Cattail Ducks and swans

I am now starting to harvest Bulrush/Reed Mace/cattail leaves to dry and make into dolls, but one of the things you can make with the fresh leaves are ducks and swans.

You will need to leaves for this project;

First tie an overhand knot at the pointed end of the leaf and flatten it to form the head and beak.


Trim the beak to shape and then put a 90 degree fold lower down to form the neck (the length of neck dictates whether you make a swan or duck).


Decide how long you would like the body and then make another fold.

Continue wrapping the leaf around to form the body (adding in the second leaf when necessary).

Finally use the outer edge of a leaf the tie around the body to keep the leaves in place.

Due to the large cellular structure of the leaves they trap a lot of air which allows them to float. Primitive boats have been made by lashing bundles of leaves together.

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2 thoughts on “Cattail Ducks and swans

  1. I was looking for just this information. I knew an old man that made these for us as kids and now I wanted to show my grandchildren how to make them but I did not know how. Thank you for this post.

    • Thanks Valerie. I will also be publishing a tutorial on making Cattail Dolls in the autumn.

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