Ideas for Using Raffia

Written by lisa mcquerrey
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Ideas for Using Raffia
Raffia has many decorative and practical purposes. (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Raffia is an inexpensive natural fibre with many practical and decorative uses. Raffia comes in a variety of colours, lengths and widths and can typically be purchased at fabric, speciality and arts and crafts stores. If you are in the market for bulk amounts of raffia, you may want to purchase it through a textile manufacturing company.

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Ideas for using raffia are most commonly related to decorating, as raffia is a favourite material for country, primitive and rustic crafts and decor. Ideas for using raffia in decorating include making large bows suitable for wall hanging, braided raffia wreaths, raffia swags for windows and doorways, banister wrapping, and even raffia trim for place mats, table runners, tablecloths, table skirts and bed skirts. Raffia can also be used in place of ribbon for holiday tree trimming.


Create unique packaging material using raffia. Use thin strands of raffia to create delicate, rustic ties and garnishes around hand-dipped paraffin candles or jar lids of homemade jams, jellies and honey. It can also be used to wrap handmade soaps, papers or candles, or even as a replacement for traditional wrapping paper itself.

Basket Weaving

Braid together thin strands of raffia and wind into decorative raffia baskets. Use different colours of raffia to create the illusion of intricate, woven designs. The same technique can be used to create raffia place mats, beverage coasters, mats for outdoor seating and chair covers, and even rustic wall hangings.

Country Living

Add an element of instant country charm to any decor by using raffia. Tie raffia bows around doorknobs, vase rims, kitchen canisters, guest towels or basket handles; weave raffia into grapevine or straw wreaths, or tie around the necks of wine bottles; wrap silk or fresh flowers with raffia bows; replace ornament hangers with raffia ties; or make a jaunty raffia bow tie for stuffed bears. Weave strands of raffia through silk plants, or tie bands of raffia around old books, hats or aged toys for an interesting decorative element.

Raffia Crafts

Use raffia to make miniature scarecrows, angels or holiday wreaths; use shredded or curled raffia as decorative basket filler for gift baskets or silk flower pots; use raffia as a découpage material to cover papier-mache boxes to make rustic gift containers, jewellery boxes or storage bins; use thin raffia as a thick fibrous thread for sewing or connecting other natural fibres such as leather, canvas or handmade paper. These can then be used to create notebook covers, bookmarks, primitive clothing for handmade dolls and animals, and decorative, natural-looking containers.

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