Gather three fresh-fallen logs (rotten logs harbor bugs and mold) that are three to five inches in diameter. You’ll want them to vary from four to seven feet tall, but you can adjust the lengths later.

Dry the logs in the garage for several months. Saw the ends so that the bottoms are flat. Leave the tops naturally jagged, or saw flat. Balance the logs on the floor and against a wall that has been painted a deep color.

Elizabeth Edwards is managing editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s