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How to Carve a Willow Whistle

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.


Make a variable-pitch whistle that you can use to signal, play a tune or just show off your carving skills.


  • Pocketknife
  • Small piece of willow branch, 3 to 5 inches long, about the diameter of your little finger



1. Cut a 45-degree bevel on one end of the stick. This will be the mouthpiece of the whistle. Just forward of the bevel and on top of the whistle, cut a notch with a 90-degree edge close to the bevel and angle off the top. This will be used for airflow. Cut the bark around the stick at the desired length of your whistle.


2. Tap the whistle with the handle of your knife to loosen the bark from the wood. After tapping all sides of the whistle, twist the bark loose. Keep at it until the bark eventually comes off, but be careful: The bark must remain in one piece.


3. Take the stick and cut off the beveled part flush with the 90-degree cut of the air hole. Cut a small sliver off the top of the beveled part of the stick. This will make the hole needed to allow air to go into the whistle. This part of the stick will then become part of the mouthpiece. Insert this mouthpiece part into the angled end of the bark piece.

4. Put the remaining part of the stick back into the other end of the bark, and the whistle is complete. Blow into the whistle and slide the stick up and down in the bark. This will give you the range of your whistle tones.


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15 Comments on How to Carve a Willow Whistle

  1. do you have to use a willow branch and if not what else can you use

    • You can use lots of things but the bark on the willow tree will come off in one piece easier than just about anything else. After you make a few (for yourself and your friends) then you can branch out and experiment with other stuff.

  2. does it have to be a willow branch?

  3. Easy fun and effective way to get stitches! 🙂

  4. This is a dangerous task I cut my leg

  5. really difficult looking

  6. I stabed my hand with this almost got stiches. I don’t like it.

  7. minecraft101 // June 23, 2013 at 8:29 am // Reply

    I have no idea how they figuire that out,but I will make one someday!!

  8. Trying out the whistle. The tapping to get the bark to slip is the tricky part.

  9. SurvivorGuy101 // June 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm // Reply

    This is cool

  10. this is great! i’m making mine right now!

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