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Design products like t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, mugs and mouse pads with your baskets on them. Copyright  Susi Nuss



  • Twig Beads For Embellishing Your BasketsWooden Twig Beads - twigbeads2.jpg (17071 bytes)

    Spring is a good time to make a collection of wooden twig beads to use as embellishments for your baskets. Wooden twig beads can be added to finished baskets as a tie-on or can be incorporated into the construction of the basket.

    Many wood species work well for this project. It can be a fun way to get together with friends or family for a walk through the woods to make a nature craft. Even if you don't use these wood beads on your baskets, you could make a variety of shapes and sizes to string for a garland or a necklace. This idea would make a good Scout craft project.

    I used a variety of wood species including holly, forsythia, willow, apple, sassafras and maple. The forsythia was the easiest because the branches of that shrub are hollow. The sassafras has an interesting green bark that kept its color when it dried. Willow rods in white, buff or brown also provide interesting variety. Fruit tree prunings are another good choice. Try the same technique on branches that grow near your home. Try to vary the bark color and texture. The beads that were cut on an angle can be strung so that they form a zig-zag pattern.

    Once your beads are cut to size and decorated, string them and put them aside to dry. Be certain to make a large enough quantity to have a nice selection to choose from when you make your next basket.


    • Use a pruning shears to cut the branches from the tree.
    • Cut the branches into short lengths for beads.
    • Cut some on an angle and others straight across.
    • Cut the branches in a variety of lengths.
    • Peel both the inner and outer bark off some pieces.
    • Peel the outer bark off, but leave the inner bark on others.
    • Leave the bark on and carve a selection of patterns in the bark.
    • Make dots or squiggles or stripes or spirals in the outer bark.
    • Choose a variety of twig diameters.
    • Push a stiff pin through the pith of the branch to start hollowing out the center of the bead.
    • Enlarge the hole through the center of the bead with a nail or a small drill bit.
    • Thread the beads on a length of waxed linen thread and set aside.
    • Allow finished beads to dry before using.

    Come and Join in the BasketMakers Forum. Lots of friendly basketweavers are gathered there. Click on "Guest" to enter and read-only or join if you want to post (it's free).
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