It is easy to make your own outdoor wicker furniture for use in your outdoor living space. You can build with rattan, the easiest wicker material to work with, at craft and many outdoor and garden centers. Start with a small table or coffee table to practice.
Step 1 – Soak the Wicker
Soak the rattan lengths in the water for at least 2 hours, until they are flexible. For the thick frame piece, soak up to 12 hours. Keep the soaking cane out of the sunlight.
Step 2 – Make the Top Frame
Measure the circumference of the table you want to build and cut your frame piece of rattan to length with an extra two inches. Use the knife to cut an angle on one end of the cane, and an opposite angle on the other end so when you bring them around in a circle, the ends come together smoothly. Nail or screw the ends together and turn over the end of the nail. You can use wire for this part which may be easier. Leave to dry.
Step 3 – Weave the Top
Lay enough pieces of rattan across the top of the table to be evenly spaced and leave a similar sized gap between each piece. Using the thread, loop it around each piece and the frame to keep all the canes in place. Hammer in small nails to keep the thread in place. When finished, screw all the canes down to the frame.
Use a bowline knot to attach a piece of rattan to one of the treads perpendicular (crossways) to the main canes. Weave this piece through the others over and under until you get to the other side. Loop the thread around the frame and thread your way back, leaving as little gap as possible.
Add new rattan threads as needed to go right across the table and continue until the entire table top is finished. To get some areas fairly tight, you may need to use the clamp to hold things in place. Screw or nail down the ends of the rattan when you get to the frame on each side. Make sure that all nails or screws are set on the side or underside of the frame for a neat finish.
Step 4 – Seal the Surface
Paint a coat of sealant onto the whole top, including the underside and all gaps and crevices. Allow to dry and apply another coat. If you wish to stain the table, do this before sealing it.
Step 5 – Attach the Base
Depending on the type of base you have chosen, you can screw the top onto it, or use extra rattan thread to attach it to the top. After attaching the top, make sure you seal any unsealed areas so water can’t penetrate.