A basket crocheted from delicate crochet cotton makes a lovely accessory for your home or a thoughtful gift for someone else. After you have crocheted a basket, you can stiffen it to make it hold its shape, even if the basket has an upright handle.
Blow up a balloon to the approximate shape of and slightly smaller than the inside of your basket. Wrap, pad and shape aluminium foil around the balloon until it matches the interior shape of your basket. Drape cling film over the aluminium foil form. If the basket has a handle, blow up a second balloon and put it inside the basket to hold the handle up and in place.
Pour fabric stiffener and draping liquid into a bowl. Holding the basket over the bowl, dip cotton balls into the fabric stiffener and dab onto the basket, saturating the basket thoroughly. Allow excess liquid to drip down into the bowl. When the basket is saturated from top to bottom, gently wipe off excess fabric stiffener with fresh cotton balls.
Place the basket on a covered surface to dry. If the basket has a ruffled edge, place cling film over the ruffle and then cover it with a strip of aluminium foil folded lengthwise. Crumple the foil to achieve the desired shape. Leave the foil on the ruffle as the basket dries.
Allow the basket to dry for 24 hours. Reshape periodically while still damp if needed. When thoroughly dry and stiff, pop the balloon(s), remove the aluminium foil form and peel away the cling film.
Tint your basket by mixing water-based acrylic craft paint into the fabric stiffener. Fabric stiffener with draping liquid is available at most craft stores.