An Easy, Creepy, Witches’ Broom for Halloween.

karen-bertelsen

 

 

Hi. I’m Karen.  I long like walks on the beach, scented candles, and sharp things.  Sticks, needles,  knives sharp enough to cut the piggly off a wiggly … that sort of thing.

Nothing makes a woman shine that Match.com smile like a Buck Knife and a sharp stick. You might wonder what I’m doing with a stick and a buck knife.  And to you I say WELCOME because you’re new ’round here.

Everyone else is thinking “Oh, there’s Karen with a knife and a stick. I wonder if she’s teaching us to make a crossbow for shooting jelly beans.

I am not.  Although that would be a reasonable guess.

What I am doing is making a …

title

broom2

There couldn’t possibly be an easier  Halloween craft.  It’s something you can do yourself or something you can pawn off on your kids.  I’m not  a parent, but I can tell you right now with my hand over my heart I’d be a terrible one.  Reason number 1?  I’d never let my kids do any crafts because, let’s face it, they’re kids … they’ll screw it up and it will be ugly.  More than one child on this planet has wasted a whole whack of glue and sparkles on some hideous craft when both things could have been put to better use bedazzling a toaster.

But it’s up to you.  Maybe make it a two parter.  The kids hunt and gather the sticks and twigs, you assemble it.  And that’s all this is.  A dead branch for the broom handle and a bunch of twigs for the bristles.

I gathered all of mine after a big wind storm here in Southern Ontario.  I shouldda put that in my profile.  I also like big wind storms and gathering twigs.

Materials

1 branch apx. 3′ long 

twigs.  Lots and lots of twigs.

rubber band

twine

cutting

 

1.  Strip the bark off of the branch.  If it’s an old, dead branch the bark will peel off easily.  To get the remaining bits off use your favourite knife.  You don’t HAVE to remove the bark, I just think the branch looks more interesting if you do.

2.  Cut off any bumps and knots, especially around the bottom of the branch where you’re going to attach your twigs so you have a smooth surface to attach your twigs to.

3.  Wrap a thick elastic band around 5″ up from the bottom of your branch.  You’re going to insert your twigs under it.

 

sticks

 

4.  Stick your thin twigs under the elastic band at the base of the branch. Just keep shoving them in there until you have a nice, big, whack of twigs.

 

witches-broom

 

5.  Lay the broom (because you now officially have a broom) on the ground and wind your twine around it.  Once around where the elastic band is, and once a little below it. You need to pull the twine as tightly as possible.  If you can’t hear a few of the twigs cracking, you aren’t doing it hard enough.

 

twig-broom

 

6.  Display.

 

broom2

Tip!

A crooked branch looks way better for a witches’ broom than a perfectly straight one.

broom

 

Now the rest of the creative process is in your hands.  You can paint your broom black, cover it in glitter, leave it as is or hang it from a tree using fishing line so it looks like it’s suspended in mid-air.

 

cat

 

My name’s Karen.  I like long walks on the beach, scented candles, wind storms and mummified cats. I also like mummified cats.

title-broom

 

And hugs.

 




68 Comments

  1. Tracy says:

    Love it – you have inspired me to drag out the spooky décor! 🙂 I also have a “hugging” wraith!

  2. Karen Too says:

    I have some comments. Firstly, I love your scarf. Secondly, that cadaver hanging in the air is very cool. Thirdly, black and white photos are super creepy. Fourthly, do you live on Elm Street or what? What a great creepy looking neighbourhood you live in. Excellent!

    • Karen says:

      I have some answers. Firstly. Thank you, me too. Secondly, thank you again, I didn’t notice it until I looked at my photos. Thirdly, Yes they are. Fourthly. Indeed I do. ~ karen!

  3. Cynthia Jones says:

    What kind of vacuum cleaner do you have?

    I already told you about Dyson. Just naggin’.

    • Karen says:

      I have a central vacuum. So a whole (OMG I really just spelled hole “whole”) in the wall that you attach a hose to that magically sucks up everything. I bought it at Costco then installed it when I first moved into the house. I will never. I repeat never use anything else. I just swept the porch. No big whoop. ~ karen!

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        Magic is good. Apparently Costco is as well. Yet to go.

        • Jan in Waterdown says:

          OMG, CJ . . . you’ve never been to Costco? I go on a weekly basis and suffer withdrawal if I miss it. Plus I’m on a first name basis with many of the staff at my local warehouse and they ask if I miss a week. Oh dear. I think that may sound a little crazy/creepy. Oh well, don’t care, I am well over 40!

  4. Cynthia Jones says:

    I only arksed ‘cos I imagine you cleaning up the mess perfectly and it went on from there.

  5. Milton says:

    Piggly Wiggly was the first true self service grocery store, founded in Memphis, Tennessee by Clarence Saunders in 1916. His idea was so great, all other grocery stores changed to the same format shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, he lost control of his own company. All the Canadian Piggly Wiggly stores were sold to Canada Safeway, which merged with Sobeys in 2013. His mansion, known as the Pink Palace, is a museum in Memphis, in case you ever bring Betty and the gang back. Your pictures are really great, please let us know how you are dressing for Halloween.

  6. MissChris from SA says:

    That is an awesome broom and display.
    However, I don’t like anything creepy or scary – can’t watch scary movies!
    Halloween is not big here in SA – which is just as well – for scaredy cat me!

  7. Lakh says:

    I’m still trying to work out of that’d be a crossbow for shooting [i]at[/i] jelly beans, or a crossbow for shooting [i]with[/i] jelly beans. Or possibly if you could make a jelly bean shooting crossbow that was accurate enough to hit jelly beans…

    • Karen says:

      It would do it all, this crossbow. ~ karen!

    • Sarah says:

      I am soooooo in on the crossbow. Neighbors are already on Prozac after we did inertia experiments with raw eggs taped to Hot Wheels. Oh, and the booster rockets from Fuji canisters and Alka Seltzer, too, to be fair. Wait!! Raw eggs and crossbows!!!!! Dang, spouse says I am grounded from this blog, now.

  8. BaconBleuCheez says:

    Nothing to do with Halloween, but one more big ol’ hug for you and the rest of Canada, RIP Ken Taylor.

    • IRS says:

      On behalf of all Canadians, thank you. For those of you who don’t know who Ken Taylor was, think back to the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979. Ken Taylor was the diplomat who smuggled 6 Americans into the Canadian Embassy in Tehran, and kept them hidden there until he could get them out of Iran with fake Canadian credentials. He did this at great risk to himself and his staff from those extremist crazies. He died last week after a brief battle with colon cancer, at the age of 81. In 1980 he received the Congressional Gold Medal, a very rare honour for a non-American. He protested that the recent movie “Argo” all but ignored Canada’s contribution to that event. So screw you, Ben Affleck. Go back to sleeping with your children’s nanny, if you can’t get the facts right.

    • Karen says:

      Yes! ~ karen

    • Jody says:

      Thank you for recognizing Ken Taylor

  9. Violet Rose says:

    The last pic is gorgeous, very atmospheric and strangely beautiful. Halloween here is nowhere near as big as in your country, but seems to be growing fast. I think you should attempt your own sugar skull next. What say you? I do luff them so.

  10. IRS says:

    Pfffft. Why would I waste my time making this when both my mother and sister already each have one? I can borrow one of theirs, and they can just carpool together that day.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hah! You crack me up! So are they card carrying members or just amateur wannabees?

      • IRS says:

        Not just card-carrying, each of them could scare small children or curdle fresh milk, at 50 paces. Maybe 60. Even I am way too nice to join their covens.

  11. Paula says:

    I like that idea, I think I will copy. Btw you have a lovely view from your front porch.

  12. Christie says:

    This is too fun! And I love the moody black and white photo shoot… Not to nag, but are you going to re-stain your front porch before winter??

    • Karen says:

      No, I ran out of time. It took me until the middle of summer (closer to the end) to decide on a colour and then the weather didn’t cooperate. So now it’ll have to wait unless we get a few days in a row of agreeable temperatures and humidity. :/ ~ karen!

  13. Kim C says:

    Great black and white photos. You have inspired me yet again spooky lady! I’m going into my woods today a.s.a.p. to gather sticks and get this broom made. What fun.. You’ve put me in the Halloween spirit now so hugs to you Karen 😉

  14. Ev Wilcox says:

    You obviously live in a magical (creepy)? neighborhood! The house across the street seems to phase in and out of reality. Cool! Nice broom, too! Thanks, Karen!

  15. Barb says:

    Inspiration galore! I’m making one this evening after I get home from work. Thanks!!!

  16. jainegayer says:

    Brilliant!!! My project for today. Much more fun than doing the laundry.

  17. marilyn says:

    love it but detest hallowe’en

  18. Mary W says:

    My favorite broom! I bought a similar handmade one with woven base where the straw or whatever is attached. It is gorgeous and the straw has lasted 35 years! It was sold as a spider broom and since I live in the state of 1 foot spiders that crawl on my ceiling at night AND I’m afraid of them, I had to have the broom. It smacks them without a big rush of air that blows them sideways and out of harms way. Perfect for getting those arachnid made webs down from way up on high. So, with that said, I need to make a companion for it – your broom and will have so much fun with my granddaughter helping out. Your hugging spook is wonderful and will attempt it also since we go all out for this one magical night. I loved your porch floor – and I don’t care what people think. It looks like lots of people have come to your front door – a self made welcome mat. But I guess the winter weather would do a number on the wood. Thanks for a peek at your decorations!

    • Mary W says:

      Oh, I just adore your front post cat! That I need. Did you make it also in some DIY mold or buy it like the rest of us mere mortals would do?

      • Karen says:

        The fella actually bought it a few years ago the day after Halloween at our local pharmacy, lol. He brought 2 of them home. LOVE them. ~ karen!

  19. Pam says:

    Great idea! It made me smile. I will make this with my crafty granddaughter this week and I won’t have to buy a thing. She will love it! And so will I. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Jane S says:

    I did not like that latest wind storm. It took out half my maple tree and my neighbour’s car.

  21. Ann Brookens says:

    I’d read the comments, then I’d have to scroll back up to look at the pictures again: first the scarf, then the cadaver, then the floor, then the house/view across the street, then the cat…I’m worn out!

  22. Cindy Marlow says:

    I love how the dip in the broom handle looks just like the saddle seat of my daughter’s Harley.

  23. Loling at the kid craft comment. I feel this so. much. It’s hard not to step in to make a craft “prettier” when your kid is at the helm.

  24. Teddee Grace says:

    Love it. Love the black and white photo. Love the portico on the house across the street!

  25. Barbie says:

    Forget everything else! The SCARF….I NEED the scarf!! OMG!~ Great picture of you! Needs to be on the front cover of LL Bean!

  26. Rachel says:

    Very beautiful and authentic looking! I did this broom last week making the branch handle exactly this way, but for the bottom piece I used a Cocoyea broom, a tropical broom made from coconut leaf spines and just stuck the branch in and tied with jute twine. Then I lit it with a battery powered string of fairy lights. Looks like I bought it at a PB in Neverland. Will stand it against my DIY mâché cauldron and witch. Very lovely piece Karen, you inspired me to make another using Hibiscus tree twigs instead.

  27. Natalie says:

    Ha! My 4 year old daughter made a broom exactly like this at forest kindergarten to celebrate Walpurgis Night! (Which I had never heard of until I moved to Germany.)

    • Karen says:

      O.K., well I feel far less remarkable at this moment, lol. ~ karen!

      • Natalie says:

        Sorry, wasn’t meant like that! I was impressed that she did something blog worthy. However, after she swept the entire yard and sidewalk and lost most of the twigs along the way, it was looking decidedly less impressive. (The broom as well as the yard . . .)

  28. Kelly says:

    “You might wonder what I’m doing with a stick and a buck knife. And to you I say WELCOME because you’re new ’round here.” This may be my favorite thing ever.

  29. Rondina says:

    Hilter and brussel sprouts aside, I love the Canadian flag pillow and the red lantern. I’ve been considering making my lanterns instead of handing over a pot ‘o gold to Pottery Barn. I suspect you bought yours at the Bargain Store. No?

  30. dude!!! what’s up with that hanging skeleton? did you do a post on that? if not, do a post on that. and if you live on Elm street, how do you keep Freddy at bay? do you beat him off with the witches broom? ok, that last question might insinuate something else.

    anyway…love that last pic. please, bless us with a gallery of your Halloween decorations this year.

    thanks in advance.

  31. Liz says:

    Oh my heavens. Where is that beautiful scarf from?!

  32. Karen says:

    I feel inspired!

  33. ronda says:

    what a great broom! and the ghoul is it die for …

  34. Doris Ann Newton says:

    I like the broom just fine, but I really like your moccasins. Did you make them, too?

    • IRS says:

      Of course she did. She also used her homemade bow to hunt the deer (using jelly beans as ammo), skinned it with that evil looking buck knife she is holding, and then tanned the hide using urine from her many cats. Next week’s posts will feature sewing patterns and lessons for the mocs, as well as a recipe for deer stew.

  35. Ardith says:

    I was all set to make one of these super duper brooms today. My husband kindly chopped down some bare branches for me use, even selected the perfect broom “handle.” It was all so awesome…until he noticed the branches’ innards had been pretty much consumed by beetles. So, no witches broom for us this year. Sigh.

  36. judy says:

    Hey! Don’t think I didn’t notice the 2nd perfect shot of the perfect hair cascading lightly down your perfect jaw line. I have earned my white? hair OK-white,black.brown with some strange yellow strands -why doesn’t it just turn white? for crying out loud is it waiting for me to hit the ol dirt hole and the shock to scare it white?

    AnyHoo Your pictures are phenomenal and your home is perfect for Halloween-are there many kids with the guts to actually come through the gate? or is that your sneaky way of getting all of the candy for yourself?

  37. Maryanne says:

    Love what you do with your place at Hallowe’en. Can’t wait to see the rest of it!

    One small, side note – inches, feet? Makes me a little sad that metric isn’t mentioned – but I’m a bit of a nut like that.

    Thank you for the great posts 🙂
    Maryanne

    • Karen says:

      Ha! I actually don’t know anyone who uses metric for measurements. Young or old. Not with something like this. The odd time I’ll use centimetres, and always use km, but never meters in exchange for feet. ~ karen!

  38. MARILYN JOHNSON says:

    PLEASE teach us how to make the ghost/man!!!

  39. jenny says:

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned the coffee mug! Wherever did you get that?

  40. Lauren says:

    Do you set up and take your own pics of yourself or have help? Your photo chops are clearly top notch, but when I need to take a pic of me, I can’t seem to overcome mug shot face? Does that ease come from standing in front of a TV camera? Or do you just let your inner child shine through? Well sure you do – so how?

    • Karen says:

      I set my camera up on a tripod and have a tiny remote control that works it. Then I take approximately 8,457,902 photos in the hopes that one of them turns out O.K. and I don’t look like a lunatic. ~ karen!

  41. Laura Bee says:

    I love your cats. I think I’ll grab some of my daughter’s stuffed toys & some strips of cloth….

  42. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Does Betty know that you play with sharp knives and pointed sticks??…and dead cats?

  43. S. Carroll says:

    I’m a newbe! I’m glad I found You! You make me laugh, you don’t know it but I have a good time with you, Your a lot of fun! I like your mild cussing it crack’s me up and that’s hard to do, to an older than dirt 80 yr old. I think maybe your crazy, because I’m crazy too. Who wouldn’t be after bring up 6 kids all by myself, oh yea, one I adopted (I love kids, the problem is, kids grow up.) The other five? I was like the spider, I wanted kids. Oh no I didn’t do my husband, there’s another way, called a judge, and he’s not a hit man. Anyway, kidding aside! you really are an awesome young woman and I wish I had your gift of humor. I really am glad I found this site, thank you pinterest.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! My mom is older than dirt too. Maybe you know her. Her name’s Betty. Kids do grow up. Unless they’re men of course. 😉 ~ karen!

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