This summer we’ve been harvesting so many fruits and vegetables from our little organic garden, that I found my self out of picking baskets, with nothing left to harvest the veggies with, and absolutely nowhere to store them I realized I had to get working on some home-made baskets. I started weaving simple picking baskets, with bright-colored, heavy weight papers, that I found on sale in the big box craft store. These baskets can be made as big or as small as you like, and can even be made to resist water with a few simple coats of Modge Podge. Now we have brightly colored baskets all over the house, all for the price of a $5 pack of paper and a bottle of Elmers glue. Here’s how to get started.
What you will need:
Heavy weight craft paper or cardstock.
1. Start out by carefully cutting your paper strips for you warp and weft. The warp will be the paper strips that make up the bottom of the basket, and continue up the sides, while the weft strips are woven horizontally into the sides of the basket. I cut 20, 1/2″ strips, in each color that I will be weaving with.
2. Then with a gridded rubber mat under your weaving to keep everything lined up, glue the first two strips in a cross shape. Next add another strip to either side, making sure to use a small dot of glue in between each overlap of paper. Hold each newly glued spots for ten seconds to set. This simple style of weaving is called plain weave.
3. Continue adding and glueing strips until you have reached the dimensions of the basket bottom that you require. This basket is 10×10 strips.
4. Let the glue set for at least 30 minutes, then using a ruler bend the strips of the paper warp up and in, folding the slats completely down to make sure that they are laying straight. After you have checked the straightness of the strips, push them into a standing position.
5. Now that you have your side warp strips up, you will start putting in the weft strips. As you work your way around the basket make sure to keep you weft strips even all the way around, or you will get a funny lumpy looking basket.
6. Once you have finished your first side of weaving, and are about to make your turn to the next side, take a 5 minute break to let your glue set up. You can use paper clips to keep everything secured while it dries.
7. To create a sharp corner after the glue sets, put a ruler into the corner and use it to create a sharp bend in the paper, so that you can start weaving the next side. Continue until you make your way around all 4 sides of the basket.
8. Keep adding on warp strips until you have reached the desired height of your basket. This basket is 5 strips tall.
9. Once you basket has reached its desired height, and the glue has set for at least 5 minutes, cut the extra warp strips so that there is only roughly an inch standing above your last weft strip.
10. Now you are going to carefully fold each strip down, and into the basket, so that they are an even height all the way across the top, then glue into place.
11. Now take 2 of your left over strips, one in each color and glue them together slightly overlapped so that each color shows.
12. Glue the two attached strips into the sides of the basket, secure with paper clips until dry.
13. To add a water-resistant quality to the baskets, coat in multiple layers of Modge Podge, letting it dry completely between each layer. I use 3-6 layers on my vegetable picking baskets.
2. Then carefully cut these circles into spirals.
3. Pull the spiral up to give it dimension.
4. Slowly twist the circle from the outside into a flower shape.
4. Make sure to secure with glue in multiple spots to keep the petals from unraveling. Once the flower is dry, glue in the bright-colored center and attach to the basket.