Tuesday, July 28, 2009
How to Make a Cattail Duck
I learned this craft from the toy section of a book of American Indian craft, and added my own touch, a feathery tail.
Find a stand of cattails in a freshwater wetland, pond, or ditch.
For a little flock of ducks, bend some stalks sideways. They should crack off at the bottom. You want to have the thick white part from the bottom of the plant, too. It will make your ducks very buoyant.
Make a head with an overhand knot, using the top of the stalk. I pinched the beak shape with my fingernails, but I think it would look more like a duck if the beak were slanted at the top, and flat at the bottom.
Make a right angle fold for the body.
Wrap the cattail stalk around and around until there is a foot or so left.
Use the last part of the stalk to wrap the body together.
You should have enough of the white stalk left to push up between the last blades for a tail. Adjust if necessary. You can fray the tail a little to make it look feathery.
Let your ducks swim!
Let someone have fun playing with your little flock. The children at the little pond where I made these ducks were fascinated. The littlest ones wanted to play with them. Older ones wanted to learn how to make them.
The wonderful book I used to learn this craft is Indian Handcrafts by C. Keith Wilbur, M.D.