1. Gather cattails in late summer. Separate and rinse the leaves,
no center stalks are needed to make the duck. Cut above just above
the water-line to leave the root of the cattail intact. Dry the
separated leaves in the shade or partial sun for 1 to 3 days.
Soak the leaves in warm water for a half hour to an hour before
2. Cut of the thin leaf tip because it is brittle and not buoyant. Cut off and save the thick white end of the leaf to make a tie later for the ducks body.
3. For either style head (flattened-knot or bent-over style), start with the thicker end and the duck's head will be sturdier.
4. Leave 2 inches for the neck below the head and fold the cattail at a 90 degree angle.
5. Leave 2 inches for the body (remember the body will grow longer as you wrap) after the fold at the bottom of the neck and begin wrapping the leaf around the 'body', around and around... until the leaf runs out.
6. If the leaves are short, 2 cattail leaves may be necessary to fill out the wrapped body. After 10-15 wraps, end the duck's body by snipping the leaf on a diagonal to create a 'wing' effect.
7. Tie the body tightly with a thin strip of the thick white end of the cattail leaf. Knot the tie at the bottom, center of the duck's body so it wont show while it's swimming.
Cattail & Grasses Bibliography and Books to Buy On-Line
Text and Graphics
© 1994 - Tara Prindle
unless otherwise cited.