The simple design creates a primitive ornament that can be displayed by itself or tucked in the hands of a doll. From tall, spindly handles, to short, bristly brooms, the pattern is easy to adapt in order to create any size and style of miniature broom.
A handmade broom lends a sense of old-fashioned charm to period pieces and dollhouses, especially Halloween projects. The materials used vary from soft broom corn silk to durable craft straw bound a sturdy doll-sized handle. Whether a traditional small wooden branch or a smooth wooden dowel, the main requirement for a complete broom is durability of the materials.
- one sheath of broom corn silk OR
- one package of craft straw
- one tree branch or wooden dowel
- needle-nose pliers
- rusty craft wire
Choosing the Broom Materials
Selecting the right materials depends largely on the type or style of broom wanted and the nature of any companion pieces. True primitive design encourages the use of real broom corn silk, or the soft bristles grown for folk art brooms. A knobbly stick serves as the handle, complete with stubs, curves, and broken ends.
For an equally primitive appearance, but less traditional construction, craft straw makes a good substitute for more expensive broom silks. A package of synthetic straw can make several brooms depending upon the size. Thin wooden dowels cut to short lengths can take the place of tree branches as doll-sized broom handles.
Steps for Making the Broom:
- Cut the dowel or break branch to length desired.
- Select a large sheath of straw or corn silk, trimming away excess materials and shaping in the form of a “broom head”.
- Smear the handle with glue and place in the middle of the broom head; press the straw around it.
- Cut a piece of rusty wire and wrap tightly with needle-nose pliers around the broom straw, cinching it close to the handle.
- Brush the wire with craft glue to help hold the wrappings in place.
Finishing the Broom
Paint and distress the broom’s handle for an old-fashioned touch of colour; plain wooden handles can be coated with a protective sealant or treated with stains to darken or lighten the wood. Trim the end of the broom’s bristles to create uniformity or remove bent or overly-long straws if desired.
The finished broom is ready to tuck into the hands of a Halloween witch, lean in the corner of a shelf with simple primitive ornaments, or whatever means of display the artist chooses for their unique primitive creation.