Picture of Willow Twig Furniture
How to make a little willow table. Process can be extended to create all kinds of furniture. I make part of my living from doing this (though not this particular item anymore, so feel free to copy it)
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Step 1: Cut some wood

Picture of Cut some wood
Willow is everywhere. It grows anywhere there is water and no one to hack it out. It's like the American Bamboo, I've learned to make all kinds of stuff out of it.

For this little table, cut
4 legs, 18" long, thumb thick or larger
4 bottom sides, 14" long, thumb thick or smaller
4 top sides, 12" long, finger-to-thumb thickness
a bunch of twigs size: pinky-to-pencil

Step 2: Tools and Fasteners

Picture of Tools and Fasteners
3 fasteners.jpg
Drill, Preferably cordless, with keyless chuck.
Tape measure
knife (I REALLY like the cheap Sweedish carving knives like the one shown here. Get them from Woodcraft Supply for about $8)
pruning saw

3" screws
2" screws
1 1/2" ring-shank nails (you can use normal nails, but use these if you want your project to last a LONG time)
1 1/2" pannel brads (like a little nail, but coated with paint, and it has little rings around the shank)
1" pannel brads.
you can find all these at Home Despot
Sweet. Greatest idea for a chair I've ever seen.
What’s the best way to make seats for chairs?
Love all your twig furniture!!! Can't wait to get started on mine. I am using Mulberry branches for my little table. Can I use a nail gun for the entire project and bypass the predrilling? Thanks, GAiL
nail gun needs to shoot brads or slightly bigger.

If you carve stisks to a point and use this device (unibit)

http : //ww com/products/catalog?q=unibit&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=10014930799030620460&sa=X&ei=JNhYT-z7JoPc0QGM0r3ZDw&ved=0CHIQ8gIwAw

(remove spaces or google unibit, pick a short fat one) you make a point on stick ends. Use carpenters glue, exterior grade is what you want. Cheaper then the Ape Glue, just as good, although the polyester glue they make is nice) Then using nail gun with small nails to set while the glue dries.

you can use a rat tail rasp to make small notches in the cross beams that make up the shelves then a drop of glue on each piece (and notch) will give you a rock solid table top.

I love this thing good for campsite building for scouts!


If you intend to bring INTO your home beware. It took me over 3 years to erradicate the bugs from my kitchen after bringing and keeping a certain walking stick into the kithchen. And this can be an annoyance or a call to a real bug miester to slaughter them.

If the parts are all small enough and you predrill them (and make a few spares) you can put in a warming oven set to 160 or so and bake them for 30 minutes which I THINK may kill all the bugs/eggs/larva. I carve walking sticks and use "tree wood" as my carving pals referred to it. I allow sticks to dry for 9-12 months before carving so there is less chance of checking, and I peel them as well.

just a thought from a fellow termite. The better half and I rented a cabin once that had a lot of furniture and a faux balcony done this way.

I may need to make one JUST to have excuse to carve.

Kaelpe3 years ago
Also, maybe bamboo would work better for bathroom furniture? There's loads of bamboo growing right outside my house that no one harvests. It just grows and the forest caretakers cut and leave it every year.
Kaelpe3 years ago
That looks really good!
I'm going to college this coming fall and I'm looking for some cheap bathroom furniture.
Would it be possible to have wood like this in a bathroom (not in the shower, but pretty dang close) that will be steamed up most of the time?
I really want to make this, but I'm thinking the steam might mess with the screws.
mkaur3 years ago
I like this table and i can make this kind of table my self. Thanks to give me procedure to make this kind of furniture. I think this furniture is more successful in America.
patio furniture clearance
Wow, this is a great Instructable. I was looking for an inexpensive introduction to the topic of building furniture with willow, and yours is very clear. thanks so much.
my grandpa made something like this 40+years ago and its still in great shape I keep the tv remote on it in the basement
gserrano7014 years ago
I like it, a great challenge for creativity.
kalin834 years ago
Has anyone ever tried to Gumbo-Limbo wood for any furniture. I wonder because a Gumbo-Limbo branch will grow on its own after planting it by burying the branch about 6 inches in the ground, however the Gumbo-Limbo grows best in sandy well drained soils like in Florida so it might not work in all regions of the USA. Taking that into consideration, if you would use the Gumbo-Limbo to build your furniture, you could have furniture growing in your yard!
red-king4 years ago
 there is an abundance of willow in my back yard right now, because our willow tree (the biggest one that is... there are still 5 or 6 more) got cut down. I might use some of that tree for this kind of thing.
shnixter5 years ago

just wondering if a nail gun would be just as good?  ive never made anything like this but i want to after reading this!

LkArio5 years ago
The other pieces of furniture at the end are awesome, actually. I don't know why this got a 2
Nice work. Im not sure where to get that type of wood where i live , but i dabble in this very satisfying hobbie using pine from Grand Canyon ,Ariz area.  Although I try to keep the fasteners down to a minimum by utilizing tenon cutters into a mortise ( hole)  and wood glue.  Props on your imagination. You can view my instructables at :How to make a custom pine log table>
sharlston5 years ago
where do you get willow from cos i have to pay a fortune for it for my hamster to gnaw on
sharlston5 years ago
just like outdoors man 2014 said about weaving i tried it by getting twigs then putting them on a metal tray with some water on then put them in the oven to make them flexible to weave them together
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I was wondering if using found twigs makes the furniture less sturdy or if you knew how to tell if it is good wood or not. I was planning to start building some stuff this summer so I don't know much about it. You seem to have some experience. Is it better to cut it off the tree?
I would suggest cutting branches from trees & letting them dry. The bust type of wood in my opinion is maple for three reasons. 1. it's very hard 2. branches from maple trees grow both straight and crooked, so you can be creative 3. you can take the bark off fairly easily, or leave it on. (opposed to oak which is very hard to remove the bark) I've made several tables this way & will post some pictures.
2008_10120040.JPGtable sept 08.JPG
Bo.6 years ago
When I try to print the directions for the twig stool, this is what I get: 403 Forbidden Request forbidden by administrative rules.
aaronrose6 years ago
Id like to make a Head board for my bed similar to this. I think I may use birch or cedar though.
cfishy6 years ago
Isn't that green wood? I think windsor chairs used some round tenons to screw together green wood pieces but that involves some specific skills. I think this method is cool for things that don't have to withstand a lot of weight and shearing. I don't expect you can screw green wood together to form a strong joint, especially from end grain? if the wood is dry enough, using a dowel and glue may hold it much better.
SlimJim (author) 8 years ago
lost... YOU CAN! that's why I wrote the instructable!!
Not sure if you saw my post. I am having so much fun using your pattern and making tables of various sizes from old (and new) Yucca Plant Stalks. THANK YOU! Now, I can't get Yucca sticks out of my mind.
I used this to make tables, coffe size tables, and sofa tables, from YUCCA STICKS. I am having so much fun doing this and giving them to my frieds for planters or yard tables.
lucianoabcd6 years ago
Hey man that's so cool!!! I'd like you to check the instructable I just added: Rustic woodware at no cost

I haven't done real furniture as you have, but I think you may find my post interesting.
debby90127 years ago
Is willow the only wood a person can use to make tables and such? I live in Oklahoma and after our recent ice storm, there are piles and piles of branches everywhere!
shagwalla8 years ago
That's a great willow table. Do you have any plans that could work for the furniture found at ? Thanks- Mark
issfab8 years ago
dude spend a couple bucks at lee valley to get the green wood drill bits and tenon cutter designed spcifically for this, you won't regret it.
I saw some great pieces of rustic furnature at Peach Stone, a small gallery in Rockport, Ma this past weekend. Unfortunately the artist Jack DeMuth wasn't there, but his card had his web site - - Wow! If you like rustic furnature check his site out. I may go back this weekend when Mr. DeMuth is there.
Caya8 years ago
Isn't that awesome!! Even I could do that. I don't use power tools, except for drills. I have an aversion to using anything that could kill me if I do it wrong (cars excepted). I think you could extend the concept to using grape vines, twine them together or something, and use some sturdy wood for the weight-bearing bits. They grow wild around here. Really neat, thank you!
wish i could do that
Crash21088 years ago
I approve.