How to Weave Palm Fronds for Your Tiki Hut


People have been weaving palm fronds for protection from the elements for hundreds of years. Common to the Pacific Islanders, the practice has spread all over the world. Building a tiki hut is a great way to bring the island feel to your own backyard. With a little bit of practice and patience, you can weave your own palm frond panels to use on the roof or wall of a tiki hut.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Palm fronds
  • Split a palm frond down the middle of the spine with a knife, so both halves are of equal thickness. Cut 2 or 3 inches into the center of the base of the spine with a knife, then pull the two pieces apart by hand. They will pull apart into equal sections if the initial cut was centered properly.

  • Count five leaves up from the base of the spine. Fold the leaf over so that it extends toward the base. Weave the leaf over the fourth leaf, under the third and so on, until it reaches the end of the frond. Keep the leaf tight against the spine as you weave.

  • Count up two more leaves, then repeat the process with the second leaf pressed tight against the previous weave. Count two more past that, and repeat again.

  • Count up five more leaves, and repeat the full process again.

  • Cut a small hole in the center of a crossed leaf with a knife whenever the weaving crosses eight to 10 other leaves. Instead of weaving another leaf over or under this leaf, weave through the hole. Do not make the hole much larger than the palm leaf that will thread through it.

  • Clean up the loose edges once all the leaves have been woven. The loose edges are the parts of the leaves that have extended past the point where they can be woven together. Bend the ends back on themselves, and weave them into the arrangement in an over-and-under fashion, so that the bent-back sections form straight edges. Once all the ends have been tucked away, the panel is finished.

  • Repeat with the other half of the palm frond, then continue with a new palm frond. Keep weaving the fronds until you have enough panels to cover the tiki hut.

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