This week Young Ideas and Parks People teamed up to host a virtual crafts workshop – Wildlife Friendly Winter Decorating. One craft that was demonstrated was weaving a star out of a willow branch and tying it with hemp string (instructions below). You can purchase this biodegradable string at the Dollar Tree, and if you are harvesting your own willow then please be mindful of Honourable Harvest Teachings.
Unwrap your willow from the thin end to the thicker end, and stretch it out as straight as possible, being careful to avoid breaking it. Look at the twig and choose the start and end points of your star -- leave off very thin or bent ends, cutting them away after making the star. We'll be dividing the long section you chose into approximate fifths to make a five pointed star. Start from the thicker end of the twig.
For the length of your first side, estimate 1/5 of your twig by folding the twig gently in half, and choosing a length shorter than about 1/4. Once you've picked that first side length, bend your twig sharply at that point. The twig may bend or partially snap -- Don't worry, either way will work!
Make your second side length by bending the twig again, trying to make the sides equal length. Then repeat, making a third bend.
Now begin weaving, as seen above. make sure you use the long end to go over-under-over each side. Weaving is easiest when you work by pulling the thin end gently through, allowing the twig to bend.
Make one more bend, again aiming for equal length between bends, and weave it back, under-over, towards the starting point.
Hold the two ends together and adjust the weaving into a star shape by shifting the points and sides. Tie the ends together, and and then trim with sturdy kitchen shears. Don't worry if it's a bit wonky, perfection is boring! As well, you can adust the shape continually even after it is tied, and equal length sides will help you create that even star shape.
This year we are inviting neighbours to join us in decorating the parklet in front of Gordon House with their crafted wildlife friendly decorations. Feel free to drop by anytime and add your creations to the trees in front of the building! All we ask is that you please respect others by wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance.
This resource on wildlife friendly winter decorations has been done in partnership with the Park People. Please check out their website and Facebook for more information on all of the cool things that they do.