Originally this was suppose to be posted for an Easter project but then I checked my calendar and saw that Easter was Aril 1st this year and I didn’t have enough time to get these little baskets done. They make great party favors, plus Mother’s Day is next month (In America that is) so they can be used for just about any day if you think about it.
In fact, I made a bunch of these little baskets one year for all the girls in my family (father’s side) at a family reunion we had. I used a bunch of paper napkins I bought at Ikea. They have some really pretty napkins there. Once the baskets were finished I added little chocolates, travel sized bath products and a candle.
Pretty printed-paper napkins (the thicker the better)
Tacky glue or low temp glue gun.
Clothespins (mini clothes pins)
Cardboard or poster board
Assorted ribbons and accessories to decorate with.
First you will need to make a little box. You can use old empty cereal boxes or poster board to draw out a box shape.
These baskets are tiny, so the sizes of these boxes are around 2-3 inches. I ended up doing two sizes. Just draw out a 2-inch square, and then draw 11/2 inch sides to fold and tape up after you cut out.
They should look like this once taped and finished.
Now you can start cutting your paper napkins into little strips. I used a ruler as the template.
Make sure to glue seams on the sides, so your strips have sharp edges. It looks better.
Once you have finished your strips then you can start wrapping them around your little boxes. Use your clothespins to hold in place, then start a new row and keep doing this until you get to the weaving part.
When you get to the last two sides of your box, you will need to weave the bottom of the box. Don’t let this intimidate you, you can do it, just take your time. First row, start by weaving over strip, then under the next strip and continue going over and under until you get to the end then pin in place at top with clothespin.
Continue weaving bottom of box.
Once you have finished covering the whole box, then you will need to weave the side strips in. When I was organizing my craft supplies I got rid of some of my pretty paper napkins, so I didn’t have a whole variety of colors to choose from. It looks better if your baskets have different colors of strips weaved together. I pulled out my ribbon and found some colors that made a nice contrast of colors. The ribbons are great because you don’t need to trace and cut, they are already perfect strip sizes to weave with.
Glue down ribbon in corner making sure it is under another strip. This will hide where you started weaving. Then start weaving over and under until you get to the end.
Once at the end, glue in place where you started and cover with strip and pin in place.
Start second row same way but move over one row.
Should look like this when finished.
The next step is gluing down all your strips in place at the top. glue each strip down one at a time pulling up a little so the basket weave is nice and tight. Careful when working with paper napkins, it will tear if you pull up too hard. Once you are finished gluing in strip all away around you can start making your basket handle.
To make a basket handle just use your ruler as a template and trace onto cardboard then cut out strip. Take your paper napkin and placing cardboard strip in middle, start gluing napkin over strip. Make sure to fold in on seam when you glue second side. Then glue ribbon down middle to hide seam.
Once handle is dry, glue down inside your basket box and hold in place with clothespins until dry.
For lining in basket you will need to measure out about a 3-inch width, for a 2 inch basket (allow seam allowance) and the length of the basket. Fold over napkin at top and glue down for a nice sharp seam before you start gluing. I measured the old fashion way by wrapping the napkin around the outside of basket to see if I had enough material to cover the inside. I usually trim some extra off later when I get to the end of my gluing. Which is the next step coming up.
Take your folded piece of napkin and start gluing at the top of the inside of the basket.
When you get to the end of your gluing then fold over and tuck in to have a clean seam, then glue in place. This is where I usually trim any extra napkin away if it is too long.
To make the little cushioned pillow to place inside just trace out the size of the bottom of your box onto a piece of cardboard and cut out. I will cut and round out the corners to make the fit a little easier to get in. Cover with batting and paper napkin by gluing in place. Then flip over and now you have a nice little cushion to put inside your basket. Add some glue to bottom of the inside of basket, then glue cushion in place.
Make sure to save this step for last. I always get ahead of myself and forget to glue the lining inside first and instead add the cushion before that. Check one of the photos below and you will see what I am talking about. Thank goodness, I was able to correct this mistake before gluing it down completely.
After you have completed your basket you can get out little embellishments and start adding ribbons and buttons to the front.
Some extra tips-
Try to find good paper napkins if you decide to use this inexpensive route when making your baskets. I usually use fabric unless I am trying to keep cost down and have a lot of mini basket to make. When using paper, you have to have a gentle touch or the paper will tear. I used a paper basket liner for the blue basket and it was very thick, somewhere between tissue and wrapping paper. It folded nicely so I didn’t have to glue my seams down. When you use fabric you will need to iron down seam borders. If you use a glue gun please keep on low temp, paper is thin and you will have lots of burns if you don’t. For a more pronounced basket shape, glue cotton batting to the sides of your box and weave over that. I usually add batting every time. This is a great project for all those little scraps of mismatched fabrics you don’t know what to do with. I think the baskets look like little basket quilts. Use wrapping paper if this is your first time making this, and an empty pop tarts box. Just cut the box side down to the size of basket you want. Using inexpensive supplies on a first project will make you feel better in case you make mistakes…just start over until you get it. Remember don’t give up. Happy crafting everyone.