Guest Author - Angelica Arroyo
Sitting at my place of employment at my desk, itís easy to for my thoughts to wander from time to time. Today, my attention shifted to the cover page of an outdoor magazine which had an image of two hikers amidst the breathtaking backdrop of snow capped mountains. Inspiration! I thought how nice it would be to be outdoors with my sons; especially on a day like today where the weather is unseasonably cool, as if to announce the upcoming season of autumn. With school just beginning, a hike would be just the thing my school ager would need to stretch out his legs after a day of sitting at his desk. A hiking stick is just the thing to make before heading out! Eureka! A new craft idea is born. To make a hiking/ walking stick, you will need:
Decorative duct tape
Begin this project by heading outdoors to find the right stick for you. Would you prefer a straight stick or a curved one? What length will suit you best, waist high or chest high? If the stick will be used for a child, it should be shorter and have a smaller diameter for smaller hands to wrap around. When the perfect stick is found, before moving to the next step, allow it to dry completely if it is wet. Snap off any small branches coming off of the main stick as well.
Using the sand paper, smooth the surface of the stick to remove jagged edges and splinters. Sand what will be the top of the stick as well, where you will place your hand. Even after sanding the surface of the walking stick, I recommend not rubbing your hands along the surface as you could still get a splinter. Blow excess dust away.
At the top of your walking stick, use the duct tape to wrap the tip of the stick and cover about two inches down from the top. At about 6 inches down from the top, add a band of tape at that location.
Now you are ready to begin wrapping the yarn around the top section of your walking stick to create a grip. Begin by securing the end of the yarn on the lower tape band with an additional piece of tape placed on top of the existing band. The tape will adhere better to another piece of tape than to the wood, so this step is important to helping ensure that the yarn doesnít get loose and begin to unravel. Wrap the yarn around the stick while working your way up. Cover all areas of the stick leaving no gaps through the yarn. Continue wrapping the yarn around until you reach the top tape band. Cut the yarn here and secure the end of the yarn with an additional piece of duct tape placed over the existing band of tape previously placed at the top and tip of the stick. At this time, if you wish to add a loop of yarn at the top of the walking stick for easy hanging, create a loop by folding 10 inches of yarn in half and securing the two ends with duct tape at the top/tip of the walking stick.
With decorated walking sticks in tow, you and your family are ready to hike your way into your next family adventure!