Introduction: Gift Basket / Dog Toy Organizer

About: Like Birdz of a Feather, let's flock together to create sustainably. After all, good planets are hard to find! We're a husband/wife team that takes our inspiration from everything around us; especially things …

I'm a dog lover, so when a friend tragically lost her dog to an accident, my heart broke for her. When she was ready to adopt another one, we thought it would be a nice gesture to send a basket of dog goodies to celebrate the news and welcome the new pup to the family. But, being the DIY'ers that we are, we weren't about to buy a generic basket: we created one in the shape of a dog bone to suit the happy occasion!

I developed this idea based on a tutorial I came across here:

Just about all the materials we used to make our dog bone basket are either repurposed from items we had on hand (like the scrap of MDF we used for the base and door pulls we made into basket handles) or came from the dollar store. It's not only unique, but it's budget friendly too!

Step 1: What You'll Need:

Gather up:

  • Mini dowels
  • Glue (white glue and hot glue)
  • Wooden beads
  • Twine
  • Sisal rope
  • Yarn
  • MDF
  • Door pulls (upcycled preferable)
  • Charm (optional)
  • Permanent marker - black
  • Black acrylic paint

Step 2: Draw Your Image and Cut Base

I started by drawing out the bone shape on paper. By folding the paper in half and only drawing out half the bone, you'll get a more even shape once it's cut out. I taped the paper pattern to a scrap piece of MDF and my husband cut around it with a jigsaw. He rounded the top edges perimeter with sandpaper to smooth the sharp edges and then painted it white. I marked the holes at 1/2" increments about ½” in from the edge. My husband drilled out the holes with a drill press so I could insert wooden dowels into the holes. Using a drill press is a real time saver and each hole can be drilled to the same depth for consistency. The dowels act as the 'ribs' of the basket to support the weaving.

Step 3: Glue Dowels

I dabbed one end of each dowel into a bit of glue before inserting them into the holes.

Step 4: Let Dry

Once all the dowels were glued, I let it dry 24 hours. Then it's time to start weaving!

Step 5: Coordinate Colours

Our friend's new pup is tan and black, so I thought I'd match up the colour of the basket by combining the dollar store twine with some black yarn I had leftover from a knitting project.

Step 6: Start at One End

Tie a knot and attach the combined twine and yarn to the middle dowel at one end of the bone.

Step 7: Start to Weave

Begin weaving in and out around the entire shape.

Step 8: Odd or Even: Determine If You Need to Change Direction

When I got back to where I started, I continued in the same direction. Note that if you have an odd number of dowels, you'll be able to keep going around and around. However, if you end up with an even amount of dowels, you'll have to double back and turn around when you reach where you started. Have a look at the picture showing another basket that I made previously to see how to 'double back'. You can see that towards the top, I looped around both dowels just to stabilize and hold the corner together.

Step 9: Add a Decorative Element

Our friend named the new pup Dot, so I added a charm with the letter 'D' to the front of the basket. At the exact centre of the basket, I opened up the link of the charm using two needle nose pliers and then squeezed it closed again around the twine and continued weaving.

Step 10: Finish the Top Edge

When you're about an inch from the top of the dowels and you're back to where you started, bring the end of the twine to the inside of the basket, but don't cut it off. To finish off the top and create a nice edging, use a thicker piece of rope: fold it in half and loop it around the same dowel.

Step 11: Add Thicker Rope

Crisscross the rope around the dowels all the way around the perimeter of the bone until you're back at the beginning again.

Step 12: End the Edging

To end the edging, bring both pieces of rope to the inside of the basket. You'll use the end of the twine to wrap around the rope and finish it off.

Step 13: Wrap Twine Around Rope

Wrap the twine around the rope ends in a figure eight until it's the length of the inside wall of the basket.

Step 14: Glue Down to Inside of Basket

Knot the twine and add some hot glue to secure the end to the back of the rope where it won't be seen. Cut the end of the twine and the rope, then use hot glue to secure the rope to the inside of the basket so it blends in seamlessly. You can glue down the edge of the rope as well as putting a dollop on the base of the basket to keep the ends from lifting.

Step 15: Top Dowels With Beads

To finish off the top of the dowels, I blackened the ends with black marker then glued on some wooden beads.

Step 16:

The holes in the dollar store beads tend to be very inconsistent so I used my thin needle nose pliers to ream out the holes, making sure they would fit onto each dowel before I glued them in place. If you want to be picky about it, you can use a tiny wire brush to clear any debris from the holes before gluing on the beads.

Step 17:

I added a dab of hot glue to the underside of a bead and then threaded it onto the dowel, continuing around until all the dowels were capped.

Step 18: Add Grab Handles to Lift It

In the planter basket I showed you above, I incorporated rope handles into that one so it could be lifted. Since this basket is much larger and heavier, I decided to repurpose some door pulls instead. They were originally saved from our old cabinets.

Step 19: Upcycle Some Old Door Pulls

The yellow oak with gold metal wasn't going to work with my colour scheme, so I painted the handles to coordinate with the charm (I painted the oak black, then silver leafed and distressed the metal with more black). My husband gave them a quick spray coat of varnish in the garage, which we let dry, before I mounted them onto the basket.

Step 20: Position Handles and Attach

Measure to get both handles evenly positioned on each side the basket, ensuring you don’t cover up the charm on the front! You can insert toothpicks where you want the screws placed. I used some washers on the inside of the basket before feeding the screws through the weave of the basket. Use the toothpicks or thin needle nosed pliers to guide the screws through the weave and position the handles on each side. You’ll need a short screwdriver to attach the screws to the handles as the width is pretty narrow in the centre.

Step 21: Finesse

As a last step, shave off some of the longer sisal strands with scissors to neaten it up.

Step 22: Fill With Dog Treats; Don't Forget the Tick Collar!

The basket is now done and ready to fill with dog treats - and of course a flea and tick collar to protect the pup and keep her safe!

Step 23: Give As a Gift or Keep for Yourself As a Dog Toy Organizer

Our friend LOVED the basket and is now using it to corral Dot's toy. Dog toys have a way of getting scattered throughout the house just like kids toys do; this keeps them all organized in one place!

Remix Contest 2016

Second Prize in the
Remix Contest 2016