Basket weaving is both therapeutic and artistic. You can gather the materials you need right in your own backyard or at the local park, so this is a great craft for those on a budget. These handmade straw baskets make excellent gift items, as well.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 0.907kg. Straw
- 100 Willow branches
- Sharp knife
Soak the willow for at least 12 hours.
Split the soaked willow with a sharp knife, and hold one end in your mouth as you tear the cut strip away from the stalk.
Remove broken pieces by gathering groups of willows into your hands and slapping them against your knee. Use your fingers to comb the broken pieces out.
Soak the remaining straw for about 10 minutes to loosen it up.
Wrap the soaked straw in a damp towel while you work.
Preparing your Materials
Wrap one strip of willow around the end of a straw bundle to secure it. Trip the straw ends beyond the point of the willow strap.
Continue to wrap willow around the straw four times, then begin curling the straw into a spiral shape, drawing the willow through the middle of each spiral and pulling taught. Do this five times.
Use an awl, open a hole in the spiralled straw.
Stitch willow through the straw under one of the wraps. Pull stitches tight.
Wrap willow strip around and around the straw, stitching through the bundle to create a coil.
Add straw to the basket as it gets larger by weaving new ends into the old ones.
Add willow as needed by pulling new strands through and hiding the ends behind the coils.
After the bottom of the basket reaches about 6 inches in width, start to curve the spiral upward to make a bowl shape.
After the sides reach about 5 inches in height, cut the ends of the straw bundle at an angle.
Wrap the ends of the straw into the willow stitches.
Stitch over the rim with willow in the opposite direction of the first round of stitches.
Coiling the Straw
Tips and warnings
- Try to make your willow stitches evenly spaced and your straw bundles uniform in thickness while you coil.