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How-To: Weave a Willow Pergola

Last week, I showed you this beautiful willow pergola, which was featured at Sunset's Celebration Weekend. You can tour the Mod Cottage where the pergola was featured, if you missed the great photos of this cool house.


The woven technique used in the pergola is referred to as wattle. Wattle is an ancient technique that was used for traditional homes and fences. Its beautiful, natural look enhances the Mod Cottage, but you can easily weave a willow wattle for use as a trellis, fence, or arbor around your home. Want to learn how to make this willow wattle pergola? Then read more.

What You'll Need

  • Six branches approximately four feet long and about as thick as your thumb
  • 100-120 small, straight, recently cut willow branches one to three feet long, none thicker than your pinky finger, stripped of leaves and other branches
  • Hammer
  • Pruners

Here's how to do it:

  1. Using your hammer, pound posts into the ground in a straight line, spacing each post about 10 inches from the next.
  2. With one of the longer, thinner willow branches, weave the branch in and out of the posts, leaving three inches on the end you started with. When you have gotten to the end of the branch, start where you left off with another of the longer, thinner branches.
  3. Start over at the first post, but this time start on the opposite side of the post. Weave on the alternate side of your first branches.
  4. Continue weaving in this manner, making sure to start with new branches on different posts, so you don't have an obvious seam.
  5. Continue to weave back and forth until you've run out of branches or until you have reached the height of your posts.
  6. Assess your weaving, and then weave small branches into any remaining gaps.
  7. Take your pruners and trim the posts evenly, about 1 inch above the top row. Continue trimming until everything looks even and pretty. Your pergola should be about four feet wide and about three feet tall.

Does this project seem like too much for you to attempt? You can also order a willow weaving from The Willow Farm.

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