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Celebrate Fall Harvest Season with a Easy Harvest Broom
Submitted by Pam on Fri, 08/27/2010 - 04:37
Guess what I just found for sale at Michaels? Wheat! In natural, pale green and soft brown! I saw it with my own eyes! On the shelf!
So, I decided this is the perfect time to share how I make Harvest Brooms. They are the perfect accent to celebrate the fall harvest season which is just about to begin!
Harvest brooms are a great way to continue an age old tradition of saving a bit of the wheat harvest to create a "house blessing". House Blessings bring a family good luck through the coming winter. In the spring, the wheat is sprinkled over the newly sown fields to ensure a plentiful harvest in the fall.
The harvest broom is the simplest of all wheat weaving and only takes a few minutes!
And it is a great way to introduce kids to an age old tradition. Check out the really easy wheat ornaments below!
You will need:
- 20 to 40 wheat stalks
- Dental floss
- Bit of raffia, ribbon or fabric strip
- Dried flowers, berries, pods, etc
- Glue gun (optional but helpful)
Make a Harvest Broom
1. Clean and soak your wheat stalks as described in last year's post for making braided and twisted House Blessings. Cover your work surface with a piece of plastic or several layers of newspapers.
2. Remove wheat from the water and blot to remove excess water.
3. Using dental floss, tie the stalks together just above the heads. Pull your dental floss very tight and secure your knot using a surgeons knot. (Tutorial for surgeons knot is at the end of this post.)
4. Tightly tie the ends together using dental floss. None of your stalks will be the same length. This is not a problem. Just be sure you place your floss so that the bundle is tied about 1" below the shortest stalk.
5. Cut through all the wheat stalks about 1" above the floss.
6. To make a little hanging loop, cut a piece of floss about 6" long. Run one end of it between the stalks and under the floss tie as shown.
7. Fold the floss in half and tie a little overhand knot near the end. (I made two here - the first one was a little too long.) Cut just a little below the knot.
8. Now gently pull the floss loop toward the top of the broom until the knot is snug against the floss tie. The knot will be hidden by any decoration you add to the top to cover the floss tie.
9. You are ready to embellish! I usually tie a bit of raffia around the floss at the top of the broom, but ribbon or fabric strips also work well. A dab of hot glue will help hold it in place.
9. You can embellish your broom with just about anything you have on hand. I like to use flowers that have dried naturally in vases or on plants, dried poppy pods, dried fern leaves, corn stalks, fall leaves treated with Mod Podge.
But craft stores, florists and farmer's markets offer a huge selection of tempting ideas as well. Below - a few others I recently made using garden materials and "stuff" found at the Pumpkin Patch and Michaels.
Dried red echinacea from the garden last fall and oats found along the side of a country road.
Corn husks and round red ornamental corn from the Pumpkin Patch, tied on with raffia - and a little help from hot glue!)
Beautiful tiny 3" long blue Indian Corn and corn husks from the Pumpkin Patch and thistles from Michael's.
I love these simple little ornaments made with wheat! So easy for kids to make.
Simply tie 6 to 8 wheat stalks together right where the head meets the stem the same way as you did in step 3 above.
Trim the stalks in a kind of fan shape about 2" above the tie.
These little ornaments are so small they don't require much to dress them up. A bit of raffia and some craft store "pepper berries" work great for these. Small dried flowers also are very pretty, but perhaps a bit too fragile for tiny hands.
So - let your kids figure it out! Little plastic toys work!! And Christmas bells and baubles! A favorite piece of drift wood or a precious stone! Milkweed fluff! Pine cone!
If you can't find wheat at your local Michael's or florist, you can always order from my favorite - Black Beard's Wheat! These are the nicest people to work with and their wheat is absolutely beautiful. This one is my most favorite!
Package of 70 - 120 wheat stalks run $6.75 to $7.00 depending on kind of wheat. A very fair price. And if you want to learn more about wheat weaving, you will find some great books here!
If you are a teacher, you might want to consider contacting a farmer near you to see if he would be willing to allow you to either purchase the wheat you need for your class, or perhaps even allow you to pick it for free since it is for the kids!
If you are given permission to pick, do so about 4 or 5 days before the farmer plans to harvest and wear gloves and use garden clippers to cut the wheat. Cut near the ground. Please don't ever pick from a wheat field without getting permission.
It is best to hang the wheat in bundles, upside down for at least a week before using. But if this is not possible, simply clean it using the instructions here.
OK guys! I want to see some wheat brooms and house blessing ornaments magically appear in my side bar flickr pool!