Here are some instructions and ideas of how to make your own walking stick. I love going for hikes but I also like just meandering through the forest at my own pace stopping to look at everything around me. Having a walking stick in this scenario is helpful because if you’re like me and have a hard time getting up after crouching down to look at something, or lose your footing often this is a great thing to have.
I am fortunate to have lots of trees on my property that gift us branches every storm season. Many branches have been on the ground for years and are completely dry on the inside. This is the type of branch you need. If you don’t have fallen branches in your yard you will have to trek out to the forest. Keep in mind some forests are protected and you are not allowed to remove dead fall from these areas. Check with your local ministry to find out where you can forage. Much of the Crown Land around my house is available to remove branches. Make sure you only take a dead branch and don’t leave any litter or mess behind when you leave.
Choose a branch that is a little taller than what you deem a comfortable height for yourself. Choose a sturdy branch! When you get it home you can use a hand saw to remove the smaller branches and twigs. Get as close to the walking stick as possible.
Next, choose your height. Walk around with the stick and see what is most comfortable for you. I have found that walking sticks are best if they are around eye level, but do what you feel is best for you. Saw off sections of the top and bottom to create your height leaving a smooth surface on both the top and bottom. This is where an electric saw comes in handy, but it can be done with a hand saw.
Now you are going to sand your walking stick. First go over with coarse sandpaper. Be sure to sand well around the areas you cut off extra limbs, twigs etc. Smooth out the top and bottom as well. Go over it again with fine sandpaper until it is perfectly soft and smooth. If you feel you want a curved edge on the bottom for more grip, by all means do so!
Now you are ready to add embellishments. Some folk have stained their walking sticks and this looks beautiful. You can choose a tinted stain or just do a clear coat to bring the grain in the wood. Next you can add feathers, beads, stones, seeds, nuts, acorns, pine cones, sea shells etc.
Whatever your heart desires, or whatever has meaning to you. You can use leather, string, hemp string, glue etc. to attach your embellishments. For mine I chose turkey feathers because while feathers typically symbolize air, turkey symbolizes our connection to Mother Earth and is grounding. My property is constantly crawling with wild turkey, so I feel quite a connection to these beautiful creatures.
You can cleanse and/or bless your walking stick in whatever fashion you use if any. The best way to bless your walking stick in my opinion is to go for a walk!
Please share your pictures of walking sticks you made. Mine is quite humble but it holds me up.