Thistles are herbaceous plants with flowers that are often dried and used in crafts, such as wreathes. The down from thistles can be collected and used to stuff pillows or in papermaking. Because the thistle is the Scottish national emblem, thistle motifs appear in many types of crafts, such as crochet.
Dried thistle flowers complement other flowers in wreathes. Make sunflower and thistle wreathes to adorn doors or a summer party table. Cover a wreath form with moss and then add dried flowers such as sunflowers, thistles and lavender. Make thistle spiders for Halloween. Spray dried thistles with black paint and glue on googly eyes and black pipe cleaner legs.
The long soft hairs, or down, allow the wind to lift and disperse thistle seeds. Collect the down in the fall and use it to stuff pillows or as a supplemental fibre in papermaking. Remove seeds or bits of seed pods and then use the down like any other stuffing in pillows or add to other fibres in homemade paper.
Images of the thistle flowers and leaves are reproduced in many types of crafts, from stained glass to cross stitch to jewellery. There are even several versions of a thistle stitch used in crochet. To make the thistle stitch, alternate shell stitches with double crochet stitches instead of single crochet so that the shell "stands up" into a thistle flower shape. Use the thistle stitch to crochet items such as scarves.