Summer before last, I took my fam-bam on a little road trip to Durango, CO. It was an awesome trip riddled with hiking adventures, ancient Pueblo ruins, digging out hot spring pools and fishing. Perfect summer memories.
I love to collect small natural elements from our family adventures, just to remember the moments. Somehow, having a tangible thing to commemorate the experience helps me remember how I felt in the moment. Sometimes it is an amazing rock, or a perfectly preserved sea urchin shell, but on this trip it had been a well balanced stick that I had shaved free of bark around the camp fire. I used it to hike the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde with my kids. When I hold it, I instantly feel the warm sun and the laughter. Honestly, I loved this keepsake so much that I decided to embellish it even more. With some leather, wooden beads, feathers and wood burning, it transformed into an even more cherished keepsake.
wood burning kit
Cut a slice at the top of a narrow rectangular scrap piece of leather. Now, slip the tail of the scrap leather through the slit to make a loop. Thread the top of your walking stick through the loop and tighten. Repeat with three more long rectangular pieces of leather.
Now, take your “tails” of leather and wrap them around the stick in opposing directions and tie them off.
At the top of the stick, drill a small hole for threading some leather cording through for further decoration. (Note: I decided afterwards that it would have been better to drill the hole below where I grabbed the stick when walking, just so that the ornamentation didn’t awkwardly get in the way.)
Using my wood burner, I had some fun with creating a design on my walking stick. Get playful with this! Go ahead and use a pencil to create whatever design floats your boat. I went with some scrolling squiggles. Then, simply trace your design over with the wood burner.
Last bit of decoration was to thread some leather cording through that hole I drilled earlier. I chose some wooden beads to thread onto the cord and then finished it by wrapping some floral wire around a bunch of feathers and secured it to the ends of the cording.
I love how it turned out. It is the perfect bit of spunk for my family hikes!
I look forward to watching the leather and wood polish where my hand grips this walking stick as my family and I conquer heaps of miles of adventures!