Rustic looking bent willow chairs.

I think of them as being a product of the Great Depression, others think of them as being emblematic of gypsies. . . Regardless, they look like they would be fun to make!

Knowing how to make these willow chairs is one of those almost forgotten folk crafts of our past…. And today we’re talking about how to make one with Justin Roberts of Walk the Willow!

I’ve been curious about these chairs for years, but have never known anyone who could show me how to make one. Recently I was reminded of the craft when I passed a clump of larger willows (somewhat rare in my area), fortunately Justin was willing to come on the podcast and chat about the craft!

Resources Mentioned

Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship GrantLooks like a phenomenal opportunity if you live in Kentucky!

The Bernheim

Walk The Willow with Justin Roberts (Facebook Page)

New South Arts Initiative (Facebook)

Creative Communities with Justin Roberts (Facebook Page)

@walkthewillow (Justin’s Instagram)

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

The Botany of Desire documentary

Making Gypsy Willow Furniture by Bim Willow

Felco Pruning Shears

16d Twisted Decking Nail (this is an example, please source them at your local hardware store if you can. At 16d it is the size Justin said he used for the frame but he also used various smaller sizes as well)

Panel Nails (As mentioned above, please try to source from your local hardware store. I put this here so you could see an example of what you were looking for.)

Example Pictures

Pictures were provided courtesy of Justin Roberts from Walk the Willow

Frame with the arm benders being put into place
Finished frame with arm and head benders
Completed chair! Looks comfortable eh?
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join the mailing list If you're interested in learning all sorts of traditional skills and keeping up to date with what is happening here at Folk Craft RevivalI. . . Promise, I won't spam you. :)

Welcome to the clan!