Superhydrophobic surfaces are highly influential in the industrial sector due to their water-repellent, self-cleaning, friction-reducing, and antifouling properties. Several examples of superhydrophobic surfaces exist in nature (e.g. butterfly wings, water strider’s feet, plant leaves). Fluorocarbons have been used extensively in the creation of superhydrophobic surfaces. However, they are toxic and accumulate in nature. Cellulose is an important natural biopolymer. However, pure cellulose-based materials are water sensitive and disintegrate in an aqueous environment. We have designed an eco-friendly and fluorine-free water-based composition for creating superhydrophobic cellulose- and nanocellulose-based materials (contact angle > 150°). The design and the catalytic chemistry of the bio-inspired surface functionalization will be presented and discussed.