How to Make a Witch's Broom or Besom
Let your imagination take flight (or show your neighbors who they're really dealing with!) by crafting your very own besom, or traditional twig broom. Prop a besom next to your front door or in your foyer, as if you just arrived home from a midnight ride, or craft a pair and use them to spook up your front porch planters.
What is a besom and why do we associate it with witches?
Although many of our modern brooms are made from synthetic materials, like extruded plastic, for centuries, brooms were created by simply bundling together fallen twigs and attaching them to a long tree branch. As early as the Middle Ages, this type of twig broom was referred to, particularly in Western Europe, as a besom. Thanks to propaganda fueled by the Witch Trials in Europe and the Colonies, like 15th century engravings showing witches in flight on this type of broom, this ubiquitous household tool has become tied in our imaginations, along with black cloaks, black cats and pointy hats, to witches.
- 5' - 6' cut tree limb or large fallen branch
- assorted small cut twigs (we used birch and curly willow)
- hot glue and glue sticks
- floral wire
- wire snips
- jute twine
- natural jute or sisal rope
Create Birch Bunches
Gather together about a dozen or so birch twigs, cut to similar length, and bundle with knotted jute twine. Repeat to create 4-6 birch bundles or enough to go around your chosen tree limb or fallen branch, which will act as the broom's handle.
Attach Twig Bundles to Branch
Determine where on the broom's handle you want to attach twigs and add a large glob of hot glue (Image 1). Attach bundled twigs and hold in place while hot glue sets (Image 2). Continue adding twig bundles to create a full brush end (Image 3).
Add Curly Willow
To give your besom, or witch's broom, more visual interest, fullness and character, top the birch bundles with a few curly willow twigs.
Secure With Florist's Wire
For added durability, wrap florist's wire around the top of the attached branches.
Top With Natural Rope
Working in sections, add hot glue (Image 1), then top with natural rope, wrapping the rope tightly (Image 2) and visually tying together the broom's handle and brush areas.
Insert in Planters
Insert your completed besoms into your front porch planters for an easy way to give fall planters a Halloween makeover.
Witch Up Your Front Porch
Complete your front porch's Halloween transformation by surrounding the front door with purple twinkle lights (Image 1) and draping a chair or bench with a plaid throw and topping with a witch's hat (Image 2).
Or, Complete a Costume
Craft a shorter version (just vary the length of the handle's branch) as part of a kid's costume.
Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith