A branch of elder. Not green, choose a stem which is light grey/brown with little bumps. 1 to 2 cm in diameter. A pair of secateurs One tent peg, skewer or thin pokey stick Long pipe cleaners
How to do it:
Cut as many beads (approx. 2 cm in length) as you want from Elder branch. Discard any beads that are cut with a knot in them as you can’t poke through those or those that may split as you cut them. Keep all fingers away from the sharp blade. Place the bead on its end, on a hard surface. Take your tent peg and push it down through the centre of the bead to remove the pithy centre and repeat this at the other end. Putting the tent peg through a few times at an angle to remove all the bits inside. If decorating your beads, you will need to remove the bark which should peel away easily with your fingernail. Leave the beads to dry for a few minutes before decorating with felt tip pens. Choose your first long main body pipe cleaner. Thread 4 beads on the first leg. Attach a shorter pipe cleaner for the other leg and repeat. Then carry on with the adding beads for the body, attaching a shorter pipe cleaner nearer the top at cross ways for the arms. Carry on adding beads for the neck and finish with a bead for the head, decorating and adding embellishments as you wish, even something poking out the top for hair? Make sure the sharp ends of your pipe cleaners are tucked in and bent round to keep safe. Find a special place in your garden, park or local woodland to make your Elder person a special home with twigs, leaves and a comfy bed! Send us a photo or post to your social media page and tag us in it.
The wood of Elder is poisonous if eaten, so to be safe wash your hands when you’ve finished!