A Swedish fire torch is a great way to build a fire using a single log. Photo by m.prinke (Flickr)

Logs have many uses outside of traditional firewood. They are also an eco-friendly material that is perfect for inexpensive decorating. From garden benches to bike stands, logs create a natural, rustic look that can beautify your porch, patio, or yard. Need some inspiration? I’ve compiled a list of creative ways to use logs in your outdoor décor.

Garden Bench

Enjoy the tranquility of your garden by creating a place where you can sit and admire your blooming plants. A simple garden bench can be constructed out of two sturdy logs for legs and a wide, thick plank for the seat. To ensure longevity and protection against the elements, apply two coats of linseed oil to the bench, followed by three coats of varnish. Allow each coat to dry overnight before applying the next.

Bird Feeders

Building a bird feeder is an excellent way to see wild birds up close. Having a steady supply of seed to eat can also mean survival for many birds when other food sources are scarce. Wildlife-lovers can create a bird feeder using a single small log. Hollow out just enough of the log to make room for the food, then attach the log to a chain and hang it from a tree or feeder pole.


Reuse old trees to create log walkways in your backyard and garden. To create a path, slice logs of various sizes into thick disks. Once the sod has been pulled up in the designated area, lay down the log disks in any pattern you’d like, using the smaller disks as filler in between the larger disks. After your walkway is created, fill in the remaining gaps with soil.

Cracked Log Lamps

Homemade cracked log lamps create charming light sources that can illuminate your yard. Use a log with a wide diameter and natural cracks throughout. Go through the bottom of the log to hollow out its center. Insert warm yellow LED lights into the center of the log to replicate the look of a burning fire. Use a polyurethane sealant to protect and preserve the log lamp for long-term use.

Swedish Fire Torch

A Swedish fire torch is a self-contained outdoor fire that requires just one large log. Once lit, the log will slowly burn from the inside out, requiring little to no work to maintain the flame. Opt for a log that is about 10 or more inches in diameter and two to three feet in height. Stand the log up and use a chainsaw to create three crisscrossing cuts about three-quarters of the way through. Simply light the top of the log to start your fire.

Bike Stand

When not in use, bikes can be easily stored in a log bicycle stand. Any large log or fallen tree will do. Begin by measuring the width of your bicycle wheels, then create two vertical lines on the log to match the wheel measurements. Use a chisel and hammer to hollow out a section large enough to sturdily hold your bicycle wheel. More areas of the log can be cut out to hold more than one bicycle at a time.