How to Make Easy Rustic Willow Balls

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.


Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.

 

For this project we use the new growth from our weeping willow. These green sticks are really flexible, and are easy to bend without them breaking. We have a few weeping willows on our property, they love our wet ground, and really do grow like weeds, so we have no concerns with cutting twigs from them for crafts.

 

Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.

 

We start by stripping off the majority of leaves from our twigs, using lengths about 3ft long and quite slim.


Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.

 

You then weave the sticks into little wreaths. The circumference that you want your final ball to be will be governed by the size of your wreaths, so bear that in mind. You can use exactly the same method to make a traditional wreath to hang on your door or for weaving a willow crown. You can find our step by step instructions for weaving a Willow Wreath here.

 

Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.

 

Once you have 5 or 6 wreaths all the same size you are ready to assemble your ball. Slip one wreath over the other to start building your ball shape. As we are planning to hang ours, we tied our circles together at the top point, to make this stage a little easier. Ours is only tied at that one point, but do whatever works for you.


Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.

 

Once the rings were all in place we used further lengths of willow to weave in and out of our ball to give it a nice shape, and the look that we wanted. We simply tucked the loose ends in behind other peices of willow, and found that the tension of the sticks held everything together nicely.

 

Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.

 

We love the look of the willow balls. You could put little battery tea lights in them, or line them with moss for a fairy to live in. This one is going to be used for something that will be perfect for our garden – a  home made bird feeder. Willow is also fabulous for making wreaths and crowns, check out our Beautiful Willow Crown tutorial for instructions.


Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.

 

If you have enjoyed this craft tutorial, please share it x


Willow Balls are really simple to make, and are a lovely rustic ornament that can be used in a number of ways.We turned ours into bird feeders.

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38 comments

17 Nature Crafts for Spring - Crafting a Green World March 15, 2017 - 10:19 am

[…] 17. willow ball. Spring is a great time to craft with willow branches, although you can find supple ones all season. […]

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Sarah - Craft Invaders March 19, 2017 - 9:19 am

What a great Spring Nature Craft round-up – thanks for including our willow balls 🙂

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Kellie June 23, 2016 - 4:49 am

so love this project. In the great out doors discovering and creating.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 25, 2016 - 12:29 pm

It’s cute isn’t it 🙂 and although we are a long way off from weaving baskets, we feel that we’re learning about what you can do with natural materials 🙂

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Cheryl | TimeToCraft June 15, 2016 - 10:38 am

We have a willow in our garden too. They really grow well for us. Always cutting off whips to craft with. Great idea to make balls. #Trash2Treasure

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 17, 2016 - 3:59 pm

They’re beautiful trees – I’d love to do some more stuff with willow 🙂

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Random Musings June 11, 2016 - 4:21 pm

These look fab, a great addition to any garden and they are much easier to make that I thought they would be 🙂
Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
Debbie

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 12, 2016 - 7:16 pm

Thanks Debbie, they really are simple to make at this time of year when the willow is so supple. Thanks for having us 🙂

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Sarah James @ Tales From The Kitchen Shed June 10, 2016 - 3:04 pm

Love these Sarah, your post has come just at the right time. Our outdoor solar lights in twine balls that hang in our willow fedge are looking a bit sorry for themselves. I know what I’ll be making this weekend, thanks for sharing x

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 12, 2016 - 7:03 pm

They’ll look gorgeous with lights in them – I’ll watch out for photos 🙂

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Elizabeth June 9, 2016 - 8:48 am

What a stunning idea! We have willow trees in our garden and my husband just pruned them back – we’ve LOADS of clippings! I need to make some of these! Thanks for the inspiration!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:36 pm

What perfect timing, let me know how you get on 🙂

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Mudpie Fridays June 8, 2016 - 3:38 pm

These look brilliant and so simple to make, I would love to grow some willow trees in our garden. Very cool challenge x

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:25 pm

Thank you. Willow is a pretty tree, and grows really easily if you have damp ground – you can virtually just plant a stick and it’ll grow 🙂

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Fashion and Style Police June 8, 2016 - 9:04 am

Wow this must have kept the kids busy. Love the finished look.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:23 pm

Thank you. The kids quite enjoy making stuff, and my son now has his own penknife so hes quite into cutting bits of sticks and things 🙂

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Tooting Mama June 8, 2016 - 7:15 am

They are just simply fabulous, I bet they a going to look fabulous in your home or hanging in the garden. It’s great to get the kids out doing something in the natural world instead of being stuck behind a screen.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:20 pm

Thank you. I think kids benefit so much for spending time outside, and they love it once they do 🙂

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Ana De- Jesus June 7, 2016 - 11:47 pm

I have never tried making willow balls but I think they look beautiful. If only I had my own garden.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:18 pm

Thank you, Ana. We’ll have to make you some and send them up to London 🙂

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Rhian Westbury June 7, 2016 - 9:34 pm

These have come out so good, I’ve tried making these before but never got them to look like this x

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:17 pm

Think the trick is to make the rings first, We’d have got in a real mess if we’d just tried to weave lengths straight into a ball 🙂

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jolene June 7, 2016 - 7:08 pm

wow these are fab.. and how cool to have a few weeping willow trees in the garden ,, they have to be my all time favourite tree.. I don’t have one to make these with .. but the do look really good

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:13 pm

It is a lovely tree, I think people often weave with hazel sticks too, so you could try them if you come across any 🙂

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Laura - dear bear and beany June 7, 2016 - 6:29 pm

These look great! I can’t wait until my girls are older and we can make things like this. X

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:12 pm

Thanks Laura, it’ll come around before you know it 🙂

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Fiona Cambouropoulos June 7, 2016 - 1:57 pm

These look lovely Sarah, I think we could do this with hazel here. I usually use it to make the base for a wildflower headdress but these balls would look lovely as decorations in our fairy gardens. How are the moss sculptures coming on?

Thank you for sharing a great upcycle idea with me on #Trash2Treasure

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 7, 2016 - 6:33 pm

I’m sure hazel would work, and they’d look fab in your fairy gardens. The moss has yellowed, and some of the succulents have turned red so it looks pretty funky! Haven’t made any more yet. Would like to do some animals but haven’t worked out the shape yet. Thanks for having us 🙂

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Dean of Little Steps June 7, 2016 - 11:40 am

Would love to try this out, especially since we do have more than a couple of trees in the garden, though I don’t think we have willow trees 🙁

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 7, 2016 - 6:30 pm

I think trees like Hazel would work too – they definitely weave it into hurdles and baskets 🙂

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Mary-the boondocks blog June 6, 2016 - 3:17 pm

They are so beautiful and full of natural goodness.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 7, 2016 - 6:24 pm

Thanks Mary, I think I’ll try making a wreath with willow next 🙂

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Jacki June 6, 2016 - 1:03 pm

A horse sounds totally ambitious! Would love to see pictures of it…

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 7, 2016 - 6:23 pm

I’ll take one and tag you on social media next time I drive passed it 🙂

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Jacki June 7, 2016 - 7:38 pm

I would totally love that! Post it on my Facebook page, if you like. It’s here; https://www.facebook.com/Blue.Fox.Rustic/

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Jacki June 5, 2016 - 10:10 pm

I love making these – although I don’t have access to the same kind of willow that you’ve used. Mine is much shorter and less flexible but they work anyway. Great to have helpers to photograph!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 6, 2016 - 12:44 pm

I haven’t tried with traditional willow yet, but plan to give it a go soon – would love to get better at it so we can make some willow animal sculptures, we drive passed a garden that has a willow horse in it which looks amazing!

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