Hand-Woven Basket

What comes with my kit:
10” Hoop (rim)
48 yards Flat Reeds (weavers)
12 yards Round Reeds (ribs)
60 inches Waxed Thread

This beautiful basket is perfect for any room — whether you use it to hold potatoes, bread, kid’s toys, napkins, or anything you can imagine putting in a basket. In addition to the kit materials, you'll need some additional household tools:

  • Hot glue gun (preferred) 
  • Clothespins
  • Tape measure
  • Wire cutters or heavy scissors
  • Pencil & Pencil sharpener
  • Container for soaking flat reed
  • Awl, ice pick, or small screwdriver

Once you have all your supplies together, let’s get started! 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Note: Each step in crafting the basket builds on the previous step.  As such, it is important to work in the order laid out below.  The kit contains in-depth diagrams which allows you to have a visual aid as you go, making construction even easier.

1. Measuring and Marking the Hoop: Measure the circumference of the 10” hoop with the tape measure, then divide the circumference in half, making pencil marks at the halfway points (10” hoops may vary slightly in size, so each one needs to be measured.) 

2. Cutting and Securing the First Three Primary Ribs: From the #6 round reed, cut 3 ribs, each 20” long.

Each rib will probably have a natural curve from being coiled. On the two halfway marks you made, fit one of the three ribs on the inside of the hoop, one end of the rib on one mark, the other end on the opposite mark. Glue in place with hot glue and clip in place with a clothespin.

With the center rib in place, measure and mark 1” to the right and 1” to the left. The other two ribs are glued to these marks just as the first rib is. It is crucial to glue these ribs securely before continuing on with the basket. 

4. Making the Ear: Coil 2 weavers, separately, each being at least 8 feet long, securing with a clothespin. Soak the coiled weavers in water for one to two minutes. Using one of the wet weavers, begin to make the ear. You will be making the ear around the three primary ribs and hoop (or rim) on both sides of the ribs. Begin on the right and make X’s on top of the three primary ribs. After making X’s, and using the same weaver, begin the ear by going around the rim, over the first rib, under the middle rib, over the last rib, and up and around the over rim. The only important thing to remember here is that the area between the last rib and the rim must lay flat. A half twist in the weaver is necessary to make it flat. Continue weaving the ear in this manner until you have gone around 6 times on both rims. Do not cut the weaver. Secure with a clothespin at the rim. 

5. Cutting and Inserting Other Primary Ribs: Cut and number the following ribs—cut 2 of each: #I...14”,#II...16”, #III...17”, #IV...18”. After cutting the 8 ribs, sharpen points on both ends with the pencil sharpener. Insert a #I rib in the first opening, just underneath the hoop (one on each side). Use an awl or some other pointed tool to open sufficiently. Now insert a #II rib in the same opening as #I, below #I (on both sides). Insert #IV rib in the opening between the outside and middle ribs on each side, using the tool to enlarge the space above, if necessary. Lastly, insert #III in the center of lashing by making a space for the rib with the awl. You must actually split the reed between the #II and #IV ribs. NOTE: This is the area you made to lie flat. If it doesn’t lay flat, you will have trouble making a hole in it. After you have added all 8 of the primary ribs, you have the basic skeleton of the basket. 

6. Measure Opening for Handle: With tape measure, measure the distance from the edge of one ear to the edge of the other ear. Put a mark at the halfway point, i.e. if the distance is 12”, mark it at 6”. Then, from the center mark, measure 2” to the right. Mark. Then measure 2” to the left. Mark. Thus, you have measured and marked off a 4” opening which will become your “handle”. 

7. Weaving the Basket: After all the ribs are in place securely, begin weaving by using the remainder of the weaver with which you made the ear. Simply weave under one rib, over the next, etc., going around the rim and reversing the process, making sure your rows are alternating. Weave 5 rows on one side of the basket. Secure with clothespins. Weave 5 rows on the other side of the basket. Secure weaver. Stop and cut secondary ribs. Gently tug the ends of the yarn to tighten the knot. 

8. Cutting and Inserting Secondary Ribs: Cut the following ribs—cut two of each: #1...14”,#2...16”, #3I...16 1/2”, #4...17”. NOTE: The seoncaat ribs do not go all the way into the ear. They only go into the 5 rows of weaving with points hidden under a weaver. Place #1 secondary rib in the same space as #I primary rib. Place #2 secondary rib in the same space as #II primary rib. Do the same with #3 and #4. Once secondary ribs are in place and secure, begin weaving again over one rib , under one rib, just as before. Do not be alarmed if your over-under pattern is disturbed for the first row. The second row corrects itself if you always weave “over one, under one”. 

9. Splicing: When you have 2 to 3 inches of weaver left, it is time to join a new soaked weaver to it. This joining should not take place at the rim, so backtrack if necessary. Overlap the new weaver on top of the old one. You will be weaving with two pieces of reed for 3 or 4 ribs. Hide the ends, if possible, under a rib. 

10. Finishing the Basket: Continue weaving the basket. Do not weave all of one side, and then the other. Weave several rows on one side, then several on the other to keep the basket balanced. On this particular basket, you must leave an opening in the side for a “handle”. On the rim you have already marked off a 4” space. When your weaving reaches the mark on each side, the #I rib becomes the point at which you turn and go back down, rather than weaving around the hoop, thus leaving an opening between the first rib and the hoop. Continue in this manner until all the space is filled. The #I rib will fill in before the bottom of the basket does. When you can no longer fit any more weavers in, drop down to the next rib, turn and go back, just as you turned around the hoop. Continue this manner until all the space is filled in. 

11. Wrapping the Handle (optional): If you wish to cover your handle, insert a short weaver into the weaving behind the rim. Wrap in a continuous motion until the area is covered. Cut the weaver leaving a 1 inch tail. Insert this end into the weaving on the back of the rim on the opposite side.

Tada! Load with your favorite household items and put your new creation on display for guests to admire.

  • Finished Size: 7"X12"X12"
  • Yards: 65
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