Mini Paper Baskets

Even though this is my contribution to The Pinterster‘s Pintester Movement, I’m going to show enough of my process to feel comfortable calling this a How To. I also altered the instructions. A lot.

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Without further ado, allow me to present a variation on elli.com’s Upcycled Fruit Baskets, which the Pintester succeeded at here.

An Intro to Basket Weaving.  Tiny

The list on elli.com calls for a ruler, small clothes pins, and hot glue. I did not have those things. That resulted in the use of masking tape and a lot less specificity in my version.

IMG_4738                                                                 I didn’t even need the wire! (For a cleaner product, you’ll want hot glue, however.)

Part 1: Cannibalizing Your Bag.

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The instructions called for 16 “short” strips and 4 strips which were “long”, or half again as long as the short strips. Because I didn’t want to deal with gluing strips of paper together to make the long strips, I took the longest strips I could get out of the bag, and folded them in thirds.

Two thirds of my long strips= 1 short strip.

IMG_4741

I quickly learned that length doesn’t exactly matter, especially in the case of mini baskets. You’ve got plenty of paper out of a basic paper bag to cut it lengthwise for the long ones, and cut them in half for the shorter ones.

You’re supposed to cut them 1.75″ wide, and fold them in thirds lengthwise. So I cut mine at about 1 inch (let’s be honest, I’m not measuring any of this) and folded them as called for.

IMG_4743 IMG_4744 IMG_4745

Turns out not only does the folding lengthwise hide the writing on your grocery bag, it also straightens out your lines which is nice, because I wasn’t cutting against a straight edge, if you catch my drift. (My edges were all sorts of messed up)

Part 2: Weaving Your Base

Most of the “mini” in the baskets comes from the fact that I used smaller strips than the instructions called for. I also used less of the strips in creating the base- this is really what determines the size and shape of your basket.

I would be totally remiss if I didn’t take a moment to teach you to weave properly. My mother, as you’ll notice if you read my “About Me” page, was a weaver for a very long time, and still teaches weaving. She’d be disappointed in me if I didn’t at least try. Here goes nothing.

Set up four of your strips with the last folded bit facing up. These are going to be your “warp threads”. You’ll be weaving other strips through them to create the base. The strips you are weaving with will be your “weft”.

IMG_4747                                                         Take a fifth strip and place it over the top “warp” strip. Then bring the second warp strip over it. Go over the next one. And under the last. That’s the pattern, over, under, over, under.

IMG_4748                                                                 If you get screwed up, just go back to that pattern. Next, you’ll repeat the process with a new strip of paper. This time, start by going under the top strip. Follow the under, over pattern until you’ve finished the second strip. Then, repeat it again until you’ve woven in two more strips.

IMG_4751                                                                 It really helps to keep the strips flat on a hard surface. If you start picking them up, you’ll lose tension, and your strips will come loose. You’ll notice that I reinforced the wrong side of the bottom of the basket with a masking tape x.

IMG_4749                                                                 I think everyone should do this. It’ll keep your strips in place until you’re done with your basket completely, which is really useful. I used the side of the strips with the outside of my tri-fold as my wrong side, and the inside of the basket.

Part 3: Weaving the Sides

All of your strips have now become your warp. The first thing you want to do is crease them upwards so that your warp is in the right position to weave.

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For the warp, I found it was easiest to carefully estimate the size of the outside of my basket and make closed squares to weave each layer with.

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It’s important to remember that when you’re weaving, you should continue the over, under pattern. Don’t forget where you left off on the base, keep switching so that your weave stays together.

IMG_4753                                                                 One thing I discovered as I was weaving the loops in, was that it was easier to get them tight to each other if you bend down every other warp strip as you go to trap the strip down.

IMG_4756                                                          Eventually you’ll use all four of your loops, and need to start tucking your strips into the basket, which brings us to

Part 4: Finishing the Basket

IMG_4757                                                              As you can see, I started by tugging every other strip tight, and tucking in only the ones which were on the outside of the last loop. I trimmed them to size, and tucked them back under the second loop I wove.

IMG_4758                                                       Then, I trimmed the strips which ended on the inside so that I could tuck them behind the last loop I wove. Thus, finishing the basket.

IMG_4759                                                                                         Voila! Mini Basket!

At this point I had the urge to stack three of these for an artsy photo in front of some weathered wood, so I decided to make two more of different shapes.

A Circle,

IMG_4764                                              IMG_4761IMG_4762                                                               and a Diamond.

IMG_4766                                               IMG_4765IMG_4767                                                        They’re actually pretty cute, though I have no idea what I’m going to use them for.

IMG_4772                      You can check out my other Pintester Movement entry here!

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16 responses to “Mini Paper Baskets

  1. Pingback: A Year End Review | WhipStitchDesigns

  2. I am so jealous of how yours came out! I did the same pin and my basket ended up in the trash, haha. I think if I re-try it, I’ll be using your method.

  3. So cute! I like the round one the most!

  4. How cute are these? I love it! I would probably let my kids put berries in them, or make flower arrangements that don’t require water , unless you put a little tupperware dish in the bottom,

  5. These turned out so cute!! nice!!

  6. Way to go! These look great!

  7. They came out so good. Everything that I ever try involving paper fails.

  8. Put those on Etsy or something. They look amazing!

  9. Woah pretty. Looks so hard. I will just admire your from afar.

  10. They turned out really nice!

  11. Ok, those are so stinking great I can’t even stand it! Love ’em!

  12. Glad they came out so well! I think you could experiment with different papers and really get some cool designs. Food bloggers (like me!) would be all over this 🙂

  13. Pingback: The Pintester Movement: Test the Pintester | Pintester

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