How to Make a Grapevine Basket

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Although it has a wild and rough appearance, grapevine is a convenient material for making baskets since it's long, strong and flexible. This type of basket is probably not going to win any craft competitions, but it's a great introduction to the techniques of basket making and can come in handy for storing things around the house.

Things You'll Need

  • Grapevine
  • Knife and/or or heavy-duty shears
  • Heavy twine (optional)
  • Bend a relatively thick, straight piece of grapevine into a circle. Use twine or thin grapevines to tie it closed securely. This circle will form the rim of your basket.

  • Make a second similar circle. Fit one circle into the other, forming a simple sphere. The second circle will form the handle of the basket. Tie across the joints between the circles in both directions with twine or thin vines.

  • Use medium-weight grapevine to create spokes like the spokes of a wheel on the bottom half of the basket (the part that will actually get covered with woven vine). The bottom half of the handle circle should form one of these supports. Use more vine to cross the bottom of the basket in the opposite direction and to create diagonal spokes if you like (especially if your basket is large). Wrap these lengths of vine across the bottom of the basket, over the rim and back down into the bottom. Tie them off (or weave the ends in somewhere secure) anywhere away from the rim, where hopefully they will get covered up as you continue weaving.

  • Start weaving the basket with thin grapevine. Begin at the bottom of the basket where the spokes meet. Weave the vine over one spoke and under the next. Work around the bottom of the basket and begin to work up the sides as you accumulate more and more layers.

  • Continue this process until you reach the rim of the basket. Tuck in any loose ends as well as possible.

  • Wrap a few pieces of thin grapevine around the handle, for decoration, if you like.

  • Allow the basket to dry out thoroughly, after which the vines will be less flexible and the basket will be a bit sturdier.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fresh grapevine is generally flexible enough to work easily, but harder pieces can be soaked in water overnight, then worked while wet if you prefer.

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