Basket Weaving Tutorial

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Wicker is the most common basket material.
Wicker is the most common basket material.

Baskets can be made from a variety of materials, most commonly wicker, cane and reed. In order to make the material bend, you must first be saturate it with lukewarm water. The strips of material, the weavers, can be all the same color or used in combination to create patterns. Fancier baskets have handles and intricate designs.

Tools

You need a tub or shallow container for soaking and enough water to cover the wicker. Use handheld wire clippers for trimming and rags or old towels and a floor covering to catch water drips. Clothespins are optional. Patience is helpful, but not required.

Preparation

Soak the weaving material in a tub of water until it is pliable. Be prepared for dripping water by putting towels or plastic sheeting down on the floor near the basin. Leave the wicker immersed until you are ready to use it, then pat off excess water.

Getting Started

For beginners, using a basket weaving kit with a wooden base is the most simple method of creating a basket. It should include all weaving materials and with a picture that shows the completed project.

A basket starts by inserting straight spokes into prepunched wooden base holes, leaving about an inch extended through the bottom, regardless of the size of the basket. They should be even with each other.

Start on the top side of the base. Select a long wicker and slide it between two spokes flat on the base, with the end pointing inside the first spoke. Gently weave outside the next spoke and inside the following one. Repeat this movement until you get to the end of a wicker.

Always stop on the inside with just a small piece protruding. Take a new moist weaver and go backwards two spots, placing the tip on the inside of the spoke on top of the old weaver. Hold both tips in place with two fingers or clothespins until they stay in place by themselves. Depending on the density of the material, you may have to go all the way around, putting another layer on top to make them stay. Continue pushing the layers down against each other and weaving inside and out until you have about 1 to 2 inches left on each spoke.

Insert spokes into the basket's base to begin a kit project.
Insert spokes into the basket's base to begin a kit project.

Completion

Finishing the basket requires soaking the protruding spokes in water to make them pliable again. Depending on the size of the tub and the basket, either immerse the whole basket or just the top or bottom spoke sections before working on it.

For a kit project, bend the wet bottom spokes one at a time in the same direction so they lie nearly flat to the base, tucking each under the one next to it and overlapping the following wicker. Bend the last spoke end under the first, making it as flat as possible.

Create a top border by following the same steps as making the bottom border. Tuck the last piece underneath the first, finishing on the inside.

Allow the basket to dry at least until slightly damp. Clip any protruding ends as close to the inside line as possible. Cutting too close to the area between spokes will cause it to pop through and stick out the other side, leaving a hole that is nearly impossible to fix.

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