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Woven Easter Basket

Craft a beautiful container for your springtime treasures—all you need is a ball of hemp cord, a darning needle, and something easily found in your kitchen.

Photography: Anne Weil

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

This idea comes from our contributor Anne Weil. For the weaving mold, she used a cornstarch container readily available from her kitchen, but she says, "you can use anything hard and square like a glass vase, a Tupperware container or the like." Note: If you use a bigger container, you will need more cord. Even better, the gifting possibilities are endless and transcend the season. Her suggestion? "Repurpose it after the special day to hold your favorite plant."

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of Easter Baskets.

materials

  • 1 ball hemp cord (Pictured: HempBeadery Natural Hemp Cord, 3 mm, $7.95 for 120 feet, etsy.com)

  • Masking tape

  • 3.5-by-3.5-inch square mold

  • Darning needle (Pictured: Lion Brand Large-Eye Blunt Needles; Sizes 13, 14, and 16; $3.59 for set of 6; lionbrand.com)

  • Craft scissors

steps

  1. Cut 10 bundles of four cords, 9 of which measure 25 inches in length each and 1 bundle measuring 30 inches long (for the basket handle). Tape 5 of the 25-inch bundles vertically side by side about 1/2-inch apart. You will weave the other 5 bundles horizontally in an over-under pattern at the mid-point of the vertical cords.

    Tape holds down the cord used to weave the basket.
  2. Tape these horizontal bundles to the surface as you weave to keep your woven work secured. Weave the 30-inch bundle in the middle of this set of 5 horizontal bundles, which will eventually become your handle.

    Tape holds down two sets of cord used to weave the basket.
  3. Move woven area close together, re-taping as necessary so your woven base is tighter. With the remaining hemp cord ball (your working cord), line the end up at the bottom of the horizontal cords so that the tail of the working cord matches the ends on the left. This cord will be your odd single cord which enables a continuous over-under pattern around the basket. Weave the working cord over and under the bundles around the base.

    Begin weaving the cord in and out to form the base of the basket.
  4. When you return to the odd cord go over or under it in the same pattern. As you go around, tighten your woven base even more.

    Continue to tighten the weaving as you rotate the basket.
  5. After 6 times around the base, transfer your weaving to the bottom of your mold for help in shaping your woven basket. (Note: It is alright if your base is smaller than the container and the sides tighten around the bottom corners of the mold.) Continue to weave on the mold going over and under the bundles and the single cord as you were before. Tighten the working cord around the mold as you go. You may want to pull on the bundle ends as you weave to straighten and organize the rows of working cords.

    Begin using a mold to shape the basket.
  6. At the desired height or when you get to the end of your working cord, using a darning needle, bury it down into the weaving at the side of the odd cord, following an over-under pattern. 

    Bury the end of your weaving with a darning needle.
  7. To finish the top, take each bundle of cords and bring it behind the next bundle of cords all the way around the basket. (Note: This is a temporary position, but helps organize the strands for the next step.)

    Organize the strands by bringing each bundle behind another.
  8. When you get back around to where you started, tuck the last bundle through the arc created by the first bundle.

    Tuck the last bundle through the arc created by the first bundle.
  9. For each end of each bundle, use your darning needle to bury the end down into the weaving about 3 visible rows. Bury all the ends from one bundle one section over from where they are coming from (i.e. not in the adjacent section). If this gets tight and difficult to do, you can go back to your working cord and loosen the weaving for a couple of rows. (Note: Do not bury the ends of the extra-long bundle—these will become your handle. Simply skip this bundle and its respective burying section as you go around.)

    Bury the ends of the each bundle, except the longer bundles that will become your basket handle.
  10. With the extra long bundle, you will twist the lengths to become the handle. Tuck it aside for now while you finish the sides.

    Tuck the extra long cord aside.
  11. Trim the ends about an inch away from where they exit the basket so it's easier to work with it. Then, organize the arcs as desired. When the top of the basket looks how you want, trim away each cord as close to where it exits the basket as possible. Remove the mold.

    Trim away each cord as close to where it exits the basket as possible.
  12. Bring the two ends of your twisted handle through the arc and two ends under one row of the working cord to the inside of the basket. Tie a knot with the ends of your handle on the inside of the basket. Trim all ends.

    Your basket is finished! Time to fill it with candy and treats.

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