Come to a Friends' Craft Group

  • The Friends' Craft Groups welcome visitors to their meeting or demonstration days

  • New members, especially beginners, visitors and non-members are all welcome

  • Come along, watch and ask questions of any member of the Craft Groups

  • Join one of the Craft Groups and take part in Craft Workshops

  • Join the Friends to become involved

  • see below for information about the groups and their meeting and demonstration days

  • Friends are reminded that Plant Craft Cottage has an extensive reference library on plant crafts.

          Friends' Craft Cottage, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens, H Gate

Time:             10.30 am - 2 pm - Dates for each group listed below
Cost:              Free entry. Come along.    
Bookings:      Bookings are not required    
Enquiries:     (03) 9650 6398

Craft Groups at the Cottage
(Adobe PDF File)
Location Map
(Adobe PDF File)

Basketry Craft Group

This Craft Group meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. The Group investigates the use of plant material, Australian and introduced, to make a wide range of baskets. Techniques range from traditional stitching and weaving to free form construction with vines and creepers. In recent times the Group has made basketry items from corn husks, pine needles, vine prunings and red dogwood, and experimented with dyeing basketry materials.
We have an exciting workshop coming up on Saturday 19 May called the “Red Hot Poker Basket Workshop”. Some clever little baskets of Libby’s are the inspiration for this workshop, using a simple knotted base the whole basket is made of poker. Details of the workshop will appear in the Autumn issue of Botanic News and on this website under Adult Workshops. Book online also under What's On

Lydia Beshara – Co-ordinator

Read further insights on Basketry ...
Meetings/Demonstrations:     20 June, 18 July, 15 August 2018

Natural Dye Group

This Group meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month. The Group works with natural dyes and researches their preparation and use in the dying of cotton, silk and other natural fibres. The dyes are extracted from the leaves, flowers, fruit, stems and roots of plants. Some of the dyes used have been madder, logwood, camomile, eucalyptus, thryptomeme, correa and indigo. The Group also uses the Shibori technique to pattern cloth. A reference collection has been established and is stored in the von Mueller Resource Centre. Read more about plants used...

At the February meeting we will be organising dyeing wool skeins with cochineal.
At the March meeting we will have a follow-up session (or perhaps a catch up session) on shibori started last year.
At the April meeting we will be organising dyeing with Eucalypt leaves, and making final preparations for the Workshop.
We will be holding a Natural Dye/Eucalypt leaf dyeing workshop in April 2018. Details on the Adult Workshops page and book online for the workshop under Whats On
Meetings/Demonstrations:   4 July, 1 August 2018

Working with Fibre Craft Group

This Craft Group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. The Group specialises in the use of the plant fibre fabrics and threads cotton, linen and jute. They study ancient crafts, as well as traditional and modern ones. They use the skills with a view to their appreciation in everyday use. In 2016 we spent a number of meetings on 'scrumbling' or free form knitting. Read more about this ....

We are looking forward to another year of experimenting with new techniques and taking a fresh look at some old ones.

We have planned a program for the year which begins with Finger Knitting at our first meeting for the year on the 13 February.

For any members of the PCC who might be interested in joining us for any of our activities, do come, even if only for a few weeks. 

New Knitters Group commencing in early March. Details below or on the Adult Workshops page. No need to book just come along.

Meetings/Demonstrations:      10 July, 14 August 2018

KNITTERS !!! - Join the new Knitters' Group

We invite you to join our friendly group of knitters. Our first project was to knit/crochet a Poppy (pattern provided) and contribute to the Remembrance Day Poppy Appeal 2018. Future projects include knitted fruit and veg.

 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10.30 am  - 12.30 pm
Plant Craft Cottage, RBGV, Melbourne Gardens, near H Gate
Cost:  Gold coin donation
Materials:  BYO 8-ply wool, 3.5 crochet hook/3.5 knitting needles
Tea and coffee provided.

Dates: 19 June, 17 July, 21 August 2018

Paper Group

The Group experiments with plant fibres and recycled paper to make handmade paper and sculptural forms. In recent times they have made plant fibre papers using New Zealand flax, tried various ways of decorating paper, both commercial and handmade, and investigated different types of bookbinding.

Read more about the Paper Group......

Meetings/Demonstrations:    the Paper Group is hoping to meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month please phone Jean on 8588 1824 if you are interested.

Plant Card Group

This Group meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month. The Group presses flowers, leaves, grasses, weeds and even seaweed and uses them creatively to decorate home-made and commercial cards and bookmarks. They specialise in landscapes and creatures, and seasonal themes. 

We will start the New Year 2018 with a flourish of health and wellbeing, and many new inventive ways to create our cards. Although we have become a fairly small group, we have very talented members and expect the card group to flourish this year. Any new members are welcome and there is a wealth of experience to help them progress.

We have kept up a steady supply of card-making kits and ensured we all keep producing flowers for them, and continued producing  unique and cute creative cards.
Meetings/Demonstrations:      21 June, 19 July, 16 August 2018

Pot Pourri Group

This Group meets on the 2nd Friday of the month. The Group dries, strips and mixes herbs, spices, fragrant barks, leaves and flowers to make perfumed mixes having a variety of uses. Some of the items they make include both moist and dry pot pourri, pomanders, drawer sachets and insect repellents. They are also experienced in sand-drying flowers to retain their shape and colour. Moist Pot Pourri Sachets and Heather's small jars of Moist Pot Pourri are popular items in the Shop.

If any members could spare the time to dry some rose petals for us, we would appreciate them.  The method is to pick the roses when dry, lay the petals in a basket or on flat paper, and keep them out of direct sunlight. When they are dry (not crisp) leave them in a brown paper bag on our dresser in the Cottage. One of our members will then smooth the petals for inclusion in a dry pot pourri.
As usual at this time of the year, any donations of English Lavender would be appreciated. 

Read more about The Art of Pot Pourri
Meetings/Demonstrations:      13 July, 10 August 2018

Cottage Craft Shop 

The cottage crafters produce a wide variety plant craft items and other material for sale in the Craft Shop in the Cottage. Some of the items produced include kitchen herbal wreaths, scrapbooking kits, flower holders, garden tool holders, rosemary salt, cushions and a wide assortment of bags.

Take the opportunity to visit the Cottage Craft Shop full of hand made gifts. Hand dyed items, beautiful cards, Friends' calendars and cards, and festive themed gifts. Parking available on Alexandra Avenue and enter the Royal Botanic Gardens via H Gate.  The Craft Cottage is open Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 3 pm and the 3rd Sunday each month

Meetings/Demonstrations:    Visitors and volunteers most welcome - please come to the shop in the cottage during opening hours.

Cottage Garden Group

This Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. The Group maintains the Cottage garden with advice and assistance from the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Plants suitable for use by the Craft Groups can be found in the cottage garden. To join this group please contact the Friends' office.

Two Special Interest Groups focus on the day-to-day activities of the Cottage.

House Group

This Group is responsible for household duties at the Cottage.

Roster Group  

The members of this important Group are the hosts in the Cottage each day it is open. They introduce our local, interstate and overseas visitors to the history of the Cottage and the range of plant related crafts practised.