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Do It Yourself – Witches Broom

August 20, 2012

Mr. Frights

So I went out to a craft store today to pick up some more stuff for Halloween. I’m getting more and more back into the do it yourself stuff these days. I used to do that a lot as a kid. It’s cheaper (if you know what you’re doing) and you can usually make things the way you want them rather than just taking what’s given to you. Sometimes that’s better.

Anyway, went to the craft store and I was picking up a few things when I noticed they were selling witches brooms. This place is rather expensive anyway, so most times I don’t by anything they have that’s already complete. You can get brooms at Halloween stores and online for like $10 bucks or so, but I’m a cheap bastard to begin with, so I stuck up my nose at this once I got the idea in my head to go home and make my own.

I literally live on the edge of a huge wide open field that has a nice little tree line separating the apartment property I live on from the houses on the other side. There’s a few dead trees or trees with some dead sections on from the storms this Summer so I know I can get some branches there. I got lucky and actually found a big one for the broom handle just laying on the ground waiting for me. The little ones were easy too as all I had to do was snap off a bunch from the dead parts of these trees.

I don’t recommend ruining trees or doing this with live trees. Only dead ones and only ones that it’s not going to hurt the living tree.

Picture of the fishing string & some burlap string I used for the moment.

I gathered up my branches and went home to sit on my patio and start tying branches to the big handle. First things first though. I had to go through all my branches and pull off any tiny twigs to make sure they were as straight as possible. I used any twigs large enough for the last pieces to go on the broom. After pulling the twigs off I tied the end of my fishing string around the main handle part at the bottom so I had a hooking point where the string could just be wrapped as I went along without needing a third hand.

I then put the largest branches around the broom stick and with each one I wrapped the fishing line around it to hold it in place. Then continuing in that fashion I worked my way from the biggest branches on the inside to the smallest branches on the very outside. I separated my sticks into piles based on sizes and I would tie off the fishing line between lengths of sticks because I had to put the broom down every now and then. I found that the first bunch of sticks wasn’t nearly enough so I had to go back for more.

Once I was done wrapping the sticks around with fishing line, I went on to tie that off and cut it so that it was secure. To make it more secure I tied and wrapped a length around a lower part of the broom sticks. After all if you look at any broom it has been tied off at two places. This will keep the sticks straight and help keep them more secured to the large branch.

I’m still not satisfied with it, but I’m going to try to add some straw or something to build it up a bit. I also want to get some brown twine or string of some kind so I can cover up the fishing line better and make it look more authentic. I have a few different types of trees where I am, but I ended up using some evergreen branches as they were the thinnest and the most flexible.

Picture of the full broom

I also tried to keep in mind that I wanted the broom to taper from the outside small branches to the inner large branches. It hasn’t worked out that way just yet, but when I add the straw it might pick up that shape.

This whole thing cost me nothing. The string I used was old and I’ve had it since I was a kid. I thought about using the hot glue gun, but opted to ignore that since I wrapped so much string around the sticks. Plus, I’m going to end up putting more around them once I get the brown string.

It looks kind of plain so I want to maybe add something to the top of the handle. A ribbon or a bat nailed to it or something else. Maybe just some more of the brown string. The whole point is to make it a decoration. I did try to use it to sweep up the leftover twigs off my patio and it worked pretty well, though I wouldn’t recommend using one of these to actually sweep with.

Oh and I might cut some length off the handle too because it’s a bit large, even for me and I’m 6’2″. That white knot at the bottom is actually about 5″ from the tip of the broom. And just FYI, I’m not keeping the pumpkins there like that. I’m actually gonna try to put real pumpkins in there.

If anyone has tips on making one of these things I’d like to hear them. If you’d like some of my tips based on my experience making this thing, let me know. It didn’t take but an hour to make and that’s with finding the sticks and branches and the cleaning of them and the tying.

– Mr. Frights

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