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.
Part 1: Cannibalizing Your Bag.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Part 4: Finishing the Basket
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.
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.
You can check out my other Pintester Movement entry here!