DIY Sun Wheel – garden decoration

Summer’s coming!! After seemingly endless months of cold and darkness (yes, getting a bit melodramatic there) the summer has finally arrived. Of course I had to celebrate by making what could easily become one of my favorite summer crafts this year!

I wanted to make another decoration for my garden, and I knew that I wanted something big. Because in the garden bigger is always better, right? Well, in this case anyway. So I made a huge sun wheel, and placed it on top of my fence. It looks especially pretty in the afternoon sun, when the light gets a little “warmer”. Even on rainy days, it brightens up my garden.

How to and materials:

I wanted a huge wheel, so I needed long branches. Willow branches will work perfectly, because they are bendable. If you are going to make a smaller version of the sun wheel, you can also use bamboo sticks or whatever you have at your disposal.

For my sun wheel I used 4 long branches (each 2 meters in length, or about 6,5 ft) and 1 long, very bendable branch (about 3 meters or 9,8 ft) for the outer ring. For the weaving part, I used some orange raffia (available here*),  orange cotton twine (available here*) and a lot of natural raffia (available here*). Seriously, you’ll need a LOT! I used about 2 bundles from the natural raffia alone. But you can use some ribbons you have at home, or even leftover wool and yarn. (available here*)

Let’s get started:

1. Cross the 4 long branches in the middle, and arrange them evenly.

2. Tie them together securely with a hemp cord (available here*). You could do a diagonal lashing like it’s shown here. Just make sure to pull the cord very tight, or your sun wheel will be wobbly.

3. Take your long, bendable branch and begin to bend it gently. Don’t rush it, otherwise you’ll get kinks. Just work your way along the branch until you can tie both ends together. Tie them securely and don’t economize on the cord. If you don’t have a branch that is long enough, you can use several shorter ones instead.

4. Tie your ring to the crossed branches. Just be sure to allign both pieces. Now the base for your sun wheel should have sufficient stability.

5. Tie each branch from your cross to the ring with a square lashing.

6. If you put your sun wheel outside, it has to brave the weather. Use materials that will endure rain and bright sunshine. Natural Raffia (available here*) will work really well. Maybe it will bleach out a little over time, but I think it will add to the rustic feel of this craft. I used bright yellow, orange and natural colors to stick to the sun-theme. I wanted the colors to be vibrant.

7.  No to the fun part! (And the part that takes longest. It took me about 2 hours to weave everything.) Start to cross the raffia (or some other broad ribbons) over the middle and cover the part where the branches cross completely. Continue to weave your ribbon for a few rounds and secure it.

8.  Then you start with the special weaving technique for your sun wheel. Instead of just weaving your ribbon over and under the branches, you have to wrap your ribbon around each branch.

How to wrap it:

Sonnenrad wickeln
wrapping technique

Continue on wrapping until your sun wheel is finished. I don’t mind loose ends sticking out, because I like the rustic feel. If you want to make it a little neater, you have to cover up the ribbon ends under the next ones.

The finished sun wheel is suche a lovely eyecatcher for your garden! I hope you’ll love yours as much as I love mine. 🙂 Have a lovely summer everyone!


materials used:

natural raffia (available here*)

orange raffia (available here*)

orange cotton twine (available here*)

hemp cord (available here*)

willow branches


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