As soon as I spotted this project on the Nifty Thrifty Things blog I knew I had to try it. I dreamt of making big baskets for fabric, small baskets for my jewelry, and on and on.
And then I tried it.
Lets just say this project has a special place in my heart right now because there were a good 30 minutes last night when I wasn’t sure it would make it out of the hot mess stage! You all know the one, where the project in your hand looks so different from the one in the tutorial, and you’re not quite sure what went wrong but you know that somewhere along the way that easy sounding tutorial turned into your current nightmare.
Well, my basket made it, thanks to a whole lot of paper clips and some deep breaths. And I figured I’d share some tips I learned along the way. I followed the tutorial from Nifty Thrifty and it worked, but there were just some little tips that could have helped me so I figured I’d share them.
I found that my strips didn’t stay as neatly folded as hers did, so I glued each fold down with a glue stick. And remember, you can use as many or as few strips as you want, but you need an even number going each direction. I missed that memo the first time I tried.
The woven square that you first make is going to mostly be your base, but not entirely. In my early attempt I was having trouble keeping my base together so I taped the square on the underside with packing tape. Then I realized that the corners of your square actually end up wrapping around and becoming part of the sides of your basket, and the packing tape I had used made it difficult for that to happen.
Then we got to the ‘hot mess’ stage. I got all the sides woven up, but it was very very loose and every time I tried to tighten the strips, it loosened up in a different spot. That is when I discovered paper clips. As you tighten a few of the strips, use the paper clips to keep them in place while you tighten the next couple of strips. Keep going around and adding paper clips until your whole basket is tight. I was so happy to have reached this stage that I just went ahead and stapled the pieces into place on the top edge. I’m sure I could have done it in a nicer way, but I was terrified my basket would disintegrate in my hands! And in the end I don’t think they are too horrible to the look.
And don’t forget to check out all of my 30x30x3 projects in the 30x30x3 Project Log.
*UPDATE: For anyone else struggling, I found an awesome tutorial for this type of basket here. She made hers from old maps, how awesome, I just picked up a bunch of those at my parents house. Now I have an idea of what to make with them, sweet!