There are many different types of materials that can be used in natural arts and crafts from wool and dried flowers to raffia and willow amongst some. At Lindengate participants and volunteers have been making willow hops that can be decorated with lights, evergreen

plant materials or dried seed heads.

First the willow needs to be softened by gently bending and running the underside of your thumb along the willow strand.

Next make a roughly round shape with the willow and weave the thin end in and out of the hoop moving it around the circle shape as you do this.

Continue to add willow strands by winding them in and out of the hoop all the way round. Add as many strands of willow as you want to make it the size hat you need. If any ends are sticking out carefully trim them with a pair of secateurs. Then you are ready to add leaves, flowers, seedheads, lights, ribbons etc to decorate your hoop.

If you want to find out  more about willow the websites below have some interesting facts about the different varieties.

Woodland Trust