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.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images