Wicker baskets can provide storage in your home for nearly anything, from fruit to toys to craft supplies. While baskets can be made from a variety of materials, willow is the primary material for wicker baskets. You can customize your basket and complete one in an afternoon with only basic materials.
Purchase or harvest an adequate amount of willow for your basket. One-half to three-quarters of a pound of dried willow will produce a medium-sized basket. Longer lengths are appropriate for larger baskets and shorter ones for smaller wicker baskets. If you have harvested your own willow, be sure to allow it to dry thoroughly. When dry, it should feel very light.
Soak the willow until it bends easily at a 90-degree angle. If your willow still has the bark attached, allow three to four days of soaking. White or buff willow purchased from suppliers can be ready to use in just a few hours. Cover the willow to keep it damp while working with it; only soak as much as you will use for your project.
Select and cut eight pieces of willow to form the warp or spokes for your wicker basket. Cut a small opening into the center of four of the pieces and lay them flat. Insert the four non-slit spokes into the cuts. You will now have a sturdy cross shape.
Fold a long piece of material in half around one of the spokes of your cross-shaped base. Twine the ends of this piece above and below the basket warp twice. On the next wrap, work above and below each individual spoke, separating the four cross arms into 16 individual spokes. Overlap new weavers with the old as needed to continue twining until you have an adequate base for your basket.
Insert long new spokes to shape the sides of the basket. These can simply be pushed into place. Tie the ends of the new spokes together to hold them into an upright shape.
Add in new weavers by pushing them through the already woven wicker basket base as you did the spokes. Begin twining around the sides until you reach the desired height. Bend down each spoke, tucking the end into the woven willow basket to form a neat rim.
Things you need
- Willow rods in desired color
- Large tub for soaking
- Small knife