Friday, January 18, 2008

A Basket Full of Fun - Making Different types of Baskets

Heart Basket

This heart basket is beautiful and easy to make (once you get the hang of it). You can make it out of paper or felt (for a long-lasting basket).
Younger kids need help doing this project.

These baskets can be used as party favors, filled with candy, or even as a craft to make during a party (you may want to do the marking and/or cutting before the party if younger children are involved).

To make a woven Heart Basket, you will need:

Two pieces of paper, each a different color (or use felt)
a pen or pencil
glue or a stapler.

For each basket, you'll need 2 strips of colored paper (use 2 different colors). Fold each piece of paper in half. Cut the folded paper into two halves (along the dotted line), into long rectangles. The exact dimensions of the paper rectangles don't matter as long as the two pieces that make a basket are the same size.

Place the 2 folded rectangles on top of each other, rotated 90° from each other. Draw a thin pencil line along the edge of one side onto the other rectangle.

Place the rectangles exactly on top of each other, making sure that the folds are on top of each other.

Mark each strip as shown in the picture. The number of strips you cut and their width doesn't really matter; just make each strip at least 1/2 inch wide so they don't break too easily. Cut along the new dotted lines.

In regular weaving, strands are woven "under" and "over" each other; in this basket the weaving is "through" and "around."

Start the weaving by weaving strip 1 through slit A, around strip B, through slit C, etc., until the row is finished. Push this row to the back, where the slits end.

Continue the weaving with strip B. Weave it through slit 1, around strip 2, through slit 3, etc., until this row is finished. Continue until all the rows are done.

Cut a strip of paper (about 1/2 inch by 6-7 inches) for the basket's handle. Glue or staple it to the front and back of the basket.

Paper Baskets

These Paper Baskets are easy for kids to make, and fun to fill with treats that kids love.

Paper Baskets are great for any time of the year. Use a different shape to make baskets for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, or even Thanksgiving Day. Be sure to pick colors of paper that will fit the theme of your baskets (eg. pink hearts, orange pumpkins, green shamrocks).

Materials List

Fold the paper in half.
Take one side of the paper and fold it back on itself. Repeat on the other side. Your paper should now be folded in quarters, but it should be like a fan fold.

Draw a design or trace a pattern on the paper. Make sure it touches on both sides, and leave a bit room at the bottom. Add a tab to the bottom of your pattern.
Cut out along the lines.

The four shapes are the four sides to your basket. Fold each of the bottom tabs towards the center.

Cut out a small tab from the scrap paper. Fold it in half. Put glue along the outside. Put the tab on one edge of the basket, and glue to the other side of the basket to complete the square.

Cut out a square from the extra paper. Put a bit of glue on the top of each of the tabs. Put the square into the center of the basket to make the bottom.

Add a handle of twisted paper, or ribbon.


For your first basket, use an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Your finished basket will be about 2 inches square.
For a stronger basket, glue a cardboard square under the bottom of the basket.

A Paper-Mache Basket

Paper-mache over blown-up balloons makes baskets. Use tissue papers for the last layer to add the color.

What You Need:

Liquid starch
Old newspapers
Old cake or pie tin
Paper or plastic cup
Colored tissue paper
Can of flat white spray paint
Jar of gloss medium and varnish


1. Tear newspapers into 1-inch-wide strips that are 2 to 3 inches long. Blow up the balloon and tie the end with an overhand knot.

2. Pour starch into the pie tin. Cover the balloon with newspaper strips that have been dipped into the starch. After the balloon is covered with this layer, add a second layer. Overlap the strips and completely cover the balloon, except for the knotted end. Tie a string above the knot of the balloon. Hang the balloon in a cool, dry area to dry overnight. Add more strips, if necessary, and let these strips dry.

3. Snip the knotted end from the balloon, let the air escape, and remove the balloon. Let the paper ball dry for a few more hours.

4. Cut 1 inch off the top of the plastic cup to use for the base. Cover the base with paper strips. Fasten the wide end of the base to the wide end of the ball with more strips. Cover the hole where you removed the balloon with strips. Let the ball dry.

5. Draw a zigzag line around the ball's middle to mark the top of the basket, and a pair of parallel lines over the top (the narrow end) to mark the handle. Cut out the enclosed areas to form the basket. Spray-paint the basket white. When completely dry, apply tissue paper.

TIP: Paint small areas of the basket with the gloss medium and varnish. Lay cut strips of tissue paper over the medium. Paint the medium over the top of the tissue paper. Cover all sides of the basket with the tissue paper. Let dry.

Plastic Bottle Basket

Make this basket from a small pop bottle or try it with a 2 liter for a larger basket. You will need to weave a few chenille stems together to create the handle for the larger basket.

What you'll need:

20 ounce or 1/2 liter plastic pop bottle (Sprite is green)
Craft knife
Bumpy chenille stem (or regular chenille stem)
Hole punch
Easter grass
Candies or treats to fill basket

How to make it:

Cut the bottle with the craft knife about 4" from the bottom. Discard top.
Hole punch on two sides directly across from each other.
Insert one end of the chenille stem from the outside to the inside. Bring it up and twist to the stem above the bottle edge.
Repeat for other end of the chenille stem.
Fill with Easter grass, candies or treats.

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