Gather similar-size cattails. Remove and separate reeds, then trim cattails to a similar length. Measure height of container and trim all reeds to fit.
Place a generous amount of glue on a paper plate. Use the plastic knife to spread glue around the outside of the container, a small vertical section at a time. Press reeds onto the container; let dry.
Wind a few strands of raffia around the top edge of the container and attach with glue.
Using the photo as a guide, trim wheat to extend beyond the container rim. Glue wheat, evenly spaced, around the reed-covered container. Wrap and glue several strands of raffia around the bottom edge of the container.
To preserve cattail heads: In a well-ventilated area, generously coat the cattail heads with varnish using the paintbrush. Place cattails upright in extra containers, keeping stems separated; let dry.
Fill the decorated container halfway with rice or dried beans to support cattails. Arrange cattails in container.