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Craft 'How Tos'

Instructions for how to make a few natural crafts

Note: I think it’s important to connect with the land through making things from local natural materials. It's great if you can make things with historical roots to where you live to consider how the ancestors of that place lived, survived, and played.


When gathering materials I'm inspired by "The Honourable Harvest"

"Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them. Introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life. Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer. Never take the first. Never take the last. Take only what you need. Take only that which is given. Never take more than half. Leave some for others. Harvest in a way that minimizes harm. Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken. Share. Give thanks for what you have been given. Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken. Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever."

- Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, p. 183

How to make a tree tapping spile

For many many years, people have been tapping trees to collect sap in late winter/early spring when the sap begins to rise as trees prepare for a new season of growth. A spile is a spout inserted into a tree to draw off the sap. Indigenous people of North America made spiles from elder or sumac to help them harvest the sap from maple trees in order to make maple syrup. They shared these methods with European settlers. With respect to those who passed on this knowledge and to the trees who give us their sap, here’s how to make a spile out of sumac for tapping tree sap.

How to make a hammock

This is such a great way to practice some simple knots and end up with something incredibly rewarding and useful tool! Here's how to make a hammock with just some sticks and string :) 

How to make an elder wand

For those interested in bringing a little magic to your life, here's a little 'how to' for making wands with elder. Hope you find it useful! 

How to make a willow star

Here's a little guide to getting crafty with willow. It's a great one for the holiday season since you can use them as ornaments! 

How to make a twig heart

Here's a simple craft idea to let the love flow. It's a fitting one for Valentine's Day, but there's no restrictions here. Twig hearts are delightful anytime of the year!

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