How to Choose Basket-Weaving Tools and Materials

Basket-making tools can be as simple as a butter knife or as sophisticated as a wooden basket mold.

Buy reed required by the pattern. Patterns should list all the sizes of reed needed. Reed comes in flat, flat oval, half-round and round, in various sizes.

Purchase a medium-sized binding cane to lash the band to the top of your basket.

Use any vine or natural material that can be woven around your finger two or three times without breaking after soaking in water.

Decide on a handle for your basket. It is best to use the handle specified by your basket pattern. After you have mastered some basic weaving techniques, you can convert collectibles such as bucket handles, design your own handles or use natural materials such as driftwood for handles.

Use old scissors to cut smaller reed or vines. For larger pieces, a good pair of wire side cutters or small pruning shears will work nicely.

Use an ice pick or awl to insert reed spokes into weavers.

Measure reed with a dressmaker's tape measure.

Soak reed and weaving materials in a recycled 5-gallon bucket or large dishpan - depending on the amount of reed you will be working with at one time.

Keep extras in your basket-weaver's kit such as a pencil, Band-Aids, and a notebook to keep measurements of your own designs.

Find an old, non-aluminum pot, tongs, wooden spoon, drop cloth and rubber gloves for dyeing reed.

Buy a lot of wooden clothespins.

Purchase a good beginning basket-pattern book such as "The Basket Book."


Look around flea markets and your home for tools you can use in your basket making.

Things You'll Need

  • Basket Handles
  • Basket Reeds
  • Basket Weaving Patterns
  • Binding Canes
  • Dressmaker's Measuring Tapes
  • The Basket Book
  • Clothespins
  • Drop Cloths
  • Ice Picks
  • Pruning Shears
  • Adhesive Bandages
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Dish Pans
  • Old Non-aluminum Pots
  • Old Scissors
  • Tongs
  • Wooden Spoons
  • Pencils
  • Notebooks
  • 5-gallon Plastic Food Grade Buckets
  • Awl
  • Side Cutting Pliers
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