A climbing plant support that you've made yourself would make a great Christmas gift for a gardener

You could even decorate it with fairy lights and baubles and use it instead of a Christmas tree!

About the project

In this course you will learn how to make a sturdy, conical plant support of any size with an attractive spiral weave. Make them tall and thin, short and fat or anything in between! Just adjust your materials and proportions and use my comprehensive instructions.

  • Clear, step-by-step video instruction

  • Use your own materials or buy a kit from me.

  • Why not make plant supports as unique gifts for your gardening friends?

  • Or give them this course as a present

About this course

I take you step by step through each stage from choosing and preparing materials to adding finishing touches. Close-up videos show you exactly what to do. There are some interesting tips and tricks to learn but the project is easily achievable by a complete beginner.

  • Work at home at your own pace

  • Pre-recorded videos that you can watch as often as you like

  • Choose to source your own materials or buy my kit

  • Get help from me by email

  • Enjoy the meditative benefits of weaving

Why not give this course as a gift?

This course would make a brilliant gift for a crafty friend or relative.

  • If you want to give this class as a gift you MUST choose the gift option otherwise your email address will be enrolled onto the course.

  • If you purchase the kit of materials too then you'll have something to wrap up and give on the big day!

Testimonials from IRL (in real life) classes

About your teacher

Judith Needham

Hi, I'm Judith. I made my first basket about 20 years ago under the expert eye of renowned basket maker, Lise Bech. About 10 years ago my willow weaving obsession turned from a hobby into a full-time business. I started selling the woven willow children's playhouses that I had dreamed up for my daughter and, soon afterwards, started teaching basket making and willow sculpture. I teach across Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire in the South of England. I am fortunate to live in Farnham, Surrey which has recently been awarded World Craft Town status. I have taught well over 500 classes now and still love it! I really enjoy passing on my skills and am thrilled when I see a newcomer to basket making getting completely hooked, as I did at my first lesson.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • first video - start here!

    • How to use this course

    • quick tip - don't cut the cable ties!

    • tools list

    • making your jig

    • keeping in touch, asking questions

    • quick tip - log-in issues

  • 2

    choosing materials

    • materials list

    • more about choosing materials

    • where to get willow for weaving

    • quick tip - knots

  • 3

    setting up the uprights and the first layer of weaving

    • pairing weave

    • I suggest you repeat the pairing weave for a deeper band of weaving

  • 4

    the spiral weave

    • weaving the spiral

  • 5

    binding the top and trimming

    • binding the top and trimming

    • Suggested extra binding around initial band of pairing

  • 6

    use of and care for your finished plant support

    • caring for your plant support

    • some notes on using and caring for your plant support

    • Turn your plant support into a Christmas tree

    • feedback form

  • 7

    what's next

    • show us your plant supports!


  • Is this course suitable for complete beginners?

    Absolutely. If you've never worked with willow before, this is a great place to start.

  • How long does the project take?

    If you work through the steps to make a 5-6ft tall plant support, I would expect it to take you 2-3 hours. And, of course, you can keep re-watching the videos and make as many plant supports as you like!

  • What materials do I need?

    For each plant support: 12 stout sticks of whatever height you want your support to be plus about 1ft (30cm) to go into the ground. These can be willow, ash, hazel or anything similar that you can gather from your garden or hedgerows; a bundle of 4ft basket making willow. PLEASE NOTE: If you're using dry willow you will need to soak it for at least a week before it's pliable enough to use. So you'll need to plan ahead.

  • Can you supply me with materials?

    It's prohibitively expensive for me to post the 12 stout uprights so you will need to source those sticks yourself (I give you advice on what you are looking for). You will also need to find a large cardboard box to make into a jig (I will show you how) and you'll need a pair of sharp secateurs. I can sell you a bundle of willow, a bag to soak it in and a re-useable cable tie to hold the top together whilst you work.

  • What equipment do I need?

    If you are starting with dried willow, you will need somewhere to soak it - a bath or a water butt will do - or buy my kit and get a soaking bag; a SHARP pair of secateurs and a large cardboard box to make into a jig.

  • When does the course start and how long do I have access to it?

    You can start the course whenever you like. As soon as you buy the course, you will get instant access to the video tutorials. You get full access to the course for a year from when you start it. So, if you start now, you could make some plant supports as Christmas presents and be able to revisit the course and make some for your own garden next Spring.

  • What do I do if I need help during the course?

    I will be on hand to answer your questions via email.

  • Can I share the class with friends?

    Please respect the time and energy that I've put into creating this online class and don't share access to it with your friends. I completely understand that it's fun to do crafts with your friends, and I want to encourage that, but if you came with a friend to one of my In Real Life classes then you would each need to buy a ticket so please do the same here. Of course, if you are doing this course at home and your kids or partner want to watch with you and have a go, that's fine.

  • Do I need internet access and a printer?

    The instructional videos are streamed so yes, you will need to have internet access and a phone, laptop or tablet. There are a couple of down-loadable PDFs which you can print but this is not essential if you don't have access to a printer.