How to Use Raffia in Craft Work

by Jennifer Dermody
Dress up a scarecrow with a decorative raffia bow.

Dress up a scarecrow with a decorative raffia bow.

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Raffia is a type of straw harvested from the palm trees of Madagascar. It is used as a decorative accent in craft work, and also has practical uses. A raffia bow adds a casual, homespun feel to homemade cards and invitations. Wrap raffia around the opening of hand-stamped gift bags to hold them closed instead of using ribbon or a boring twist tie. Raffia resembles the stuffing in a scarecrow and is a dry, natural material more prevalent in fall crafts.

Items you will need

  • Raffia
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Card stock
  • Hole punch
Step 1

Cut a strand of raffia that fits around your project two times. Projects such as hand-stamped gift cards, homemade books, decorative boxes or a stack of pillows work well with raffia.

Step 2

Wrap the strand of raffia gently around the outside of the project.

Step 3

Pull the raffia snug, and tie it in a knot at the top.

Step 4

Punch a hole in a square of card stock to use as a note card, list of ingredients, name tag, or decorative card that works with your craft. Slide the card up the raffia to the knot.

Step 5

Tie the ends of the raffia into a bow.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attach individual raffia bows to projects with a glue gun.
  • Bunch multiple strands of raffia together for a fuller bow.
  • Welcome guests to your home by hanging a large raffia bow on your door with a small nail.
  • Make a tiny raffia broom as a fall decorative accent. Attach small raffia pieces that are folded in half to the end of a stick. Wrap them to the stick with string.
  • Embellish woven straw baskets, place mats and trivets by sewing colored raffia strands into the straw with a large sewing needle.

About the Author

Jennifer Dermody started writing in 1992. She has been published in "Running Wild Magazine," "The Green Book" environmental bid journal and local publications in the areas that she has lived all over the world. She is currently a licensed Florida real estate agent. Dermody earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Regis College in 1993.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images