If you’re a Pinterest addict like me ( I can stop anytime I want), you’ve probably drooled over the custom Besom’s, clicked the Etsy link (oh Etsy am I right?!) and promptly felt your soul leave your body when you see the price.
Now to be fair, the price is justified, its custom handmade goods, and as an artisan myself, I expect to be paid for my work. That said, daaaaaaamn, $200 for a broom! EEK!
I decided to have a crack at making my own, it might not look like the Etsy ones, but it would be my own work, and also a fraction of the price (the best part, not gonna lie).
You will need:
- A broom or rushes (if you can actually get any where you are!)
- Some leather or vegan leather strips (optional)
- Dried flowers, preferably sturdy ones (optional)
- Strong twine or string
- Random tools like pliers to pull apart the broom, and scissors to cut your twine.
- Hot Glue (if using material)
- A spare set of hands wouldn’t go astray!
I bought this style of broom, and a separate wooden handle (both from Bunnings), for a total of $17.
Breakin’ it down
Not gonna lie, the hardest part of this build is pulling apart the broom. As I said, if you can get loose rushes where you are, go for it. This is the cheap option, but you gotta work for it!
Start by cutting the ties in the millet, don’t worry if you can’t get them all (there’s still heaps in my broom!), but it helps to release the millet, and let you create a more rounded brush. If you’re happy to keep the flatter look, you can skip this step!
Next, you’ll need to remove the brush head from the handle (again, optional).
WARNING!! The wire in those handles is no joke! They are under a lot of pressure, so releasing them causes them to fling open and if you aren’t careful, you could really hurt yourself. I fluked it and missed my hand, but I would suggest wearing an oven mit or something similar to protect your hand. If you haven’t got strong hands (or want to avoid injury!), this is where the spare set of hands comes in!
If you do in fact cut the ties AND release the handle, you’ll end up with a bundle of hard to juggle millet, so it does help at this step to have a co pilot to help you wrangle the millet, at least for the first tie.
The Ties That Bind (I dig puns, its a whole thing..)
If you’ve released the millet, you’ll need to tie it together, not just for shape, but so it stays on your broom! I choose heavy cotton twine (make sure whatever you use is STRONG, as you’ll need to pull the strings tight).
I had my husband hold the millet together while I tied the first string, as I couldn’t gather it together and tie it tightly at the same time. It was obvious that one string wasn’t going to do it, so I added 2 more, which helped to shape the broom and hold it tightly (and conveniently gave me 3 knots on my broom – kismet!)
Capping things off
As you would imagine, the top of your broom is a sticky uppy mess of millet, which is cool if you’re going for the rustic look, but it bothered me, so I used some scraps of leather to bind and hide the chaos.
This proved to be harder than I thought, as I didn’t have large enough strips to wrap the whole top, so I glued them piece meal until I was happy with the result. I highly recommend using a hot glue gun for this process, as the material is disposed to spring back and fall off.
Once I was done, I added a leaf charm I put together, which prettied up the leather, and also added a personal importance to the broom.
Again, an optional step, but it looks lovely and helps to keep bugs from invading your broom! (Bugs don’t like Lavender).
I bought some Lavender rushes from a local flower shop, and added them to the millet, by threading them carefully under the threads. You could theoretically do this as you’re tying it, but I would imagine given the struggle that that is, you’ll damage the lavender.
Slip a knitting needle or some other thin pokey thing under the string to help feed the rushes through un damaged.
You have a custom Besom, and for a fraction of the price! In total, this broom cost me $21, for the broom, the handle, and the Lavender (all the other bits and bobs I already had), and a cup of tea for my husband for exceptional millet clamping.
Remember, this broom is symbolic, to be used to ritually cleanse a space. If you want to clean for reals, get a Dyson!
I did have step by step photos of this process, but my Son deleted them, because kids basically.
Hopefully this has been helpful! I would love to see your Besoms, so feel free to share or tag me!