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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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13 Comments on How to Carve a Willow Whistle

  1. ok. extremely hard (in my opinion.)

  2. i gonna make mine in like 30 minutes! this is so cool!!!

  3. whistle blower // January 30, 2018 at 2:32 pm // Reply

    Reading some of the comments, I see why there is a market for plastic whistles. Hang in there, you can do it.

  4. where do I get willow wood

  5. Willowsintheyard // September 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm // Reply

    How do you get the mouthpiece to stick in the bark after you remove it and cut the air vent.

  6. Dark ninja // May 15, 2017 at 3:48 pm // Reply

    Cool I want to make mine right now🙂🙂

  7. Soccer7player // April 8, 2017 at 7:10 pm // Reply

    Can I use the white lead tree ( also called the tangan tangan tree in Chamorro ).

  8. where can I get willow in south florid, Can I buy some need 35.
    Thank You Willow whistler

  9. I want to try it but my parents wont let me.
    So cool!!!

  10. Does it have to be a willow

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