How to Decorate with Cattails


One day while out for a walk with my stepmom we passed some cattails. She begins to tell me how nice cattails make for decorations, and how she’d like to dry some. She described how they are easy to preserve and how great they look in a simple vase or basket. Plus, they’re a great natural appealing fall decor.

So, I did a little research and found that you can easily pressure cattails with hairspray or by using diluted glue. I followed JoAnn’s directions on how to preserve the cattails because one, she seams like and expert, and two, how easy is it to use hairspray!


Needed Supplies:

  • Cattails (I used approximately 7)
  • Hairspray
  • Storage container to dry cattails in
  • Decorative vase
  • Sand
cattail supplies

Step One

I cut the approximately 7 cattails by simply snapping the stem and then twisting the stem in a circle to get a clean break. I cut them a little long to be able to have room to adjust the cattails to size once I choose the container I’d put them in. I left the leaf blades on cattail for that added natural look.

cutting cattails

***FYI– I did have two cattails once I go home that started to have “fluff” coming out. I didn’t want to risk having fluff all around my house incase these two weren’t able to be preserved so, these were not included. If you do start to see “fluff” coming out of your cattails once the preservation project is completed, simply start the preservation process over to seal the cattails. If not, the “fluff” will continue to escape and will fly all over your house.

fluff cattails

Step Two

One by one I evenly sprayed the cattails with hairspray outside, to not inhale too many fumes. Then, I placed the cattails in two separate vases to have enough room for them to dry separately. You’ll need to space out the cattails because they’re top heavy or the vase will fall over. I placed my vases in a cardboard box while drying to avoid breaking the vases or damaging the cattails.

preserving cattails

Step Three

Let the cattails dry. The time of this probably depends on how much hairspray you used and how many cattails you’re preserving as well. I let mine sit outside in the garage overnight because I was in no hurry.


Step Four

I added some sand to the bottom of my vases and then adjusted the cattails to my desired length one at a time.


Step Five

Enjoy your new DIY decor!

cattails cover photo 3

Comment below if you’ve had any luck preserving cattails. Or, if you have any tips to share with the #justcraftingaround community regarding cattails and cattail decor. We’d love to hear from you!

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