teaching us how to re-use found wood and transform it into one-of-a-kind furnishings. In Tree Craft, Lubkemann (a seasoned writer and regular contributor to several wood-carving magazines) outlines how readers can use the wood they find strewn about the forest and beach and park to build practical items for both the home and office. For example, Lubkemann demonstrates how a simple branch can be used to build fashionable curtain rods that not only recycle a vital natural resource but also prove significantly more durable than those disposable plastic-based wares that line the shelves of the nation''s big-box stores. With incisive step-by-step instructions, Lubkemann educates readers on how to make some 35 projects – as Tree Craft evinces, things like photo frames, table lamps, clocks and planters can be built with ease using a few common household tools. Aside from its cool Green Message, what''s best about Tree Craft is in the way it''s written: Rather than lecture from the pulpit, Lubkemann proves himself to be a true teacher who shows his audience how it''s done by doing it with them. In this age of iPods, fast-food and endless consumption, Chris Lubkemann presents a book that slows us down a bit, urging each of us to open up our eyes and look around at what''s in front of us. Ultimately, Tree Craft is not just about building things. It''s also about seeing the many faces of the world that surround you.

— John Aiello

Shortcuts.ns.ca

Okay woodworkers, the next time you have finished a project and are waiting for materials for the next one, go out to your woodlot and pick up some dead birch, maple or even viburnum branches and then buy a copy of author Lubkemann’s book. He will show you how to make perfect use of those and branches or stumps from other wood species.

The author illustrates everything from napkin rings, candelabra and coasters, to the more elaborate lamps or umbrella stands. Lubkemann tells us in detail how to prepare the wood limbs for working and how to preserve them. Convert your ash tree into a gracious jewelry tree or a large tree trunk into a chess board. All of this fun stuff can be found in this beautifully illustrated Fox Chapel book.

— Graham McCulloch

Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement

Easy Projects For Giving Your Home Eco-Chic Style

In the past few years the trend toward green living has grown exponentially. More than ever, people are conscious of their impact on the environment and finding opportunities to reunite with nature. Discovering creative ways to recycle and reuse are hot topics, and for the crafty homeowner, living off the land is easier than you might think.
With Tree Craft (Fox Chapel Publishing. September 2010), the eco-friendly can give their homes a touch of rustic elegance by bringing the outdoors in. Using found wood, twigs and branches, readers can create a wide range of easy-to-make projects, like taper candlestick holders, knotty wood photo frames, attractive table lamps, and one-of-a-kind decor, like curtain rods, clocks and planters. There’s also practical items that add beauty to the dining room and kitchen, such as spoon holders, napkin rings and salt & pepper shakers.

With nothing more than a few basic tools, and the step-by-step instructions inside Tree Craft, readers can make 35 fresh projects that will bring the natural warmth of wood indoors. There’s even a project for outdoor seating and a game of checkers. Also included is a gallery of contemporary rooms showcasing ideas for decorating a modern home with natural wood accents. Readers will find unfinished pine can provide a soothing, spa-like quality in the home.

The many examples of how to reuse and preserve maple, oak and nature’s other towering beauties, makes Tree Craft the perfect gift for thrifty and eco-friendly crafters, woodworkers, decorators and home-owners.

— Paul Fulcher

Woodshop News

TREE CRAFT, by Chris Lubkemann, is a how-to book of 35 rustic wood proje
— Jennifer Hicks

From the Publisher
Projects range from simple to complex and Chris does such a fantastic job of introducing the tools and explaining the techniques, that even beginners can get in on the fun.

From a childhood in the South American jungle to an Amish farm in Pennsylvania Dutch country, Chris Lubkemann has been playing with wood - and, this month, his latest book of playful creations, Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In (Fox Chapel, ISBN 978-1-56523-455-0) is published, with a focus on projects made from found wood.
Chris himself first found wood fun to play with as a boy between the ages of six and eight years old in Brazil and Peru, where his parents were missionaries in the 1940s and 1950s. His dad would be making furniture, Chris said - it was a situation where "he had to make his own oven so he could make his own bricks to make his own house" - and small pieces of wood would fall to the ground. Chris would save these small pieces to build "fun little things" like boats.

Part of that was perhaps inspired by all of the boat building going on at Contamana, the town on the Ucayali River, where the family lived in Peru. "We swam in the river, where there were alligators," Chris said, calling his "an adventurous childhood." About this time, he also began carving small dental tools from wood - he doesn't remember what inspired this, but does remember that "My mom put a stop to that. She figured we'd get some rare tropical disease, poking around in our mouths."

Chris began attending boarding school in the United States at age 13 and didn't do much woodworking for the next few years, until the summer between his junior and senior years of college. While assisting the minister Dr. John Luke in programs around the mountain areas of North Carolina, Chris noticed that many of the mountaineers were making carved roosters out of Y-shaped branches. He picked up a $2.95 pocketknife, and the pastor taught him how to make these roosters. "You make the head out of this branch, the tail out of this branch, and I made my first rooster. It looked like it got in a terrible fight - and lost."

In the 40-plus years since then, Chris has made "thousands" more roosters from Y-shaped branches, including one he carved from a pocketknife in 1981 that is 1/8" tall, including comb and tail. He was trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest rooster ever carved from a Y-shaped branch, but the woodcarving category didn't exist. He did receive a certificate of superlative for the "world's smallest woodcarving" - but Chris notes that, "I don't believe for a minute that it's the smallest carving; somebody has to have carved an apple or something that's smaller."

Back in the 1960s, rooster carvings and woodburnings provided items for sale that helped to fund his last year of college and, following that, the overseas travel of Chris and his wife, who themselves served as missionaries for many years. Before the first trip, Chris sold his carvings door to door to raise funds.

In his travels around the world, Chris says he's used about 80 species of wood for his carvings and other projects. (Most of those other projects consist of furniture for himself - he estimates he's built "about a zillion" bookcases, although his latest is a 29"-long, foot-wide truck made of scrap wood for his grandson.) Generally, Chris said, he prefers harder woods: birches, maple, oaks, citrus woods, holly, beech, guava in the Philippines. The tighter grain and smaller pith in the harder woods works better for his type of projects: when carving something like a head on a rooster in spongy pith, he said, "It's like carving Styrofoam . It doesn't hold up." With the harder woods, "Some roosters I made 40 years ago are exactly the way I made them."

While roosters are "sort of the mascot of branch carving," as well as a popular image all over the world ("they're the only bird that naturally has its tail go up," Chris says), he has carved other things, too: pheasants, herons, songbirds, roadrunners and other species.

And, since 1972, he has been involved in teaching others how to do these carvings. That's when Chris wrote his first instruction sheet, which led to television appearances in Portugal and England, his books The Little Book of Whittling and The Book of Twigs and Branches, and teaching branch carving to people in the Philippines, Canada and Mexico. He also writes a column in Chip Chats, a national woodcarving magazine, and was featured carving a branch rooster on the DIY Network.

Despite all this, Chris says, that, among carvers, "I consider myself sort of the low man on the totem pole. Some guys spend hundreds of hours on this. If I have a project that took me over an hour, I consider it probably took me too long."

That's one reason that when Peg Couch, acquisitions editor at Fox Chapel, asked Chris to write an "eco-chic" book, he responded, "'Eco' I can handle. 'Chic" - I don't even have a clue."

Tree Craft's focus is not particularly on carving, but on creating its 35 projects for home or personal use from found wood. A checker set was created from a stump in Chris's front yard; a coat rack from a neighbor's Bradford pear tree that had to come down - Chris told him, "Don't throw it out. I'll make something out of it" - and some lamps from old Christmas trees, old oak firewood and hardware Chris took out of old lamps purchased from Goodwill.

Knothole picture frames are a project from the book Chris cites as particularly practical, and wooden knives, spreaders and letter openers as among the most popular. "I can't believe how much people like these little wooden knives."

Chris makes his projects using a drill, a makeshift table saw and a small belt sander. "I don't have a fully equipped shop; most everything I do is with hand tools," he said. That 12' x 20' shop is located in part of old barn, where Chris does his woodcarvings and "name logs": "I cut out a slice from a log and then woodburn people's names. If they're a lacrosse player, I add lacrosse sticks. If they're a musician, I add musical notes."

Chris is a resident artisan at the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Amish Farm and House living history museum, where, besides his woodworking, he also works with animals like goats - he refers to them as his "kids, grandkids and great-grandkids" - and donkeys.

"I have a ton of fun in what I do," he said.

This book has 35 projects that can "bring the outdoors in". Tree Craft by Chris Lubkemann tells you how to make rustic wood pieces for your home using found twigs, sticks and logs. Examples of the projects include lamps, a key chain, salt & pepper shakers and clothes hooks and racks. "Going green" is such a hot topic and maybe this book can help in the effort by providing creative ways to decorate your home with found items.

Go Green has become the collective mantra of the times, as people from the four corners of the world try to reconnect with the environment and live a conscious life, cognizant of their impact on the earth's fleeting resources. Accordingly, Chris Lubkemann's Tree Craft (due from Fox-Chapel in August 2010), adds to the ever-growing canon of green literature - a manual dedicated to teaching us how to re-use found wood and transform it into one-of-a-kind furnishings. In Tree Craft, Lubkemann (a seasoned writer and regular contributor to several wood-carving magazines) outlines how readers can use the wood they find strewn about the forest and beach and park to build practical items for both the home and office. For example, Lubkemann demonstrates how a simple branch can be used to build fashionable curtain rods that not only recycle a vital natural resource but also prove significantly more durable than those disposable plastic-based wares that line the shelves of the nation's big-box stores. With incisive step-by-step instructions, Lubkemann educates readers on how to make some 35 projects - as Tree Craft evinces, things like photo frames, table lamps, clocks and planters can be built with ease using a few common household tools. Aside from its cool Green Message, what's best about Tree Craft is in the way it's written: Rather than lecture from the pulpit, Lubkemann proves himself to be a true teacher who shows his audience how it's done by doing it with them. In this age of iPods, fast-food and endless consumption, Chris Lubkemann presents a book that slows us down a bit, urging each of us to open up our eyes and look around at what's in front of us. Ultimately, Tree Craft is not just about building things. It's also about seeing the many faces of the world that surround you.

Get outdoors, find some wood and make something beautiful! "Tree Craft" includes 35 earthy-yet-elegant woodworking projects, such as kitchen utensils, photo frames, table lamps and a coffee table.

You can tap the splendor of the outdoors easily and practically by crafting these woodworking projects that are at once rugged and artful. Using some found twigs, branches or fallen trees and a few basic tools, you can create Lubkemann's unique, striking pieces for your own space.

TREE CRAFT, by Chris Lubkemann, is a how-to book of 35 rustic wood projects that "bring the outdoors in." It's a book about sustainability, using found wood to craft mass-produced items like salt shakers and curtain rods. Lubkemann transforms a small twig into a key chain, slices a branch into coasters, and a downed limb into a coat rack. Not exactly high-end or difficult projects, but an excellent introduction to working wood, especially for the younger generation. Other projects include lamps, clocks and photo frames. The checker and croquet sets are better than anything you're likely to buy in a store.

Among the 35 stylish, distinctive home décor projects in "Tree Craft" are table lamps, photo frames, curtain rods, planters, vases and a checker set.

The following is an excerpt from Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In by Chris Lubkemann (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2010). Nothing adds more warmth and charm to a home than the simple beauty of natural wood. Thanks to woodworker Lubkemann's creative, practical projects in Tree Craft, bringing the splendor of the outdoors into your home is easier than ever. (Mother Earth News goes on to excerpt the Rustic Coffee Table project and Coat Rack Project)

An early class in some woodworking courses involves a visit to a local forest where students are given the opportunity to look at trees that are typical of those from which their raw material is derived.
An instructor goes along to help them imagine how the position of the wood within the tree will alter not just the appearance, but also the physical strength of the bowl, chair rail or table leg, which they wish to make.
It might be argued that the author of this book needs even more imagination to see his work in a tree since his designs are always constrained by the inclusion of some part of the tree's external surface.
The book is essentially a series of projects, but the projects tend to be only superficially similar to those in other woodworking books.
Tree Craft begins with a discussion about wood which - as you might expect - deals only with those available in North
America. Nevertheless,
mention of citrus and other fruit trees suggests that what the reader would be looking for among local trees are those with dense, close-grained wood and firmly attached bark.
There are also a few notes on sharpening and some comments on wood blocks before the author launches into the making of a Bud Vase. This consists of a short segment of hollowed branch mounted on a block of prepared timber. It's simple,
effective and attractive.
Then there are variations on this theme
- an Oil Lamp, Toothpick Holder and several Candlestick Holders. (With respect to the latter, it should be noted that no mention is made of the need (or the metal protector required by Australian laws - Ed)
Chris Lubkemann then shows how a
Centrepiece Ring can be cut from a hollow log and how small offcuts can be used to make wooden jewellery. There are wooden block Drink Coasters, Napkin
Rings, Salt and Pepper Shakers, a Coat
Tree, Lamps, Games and a Clock.
The pieces would be fun to make and they certainly wouldn't demand a lot of tools or equipment - and they'd add both practical benefits and conversation starters to your home.

Great book with plenty of ideas to inspire novice or experienced woodworkers.

From the lumber in our buildings to the food on our table and the landscaping on our property, trees play a big role in human life. Now woodworking craftsman Chris Lubkemann offers a way to use fallen trees in additional ways to dress up our world.
Lubkemann's book, 'Tree Craft: 35 rustic wood projects that bring the outdoors in' from Fox Chapel Publishing, features projects using parts of trees to create beautiful and useful furnishings for home, yard and office.
The beauty of this book rests in the open-ended plans for each item. A novice will find ways to enjoy working with tree parts to create a simple item, while a more experienced woodworker can adapt and enhance the projects to finish with a highly personal piece.
Lubkemann begins with a strong foundation-a table of the characteristics of various trees and their woods. He builds on that with descriptions of the potential sources of wood for projects and the methods of cleaning wood that you've found in the great outdoors. Add a few pages on sharpening your tools and you're ready to get started.
He organizes the projects by uses for the finished product. Starting with decorative items such as candlestick holders and jewelry, he then moves into ideas for dining, living, playing and working. Each of the plans starts with a tree limb, trunk or branch.
None of these projects require an elaborate workshop, although the craftsman with a well-equipped shop can enjoy the book as well. A good saw and a whittling knife can handle many of the projects. Because the various concepts provide starting points rather than demanding instructions, beginners and experts can employ the ideas to their own skill levels.
The book offers numerous photos of the content, from preparing the wood to the finished piece. Many of the projects can be adapted for use with young woodworkers such as Scouts, 4-H or other youth organizations. Whether you consider yourself an experienced woodworker or just an interested crafter, you'll find plenty of reasons to enjoy this book.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the publication is that it provides a primer for ideas of other adaptations. If you learn to make a natural checkerboard, how big a leap is it to make a natural tic-tac-toe board? How far from a business card holder to bookends? I can safely say that after reading this volume, I will never look at a fallen branch in quite the same way again.

Inspiring, purposeful, and stylish—Tree Craft has ideas for everyone. This book is an inventive spin on eco-living.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565234550
  • Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 519,091
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

The child of missionaries, Chris grew up in the forests of Brazil and Peru, and has been carving since age seven. He has published three books with Fox Chapel Publishing and has been a contributor to Chip Chats and Woodcarving Illustrated magazine. His smallest branch rooster was given a Guinness World Record Certificate in 1981. Chris lives in Lancaster, Pa. Visit his website at www.WhittlingWithChris.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

How to use this book

Getting Started

Chapter 1: Decorating

*Bud Vase

*Candlestick holders

*Centerpiece ring

*Necklace

*Pendant

*Photo frames

*Planter

*Table art

*Thanksgiving tree

Chapter 2: Dining

*Coasters

*Kitchen utensil tree

*Name logs

*Napkin rings

*Salt and pepper shakers

*Wooden spoon holder

Chapter 3: Living

*Clock

* Coat rack

*Coat tree

*Coffee table

*Curtain rod

*Hooks

*Jewelry tree

*Lamps

*Magnets

*Umbrella stand

Chapter 4: Playing

*Checker set

*Croquet

*Tightrope walker

Chapter 5: Working

*Business card holder

*Letter opener

*Desk set

Dedication and acknowledgments

Index

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    Ideas Galore for Woodworking Projects

    From the lumber in our buildings to the food on our table and the landscaping on our property, trees play a big role in human life. Now woodworking craftsman Chris Lubkemann offers a way to use fallen trees in additional ways to dress up our world. Lubkemann's book, 'Tree Craft: 35 rustic wood projects that bring the outdoors in' from Fox Chapel Publishing, features projects using parts of trees to create beautiful and useful furnishings for home, yard and office. The beauty of this book rests in the open-ended plans for each item. A novice will find ways to enjoy working with tree parts to create a simple item, while a more experienced woodworker can adapt and enhance the projects to finish with a highly personal piece. Lubkemann begins with a strong foundation-a table of the characteristics of various trees and their woods. He builds on that with descriptions of the potential sources of wood for projects and the methods of cleaning wood that you've found in the great outdoors. Add a few pages on sharpening your tools and you're ready to get started. He organizes the projects by uses for the finished product. Starting with decorative items such as candlestick holders and jewelry, he then moves into ideas for dining, living, playing and working. Each of the plans starts with a tree limb, trunk or branch. None of these projects require an elaborate workshop, although the craftsman with a well-equipped shop can enjoy the book as well. A good saw and a whittling knife can handle many of the projects. Because the various concepts provide starting points rather than demanding instructions, beginners and experts can employ the ideas to their own skill levels. The book offers numerous photos of the content, from preparing the wood to the finished piece. Many of the projects can be adapted for use with young woodworkers such as Scouts, 4-H or other youth organizations. Whether you consider yourself an experienced woodworker or just an interested crafter, you'll find plenty of reasons to enjoy this book. Perhaps the greatest strength of the publication is that it provides a primer for ideas of other adaptations. If you learn to make a natural checkerboard, how big a leap is it to make a natural tic-tac-toe board? How far from a business card holder to bookends? I can safely say that after reading this volume, I will never look at a fallen branch in quite the same way again. This review is based on a review copy provided by the publisher.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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