How to Make a Basket

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The God's Eye is the heart of the melon and egg basket. It is what will hold the hoops, handle, and ribs of your basket together.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 Basket Hoops
  • Basket Dyes
  • Basket Reeds
  • Dressmaker's Measuring Tapes
  • Spray Bottles
  • Clothespins
  • Dishpans
  • Old Scissors
  • Pencils
  • 5-gallon Buckets
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire cutters
  • Take one of your two hoops and mark the joint with a pencil. The joint is where the hoop has been glued together.

  • Measure halfway around the hoop with a dressmaker's tape and mark with a pencil. Do this on your second hoop as well.

  • Soak two very long pieces of ¼-inch flat reed in a pan or bucket of warm water for a few minutes or until pliable.

  • Remove reed from water.

  • Find the "right" side of the reed by bending it. The wrong side will be rough in texture with splinters sticking up. The right side is smoother and will be on the outside of your basket.

  • Place one hoop inside the other hoop forming right angles - lining up the halfway marks on each hoop.

  • Hold the hoops in one hand with the hoop intersection facing you. Use a pencil and mark "1" on the hoop at the 12 o'clock position.

  • Continue counterclockwise, and mark the next hoop "2," then "3," followed by "4."

  • Lay the reed end across the top of the hoop intersection, leaving a tail of about 2 to 3 inches.

  • Place the tail behind hoop 3. When pulling reed across hoops, pull it tightly and hold in place with your fingers.

  • Cross the reed over the top of the intersection to the space between hoops 3 and 4; go behind 3; over the top and between 1 and 4. This will look like an "X" at the hoop intersection.

  • Take reed behind hoop 4; between 3 and 4; across the center to the space between 1 and 2.

  • Take reed behind hoop 1; between 1 and 4; across the center to the space between 2 and 3.

  • Take reed behind hoop 2; between 1 and 2; across the center to the space between 3 and 4.

  • Take reed behind hoop 3; between 2 and 3; across the center to the space between 1 and 4.

  • Repeat steps 12-15. Always overlap the next piece of reed slightly on top of the previous piece.

  • Continue until you have the size of God's Eye needed to hold your basket together. A good rule: For 6-inch hoops, do six complete wraps; for a 10-inch hoop, do 10 complete wraps. This can be adjusted to fit the style and your taste.

  • Finish the God's Eye on the last wrap with the reed between hoops 3 and 4. Take the end of the reed and place it between your last center lap and pull tight.

  • Wrap the tail over hoop 4 with the tail pointing down toward the base of the basket. Hold in place with a clothespin. This long piece left from the God's Eye will be used as the weaver when you begin putting your ribs in place.

  • Repeat steps 9-19 on the other sides of the hoops.

Tips & Warnings

  • It will get easier with practice.
  • If you don't like the way it looks, you can always undo the weave and try again.
  • Hold reed tight and overlap slightly on each wrap.
  • If your reed starts to get too dry, you can mist it with a small spray bottle.

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