Twig Beads For Embellishing Your Baskets
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
- Cut some on an angle and others
- Cut the branches in a variety of
- Peel both the inner and outer bark off
- 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