Crocheted Nested Baskets

Here are a couple of small baskets I crocheted recently.

Crcocheted Baskets on JanMadeIt

I work at JoAnn’s Fabric and Crafts and when our crochet and knitting teacher abruptly left we had students signed up for the beginning How-to class and I was drafted. I am by no means an expert, but I can teach you how to do it and then we can go from there.

I’ll be teaching these baskets on Tuesday. It’s a simple project, and I made the small basket in just a little over an hour.

Crocheted Baskets on JanMadeIt

The instructions (provided by JoAnn’s) call for a chunky yarn with a hook smaller than suggested for this yarn. The construction is very easy. After you get the base the size you want, crochet the next row in the back loop, then continue as usual until the basket is as tall as you want it. That back loop stitch is all it takes to make the turn and create the sides of the basket. If you’re new to this technique, I’d advise starting with a lighter yarn. It was hard to find the back loop on some stitches in this dark yarn.

The larger basket is about four inches tall and a little bit wider.  The smaller basket nests neatly inside.  It’s about three inches across.

One other suggestion for basket making.  Stitch markers.

If I don’t use them I make a basket that’s wider at the top than the bottom. When I put a stitch marker at the beginning of the row I was able to keep the sides straight.

Crocheted Baskets 3

That’s all there is to it. We’ll see how things go in class on Tuesday. I have some tan chunky yarn that will match these that I’ll use for my project in class. The class is three hours long, and we should be able to finish at least one basket.

There’s so much you can do with a crocheted basket when you get the technique down. It can be a basket, a pet bed, add a handle and it’s a bag, line it and make a little trash bag for the car… what else?

Anybody have other suggestions for crocheted basket making that I haven’t come up with yet? And what do you want to use it for?




Tutorial: Custom Made Easter Baskets

When Dillon was little I had a hard time with Easter baskets. I didn’t want to buy a pastel plastic thing that would only be used a few hours and end up in a landfill. And Easter pastels aren’t really for boys. I also didn’t like that plastic grass that would be discarded after a couple of hours. So if you’re in the market for an Easter basket and you’re not a fan of those rickety mass-produced things it’s not too late to come up with something better.

1. Buy a basket. Thrift stores or garage sales are a great place to shop. I found a couple of baskets at the Salvation Army store for 49 cents each. Look for baskets that are sturdy, with a basket deep enough to hold a batch of goodies. A few cracked and broken twigs are OK, but be sure the handle isn’t going to fall off before you buy it.

Salvation Army Baskets

Two baskets from the Salvation Army. Price: 49 cents each.

2. Paint the baskets. I had yellow spray paint so that’s what I used. Or you can use a brush and craft paint.

Painted Baskets

I had yellow spray paint on hand so I used it. I hung the baskets outside on a broken tree branch to paint them.

3. Choose a theme for your basket. It could be traditional Easter stuff or something your child can’t get enough of: cars, monsters, dinosaurs, teddy bears, Barbie dolls… you decide.

Baskets with fabric

Find some fabric with bugs, flowers, butterflies, bunnies, teddy bears, or any other print you want to adorn your basket. These fabrics are part of my stash. You can also go to the fabric store and rummage through the remnants for a pattern you like. If you have to buy something, a quarter of a yard or less will be more than enough.

4, Cut out the pieces you want to use. I made a flower garden basket and a bug basket.

Appliques for baskets

Use small scissors to cut out the pieces you like for your basket. It doesnt have to be perfect. Leave an edge around the object when you cut it out.

5. Glue the cut pieces on your basket. Create a specific pattern—a garden of flowers growing around the basket—or place them randomly, as you’d find bugs in a spring garden.

Glue your cut outs onto the basket

Apply ModPodge to the basket and add the cut outs.

6. Fabric works best for this project because it will bend around the edges of the basket weaving.

Apply more ModPodge

Apply ModPodge to the top of the cutouts to be sure its stuck in all the right places. The glue will dry clear, but smooth out any drips you notice.

7. Meantime, grab a “basketful” of paper from your shredder and spread it on a baking sheet. You can see I’ve shredded plain white paper, magazine pages, advertising flyers and all sorts of stuff. It’s all good.

Shredded Paper for Easter Grass

If you have a paper shredder, grab a basketful of shredded paper and spread it on a baking sheet or dump it in a large bowl. It just takes green food coloring and water to finish the job.

7. Color your grass. Put some water in a spray bottle and add green food color. Less water equals more color. Spritz the shredded paper and toss it with a couple of forks or salad tongs. Food coloring will stain your hands (and lots of other stuff). Wash your hands soon after handling it, and keep a damp cloth handy to wipe up any mist or splatters that don’t wind up on the paper. Keep tossing and spritzing until you end up with the color you want. Let it dry between sprays. You want green shreds, not green pulp.

Green Shredded Paper

Domino likes the Easter grass.

8. Here’s the finished product. Don’t forget to decorate the handle if it works for the basket and the fabric design you’ve chosen.

Easter Grass

Ready for the Easter Bunny.

9. All done. The baskets were less than a dollar. I had the spray paint on hand, I had the fabric on hand, I pulled the “grass” out of my paper shredder, and the food coloring was on hand. Sturdier and cheaper than store-bought Easter baskets. You and your child decide on the theme. How cool is that?

Easter Baskets

I happened to have some shredded blue tissue paper that matched the blue flowers on the basket on the left. I used my "homemade" grass in the bug basket on the right.

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