Have you ever thought of creating your own beautiful shelves or chairs? Wicker basically involves twigs usually made of willow and is extremely durable if cared for correctly. Making your own wicker items can be a bit time-consuming, but can save you a lot of money. Here are a few tips to help you get started, along with some great project ideas.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
Selecting the right type of wood is the first thing you’ll need to decide. While willow is the most common, you can also use bamboo and rattan. You’ll want the pieces to be at least 2 inches in diameter so that it is flexible enough to be woven.
What Weaving Technique are Best for Wicker?
When creating wicker items, you will most likely start with the support areas (frame for a shelf or legs for a chair). Weave your chosen material onto the frame horizontally and vertically in a crisscross pattern.
How Do I Seal My Wicker?
Wicker items can last for years if maintained correctly. After you’re finished weaving, you’ll need to think about a finish or seal that you can apply to it. A thin coat of wax will work well for any wicker remaining indoors.
For furniture that will be placed on a patio or outdoors, there’s a little more care involved. First, clean the furniture with a sponge and water mixed with mild dish soap. Then, wipe the furniture dry. You’ll then want to turn the furniture upside-down and apply a thin coat of polyurethane with a brush. Work in small sections from the top down on chairs, and left to right on tables, shelves, and other products. Give it a couple of hours to dry before touching. For areas with high humidity, heat, rain, and snow, you’ll want to bring in your furniture when extreme conditions are present.
How Do I Paint Wicker?
It’s actually quite simple! First, vacuum any dust and rinse the chair using a damp sponge and spray bottle. This is also a good time to check for areas in need of repair. You’ll need to use an enamel-based paint, which will provide a glossy finish. Spray paints are most commonly used and will produce great results. Ensure that you paint outside and leave the chair to dry for about two days.
Now that you know a little bit about wicker, here are some of our favorite project ideas!
For beginners, this is a great first project. Jon’s Bushcraft gives a great full tutorial, from how to select the right wood to detailed imagery for each step.
Design Sponge has an easy-to-create stool that can serve as an end piece or a decoration in a common area of your home.
The Wicker House’s tutorial on stenciling can help you customize wicker shelves and baskets. Stencil on your last name to customize your basket or organize by material.
For those of you who are feeling confident in your wicker skills, try creating this chandelier from Remodelaholic. This chandelier is great for enclosed patios or large dining rooms.