Brooms

I love hand made brooms. At various craft fairs they always catch my attention and I usually buy one. They are both beautiful and utilitarian. Shown in this wall display are brooms purchased from others.

A few years ago while on a trip to colonial Williamsburg, seeds for broomcorn were purchased, sorghum vulgare.


The seeds germinated easily in the sunroom/greenhouse. After all danger of frost had passed the baby plants were planted in the garden and grew quickly.

Research from various sources online helped one to know when to cut the tasseled tops, how to dry them and how to make a broom.

This is the very first broom made by yours truly. It has several flaws but that is how one learns.

The tops of the plants were allowed to get too long and twisting resulted. The stitching is a little sloppy. Several more were made and given to friends and family.

Ignore the date on this photo, it is not correct. This was taken January 6, 2008. Sorry about that. Anyway, the three brooms to the right of the door were made with the shorter pieces leftover from full size broom making that were harvested from that one and only planting. To make a proper broom, the strands need to be ten inches before the seeds appear. I really like the seeds on the strands though and don’t trim them off like professional broom makers do. Mistakenly it was thought that the seeds for broom corn would be easy to find. The broom is harvested for use before the seeds have a chance to mature on the plant so those are not viable. Seed was ordered from the usual places but it was always the dried flower kind, not broom making kind. Several attempts to grow more of this type of broom have been for naught. The strands were always too short for broom making. No more broom making.

This is a closeup of the broom on the left in the picture with the door. The braided part is longer than usual and the handle is thick twisted honeysuckle vine. That is part of the fun, finding a nice piece of wood for the handles.

Harvested broom that is for dried flowers not brooms is shown here with red and black broom accents. Note how the seeds are close to the stalk stem, no long strands like brooms need to have.
The reason for this post, besides showing off the brooms is that seeds for the correct plant, sorghum vulgare, were found and ordered from Chiltern Seeds. If all goes well there will additions to the broom collection.
Sweepingly,
Frances

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18 Responses to Brooms

  1. tina says:

    You are very talented and the information was great!

  2. Frances says:

    tina…thanks so much. I don’t know about the talent, but anything is worth giving a try, just for the experience gained.

  3. chuck b. says:

    The honeysuckle vine broom handle is very cool. It’s like each broom has different magical properties based on the wooden handle…kind of like wands in Harry Potter.

    Ooookaaaaaayyyy.

  4. Frances says:

    chuch b….thanks for commenting but maybe we shouldn’t go there, although much could be added on this topic ;->

  5. brokenbeat says:

    diggin’ the sweepers, frances.

  6. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…thanks. hope you are enjoying yours.

  7. kate says:

    Hi Frances,

    Your brooms are wonderful creations. I’m glad you found the correct seeds and now will be making more brooms.

  8. Frances says:

    kate…thanks for visiting and commenting. Let’s hope more brooms can be made.

  9. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    My goodness those brooms nearly swept me off my feet. I just love them.

    A friend of mine has done this. At least she has grown the corn. I think it facinating. They look like works of art with the varied handles.

  10. Frances says:

    lisa…Thanks. Each broom is different and the handles are fun. I like to save pieces of wood that are about one to two inches in diameter for handles. Now I can start looking again since more brooms might get made.

  11. semi says:

    I have always loved the your brooms. As you know, I hang my proudly in the living area. I love the dried broom in a vase. If you have any extra after the harvest this year I call dibs. LOL semi

  12. Frances says:

    semi…let’s see if it grows, then we’ll talk about dibs and extras.

  13. Lynn says:

    I’m so glad you found the seeds and you can get back to making brooms. Hopefully there will be extras…..

  14. Frances says:

    Lynn…thanks for visiting. I will have to find the broom making supplies hidden somewhere in the craft room closet.

  15. chickenpoet says:

    Yes, very creative with the broom making. I hope to see posts on the other various projects you have partaken in over the years, i.e.: baskets, candles, paper, etc… I don’t know if you realize how rare your talent is. Tell semi she has to share with me. Love ya.

  16. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…that was very nice. thanks. There may be future posts about those crafts, they all have something gardeny about them as well. Love.

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