Whisk Broom Holder

Whisk broom holders were quite common during the Victorian era. Whisk brooms were used on a daily basis and Victorian ladies like to decorate even the most mundane items. It was inevitable that a whisk broom holder would become an item to be decorated. During that time, there were some who thought that taking time to beautify such an item was silly and a waste of time but the majority of ladies felt differently. A multitude of patterns were sold for this item and many were designed by ladies using their own imagination as well as fabric and ribbon already on hand.

This project is a fairly simple item to make. Although the Poppy design is not include, you may find other designs on this site or have one of your own that you could substitute for it. These instructions are from Embroidery Lessons with Colored Studies published by the Brainerd & Armstrong Co. in 1902.

Poppy Whisk Broom Holder

Brainerd and Armstrong Co., 1902

The attractive Holder as shown in our illustration is stamped on Green Canvas. Its parts are easily finished and put together. There are two panels of stiff cardboard for the front and back, and Green canvas with tinted Poppies for the covering them. There are also supplied two similar panels of thinner cardboard and a lining for covering them. These are covered with the lining material and are fitted on the inside of the Holder to the two corresponding outside panels.

The tinted Poppies on the cover are worked in Long and Short Stitch, with "Asiatic Roman" Floss 2760b, 2671, 2672, 2674. The more distant part of the petal is worked darker whisk broom cover than the part in the foreground. The seed pod in the center of the flower is worked solid with Green 2621. Its top is crossed with Black "Roman" Floss and it is surrounded with French Knots of the same thread and color to represent pollen. The leaves and stems are worked in Outline Stitch, with "Asiatic Roman" Floss 2621, 2622, 2623. The veins in the leaves are worked in the darkest shade.

In preparing the embroidery for mounting, it is first pressed on the wrong side. Cut the Green covering material for each panel about one inch larger on all sides than the cardboard panels. Stretch the covering for each panel very tightly and paste its reverse side to the panel, using the heavier cardboard panels. In the same manner the lining is cut and stretched on the thin cardboard panels.

The next step is to paste each of the thin covered panels to the thick outside panels. The reverse side of one is glued to the reverse side of the other, and care should be taken to get the edges very neat. As soon as the panels are well joined and dried, make five perforations on the sides of both front and back panels. Place the front and back together and, with narrow ribbon, lace the sides and over the top of the front form. A small bow is made with the wider ribbon at each angle of the Holder, and a loop of this same ribbon is made at the top, sufficiently long to serve as a hanger for the Holder.

Whisk brooms were used on clothing, much like we use lint brushes today. Many times whisk brooms could be found on or near a lady's dressing table for daily use. It is no wonder that Victorian women felt the need to dress it up.

Whisk broom holders would have been covered with fairly heavy, sturdy material as it was handled often. The embroidery, of course, could be made as simple or as elaborate as the embroiderer wished.

If you make a whisk broom holder, such as the one described above, please contact me And I'll post a picture of your finished product as well as your name and any hints you would like to pass along to others.

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