How To Make Handmade Walking Sticks

How to Make Handmade Walking Sticks

Walking sticks are not only practical tools for hiking and walking, but they can also be beautiful and unique handmade crafts. Making your own walking stick allows you to personalize it to your liking and create a functional and aesthetically pleasing piece. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make handmade walking sticks:

What is the Best Wood to Make a Walking Stick?

Choosing the right type of wood is crucial when making a walking stick. The ideal wood should be strong, durable, and lightweight. Some of the best wood options for making walking sticks include:

  • Hickory: Known for its strength and flexibility, hickory is a popular choice for walking sticks.
  • Maple: Maple wood is strong and has a beautiful grain pattern, making it a great choice for decorative walking sticks.
  • Ash: Ash wood is lightweight and has excellent shock-absorbing properties, making it ideal for hiking sticks.
  • Oak: Oak is a dense and sturdy wood that can withstand heavy use, making it suitable for walking sticks.

Ultimately, the best wood for a walking stick depends on your personal preferences and the specific purpose of the stick.

How to Make Walking Sticks and Sell Them?

If you enjoy making walking sticks and want to sell them, there are several steps you can take to turn your hobby into a small business:

  1. Perfect your craft: Continuously improve your woodworking skills and experiment with different designs to create unique and high-quality walking sticks.
  2. Build an inventory: Create a collection of walking sticks in various styles, sizes, and wood types to cater to different customers’ preferences.
  3. Set up an online presence: Create a website or use online platforms such as Etsy to showcase and sell your walking sticks.
  4. Market your products: Utilize social media, attend craft fairs, and collaborate with local stores to promote your handmade walking sticks.
  5. Provide excellent customer service: Respond promptly to inquiries, package your products securely, and ensure timely shipping to build a positive reputation.

With dedication and perseverance, you can turn your passion for making walking sticks into a successful business venture.

How Long to Dry Wood for a Walking Stick?

Properly drying the wood is essential to prevent cracking and warping in your walking stick. The drying time can vary depending on the type and thickness of the wood, as well as the environmental conditions. As a general guideline, it is recommended to air dry the wood for at least six months to a year.

During the drying process, it is important to store the wood in a cool, dry place with good airflow. Avoid exposing the wood to direct sunlight or extreme temperature changes, as this can lead to uneven drying and potential damage.

What Should I Use to Seal a Walking Stick?

Sealing your walking stick helps protect it from moisture, UV rays, and general wear and tear. There are several options for sealing a walking stick, including:

  • Polyurethane: Polyurethane provides a durable and glossy finish. Apply multiple coats for added protection.
  • Tung oil: Tung oil penetrates the wood, enhancing its natural beauty while providing a protective layer.
  • Beeswax: Beeswax is a natural option that provides a soft and smooth finish. It requires regular reapplication.
  • Linseed oil: Linseed oil is another natural option that nourishes the wood and gives it a subtle sheen.

Before applying any sealant, make sure the walking stick is clean and dry. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the chosen sealant and apply it evenly, allowing sufficient drying time between coats.

By following these steps and using the right materials, you can create beautiful handmade walking sticks that are both functional and visually appealing.

How thick should a walking stick be?

The thickness of a walking stick depends on the individual’s preference and the intended use of the stick. Generally, a walking stick should be thick enough to provide stability and support while walking, but not too thick that it becomes heavy and cumbersome. A good rule of thumb is to choose a walking stick with a diameter of around 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm).

What are old walking sticks made of?

Old walking sticks were traditionally made from a variety of materials, depending on the culture and availability of resources. Some common materials used include wood (such as oak, hickory, or bamboo), metal (such as brass or silver), and even animal bones or antlers. These materials were often chosen for their strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

Does cedar make a good walking stick?

Cedar can make a good walking stick due to its natural strength and resistance to rot. It is a lightweight wood that is easy to work with, making it a popular choice for walking stick enthusiasts. However, cedar may not be as durable as other hardwoods like oak or hickory, so it may not be suitable for heavy-duty use or if you require extra support.

How do I keep my walking stick from rotting?

To prevent your walking stick from rotting, it is important to properly care for and maintain it. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your walking stick dry and avoid exposing it to excessive moisture.
  • Regularly clean your walking stick to remove dirt and debris.
  • Apply a protective finish, such as varnish or wood sealant, to seal the wood and prevent moisture penetration.
  • Store your walking stick in a cool, dry place when not in use.

Should I varnish a walking stick?

Whether or not to varnish a walking stick depends on personal preference and the type of wood used. Varnishing can provide a protective layer that helps prevent moisture damage and adds a glossy finish to the wood. However, some people prefer the natural look and feel of untreated wood. If you choose to varnish your walking stick, make sure to use a clear, outdoor-grade varnish and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

What is the best time of year to cut walking sticks?

The best time of year to cut walking sticks is during the dormant season, which is typically in late winter or early spring. During this time, the sap is not actively flowing, and the wood is less likely to split or warp. It is important to choose a healthy and mature tree or shrub for cutting walking sticks, and always obtain the necessary permits or permissions if cutting on public or private land.


Choosing the right thickness for a walking stick depends on personal preference and the intended use. Old walking sticks were made from various materials such as wood, metal, and even animal bones. Cedar can make a good walking stick due to its strength and resistance to rot. To prevent rotting, keep your walking stick dry, clean, and apply a protective finish. Whether or not to varnish a walking stick is a personal choice. The best time to cut walking sticks is during the dormant season in late winter or early spring.

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