My niece is about to turn 2. In the past few months she’s started seeking out her independence. She can ask for things, she can sing her favorite song, and she can pull on her boots all by herself. On her first birthday she seemed to enjoy tearing the paper off her presents, and was definitely into gobbling up her mini sized smash cake. But this year her birthday is a little more about her and the person she is growing into.
Unfortunately she lives in another province and my husband and I can’t be there to celebrate with her like we were last year. So in order to contribute and feel like I am a part of the event I undertook some crafting to help with the party decor, hats and favors.
There are only a handful of kids invited. (Something that is recommended for a party oriented around that age), so these baskets were the perfect way to do up favors. The theme is Kimmy’s Birthday Picnic Party, and what’s a picnic without a cute little basket? Each basket will be filled with goodies (bubbles and chalk, etc) for each kid to take home and enjoy.
The best part is that the basket is part of the favor and can be reused in the child’s room or anywhere else in the house Mum and Dad see fit. Cute and eco-friendly? Perfect.
Basket Weaving 101
These are VERY simple baskets. The end result is impressive but you don’t need to worry about buying special tools or learning a textbook of jargon. There are only a few things we really need to take a look at.
Baskets can be woven out of a number of materials, the ones in this project are made of reed. It is a plant material that lives on the forest floor and can grow up to 3 feet a day. Reed is processed into different shapes/types. For this project we only need to know about three:
This is what the profile of the reed looks like. The Flat reed is used for the Stakes and Rows, the Flat Oval reed is used for the Rim and Lashing and the Round reed is used for the Twine.
I purchased mine online from basketweavingsupplies.com. Usually reed comes in 1 lb bunches (priced around $7.50).
Besides the 5/8″ Flat Reed, we don’t need anywhere near that much. Fortunately basketweavingsupplies.com also sells some of the reed in yards (at a price of $.10 to $.15). It can help you save quite a bit, especially if you arn’t looking at doing other basket weaving projects.
Now that we have the basics under our belts, lets get started.
For Each Basket You Will Need:
5/8″ Flat Reed
- 12 pieces 14 inches long
- 1 piece 4 feet long
#3 Round Reed
- 1 piece 60 inches long
1/4 ” Flat Reed
- 1 piece 20 inches long
3/8″ Flat Oval Reed
- 2 pieces 25 inches long
11/64″ Flat Oval Reed
- 1 piece 50 inches long
- 1 piece 22 inches long
- 1 piece 22 inches long
- Clothes Pins or Paper Clamps
- Strong Scissors or Wire Cutters
- Ruler or Rotary Mat
- Large Tub or Basket
1. Fill your tub/basket with water. Measure and Cut all pieces of Reed. Throw the Reed in the water to soak for 5 minutes. As you take the reed out of the water to use them, quickly wipe them on the towel to dry them off a bit.
I had the banner and hats done and off the list a few weeks ago. I followed instructions from a couple of other bloggers for the most part and added a few twists of my own.
There are a ton of tutorials out there for these, but if you are interested in the specific one I used leave a comment and I’ll put together a little post about them. (I’ve now added a post about these: Show & Tell: Birthday Bunting Banner and Party Hats)
I had to wait for the basket making supplies to come in (there was a mix up with my order) and almost didn’t get these done in time! Thankfully they are now officially Off the List and on their way to my sister’s.
You could stain the baskets a rich chocolate brown and make a custom lining with an elegant stenciled monograms. What an amazing Christmas gift that would make for my Mother-in-Law.
Is there anyone on your Christmas list that you know would love getting a handmade basket set? It’s never too early to start thinking Joel Noel. Or is that just me?