How to Make a Broom with Straw or Broomcorn Stalks

You are likely to find a broom in almost every house on the planet. Our distant ancestors used brooms to clean their cave houses, and you can rest assured that castles and manor houses also had brooms. Without a broom the house would have a really messy floor! You can buy them today – but why not make a broom yourself?

These essential tools are both easy and fun to make at home and you can use ingredients that are inexpensive or even free.

What is a broom made of?

The most common material used to make brooms is straw or broom (tidal vulgare) As you might have guessed from its botanical name, the latter is a member of the jowar family. It has a long, slender, strong stem that is ideal for making brooms, thus earning its common name.

Ultimately, though, a broom can be made from whatever you have on hand. People made them from a variety of plant matter, simply tied to a stick. Basically, they’ve used whatever they can to collect dust and dirt from the corners so that it can be collected and thrown out the door.

Most of the people like to have a clean broom in their house from the aesthetic point of view. Don’t get me wrong: A neatly matted feather made of ivy would look great in a witch’s hut. That said, it may not be ideal for removing cat hair from your kitchen.

how to make your own broom

If you aim to make a beautiful but efficient broom, gather the materials listed below.

what you’ll need:

  • Straw or broom clumps of corn at least 14 to 1 inch thick, at least 16 inches long. The longer the broom (or straw), the bigger the broom. Aim for about 2.5 to 3 pounds for your broom.
  • A broom handle: You can buy 1 1/2 or 2 inch diameter dowels at hardware stores or look specifically for broom handles online. For a standard kitchen or household broom, aim for a 36- to 48-inch handle. Alternatively, you can use a plant or a thick branch from the woods. Whether you leave the bark on or take it off and smooth everything is up to you.
  • Strong twine, rope, or lanyard: I love heavy nylon rope for tying bundles and waxed hemp wire for sewing. Consider using different colors to add some sparkle to your broom.
  • Long Needles: Look for a straight, extra-long tapestry or doll-making needle.
  • scissors
  • sharp knife or ax
  • drill with 1/8 inch bit
  • 6-8 inch piece of leather or jute rope, any color you like

Prepare the Broomcorn

Measure different lengths of broomcorns and cut them so they are all the same size. Next, divide them into the above 10 bundles, all with the same thickness. Lastly, use a little twine to tie each bundle tightly. If you want your brooms to stick together for a long time, you will need to secure them very firmly.

Now, shake the bundles well to get out any dust, stray bits, or spiders. Then, soak them in a bucket of warm water for 10-20 minutes. Once they are soaked, put them on a towel within easy reach.

prepare the handle

Grab that broom of yours and decide which end you like best. Then use that sharp knife or small ax to sharpen the opposite end. This end is tapered so it won’t interfere with sweeping motion.

Next, take your drill (with its 1/8 inch bit) and drill a hole through the handle about an inch above where it starts to decrease rapidly. If you want the straw to stay in place, you’ll need to tie it firmly to the broom. This drilled hole is where you will pass the string to make that magic happen.

Start Gathering Bundles Together

Take your two broomcorn bundles and arrange them, so that they align. Then cut a long piece of twine and tie these two tightly together. Again, remember that the tighter you tie these, the more durable your broom will be (and the longer it will last).

Push the end of that string (or twine) through the hole you drilled in the handle. Place those two pieces of tied broomstick against the handle, and tie them tightly.

Next, tie another broomcorn bundle to the back of the handle. Make sure it’s tied securely, and then tie another one next to it. The four bundles should form a square shape around the pointed end of the broom handle.

At this point, you need to determine whether you are going to make a round broom or a flat one. If you want to make a round broom, you’ll be tying the bundles in a circle. Conversely, if you want a flat broom, you’ll arrange bundles of six (or more) brooms flat on one side of the original two. Then, you’ll tie another six on the back to create a flat, fan-like shape.

Whatever size you decide on, make sure you tie all of these pieces securely.

tie around outside

Take some of that contrast string or cord and wrap it around the broomstick about 1 inch from the top. Wrap it around eight or nine times, each time getting tighter and tighter around. Tie it tightly and cut the string, leaving about 8 inches of tail.

Once this is done, you have two options. You can either weave some more string in a spiral pattern up and down the stalks to further secure them or repeat the tying process twice. If you want to make a knitting pattern, simply move the string alternately down and up the stalk.

This only works if you have an odd number of stalks, so if there is an even number, split a thick stalk in half with your knife and continue. Knit, give or take about 3 inches.

Alternatively, if you only want to re-tie the stalk, repeat the tying process a couple more times, with no more than 3 to 4 inches apart.

sewing time

Grab that waxed hemp wire (or cord, or whatever you used to sew). Take measurements and deduct at least two yards worth, plus a little extra for good luck. Thread it through your extra-long tapestry needle, and tie the ends together.

Grab a small section of the broomstick on one side of the bundle, and tie the string around it into a “lark head” or “cow hitch” tie. Pull it tight, as it is the foundation tie for sewing.

Different people have different sewing techniques for securing the rest of the broom or straw. I like to repeat a cow hitch stitch all the way, tying one knot after each one. When you reach the other side, turn the broom over and repeat the process. You should have a double line of stitching by the time you’re done.

To finish it off, tie the knot of your choice, and then push the needle horizontally through the bristles as far as it will go. Draw it through a gap and cut the needle free. Keep it somewhere safe so you don’t smell yourself or any children, pets, household elves, etc.

finishing touches

If the ends of your brooms look a little unruly at this point, give them a trim. Use your scissors to cut off the uneven pieces from the ends so that they are all the same length.

Hanging a broom on the wall is a great way to keep the bristles secure. People usually resort to a corner, which makes the straw misshapen. Instead, grab that drill and poke a hole about 2 inches from the top of the handle.

Thread a leather or jute rope through this hole, and secure it with a double or triple knot. Then make a hook (or hammer in a nail) wherever you want for easy access. If your broom turns out to be as beautiful as you imagined, consider hanging it in a place of honor. A kitchen wall is perfect for this, as is a hallway or bright corner.

Alternatively, if you’ve made a skilled-but-disgusting trustee, hang it in a closet instead.

Whether it is beautiful or not, you have created a magnificent masterpiece by hand that deserves your adoration and care. Keep it dry, don’t use it to clean off grease or anything that’s rotten, and use it with love.

additional comment

If you can’t get your hands on a straw or broom, you can make a broom with different bits you have on hand. Basically, anything that can help clean up your space. Dried corn husks are ideal for this, as are birch or fir branches.

Should you find that you really love making brooms, consider trying to get your hands on an antique broom cutter. You’ll be able to make something really beautiful to sell or trade, especially if you get creative with color integration and twine tying.

Was this article helpful?

yes no


We appreciate your helpful feedback!

Your answer will be used to improve our content. The more feedback you give us, the better our pages can be.

Follow us on Social Media:

Facebook Pinterest

Idea Source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *