Introduction: Plaited Paper Basket

You will plait (braid) paper strips to make a basket.


You will need strips of paper, scissors and paperclips for this project.

Step 1: Selecting Your Paper

For this project I selected a map for my paper. Any paper can be used but if it's thin paper it will need to be reinforced. Also, the size of your paper determines how big you can make your basket. I cut the map in inch strips. Then I tri-folded the strips and glued them together. This made them three times as thick but also narrower. If I was using poster board I could cut cut the strips to size. Tape can also be used as a reinforcer.

Step 2: Weave the Bottom of Your Basket

So you now use a basic over under checkerboard or basket weave to make a cross with your strips. Your sides must be an even number of strips such as 8, 10, 12 and so on. My example is an 8 by 8. Keep the woven part tight and centered in the middle, making a cross. Once you have done that paper clip the corners so the woven part cannot shift.

Step 3: Making the Corners

Lift up one side of the basket and separate the strips on that side in half. So in this case four and four. Looking at the pattern on the bottom and continuing the pattern, cross the middle two strips. They should make an X. In this case the right went over the left but it could just as easily went under also, you just follow the pattern. Then go ahead and weave all four with the other four on that side. This will create a corner. The strips are now under pressure and will want to come undone. You will move a paper clip from one of the previous corners up to this new one. You will do this on the other three corners, moving a paper clip up to the new corner as you go. Some people weave around to their left, some to their right. It doesn't matter which way you go just do what seems more natural. Righties tend to go right and Lefties left.

Step 4: Weaving Up the Sides

From this point on you will not need to move the paper clips. You can weave around them and remove them at the end. You will just continue following the over under pattern making sure to work from the bottom up until your basket is woven as far as it can go or at least a little taller than you'd like it. The top edge will be uneven, and your basket can only be as tall as you can weave all the way around. I made this basket very small so I could take pictures as I wove by myself. There were not much to my sides.

Step 5: Folding the Basket Edge

The basket edge though confusing to some people is actually very simple. You will find the lowest point of your basket and fold over the strip that is on top or the outside of your basket. It could be going either direction. Picture one shows one strip folded down. Then the strip you folded on top of you will fold the opposite direction, it will loop around back on itself and tuck into the basket as shown in picture two, making a peak. Picture three shows one pair of strips finished off. You will notice this system locks them in place. You will continue this same pattern all the way around your basket. You are going horizontally around your basket from one pair of strips to the next pair that cross at the same height. Some strips will be long and have lots to tuck in others will barely tuck. When you circle back on your strip to tuck the second of the pair, you only need to go under one strip to hold it. You do not need to weave all the way down on the inside of the basket. There are essentially only two things that can go wrong. Sometimes the basket has came undone at one point. If this happens you will just re-weave it back up to the horizontal point you need to make the edge. The other thing that can happen is that a strip is too short to tuck. If this happens you can carefully pull the strip all the way through the basket so it is long enough to tuck. You must do a small section at a time. If you pull too hard and the tension is too much your strip can bust. As you go around your basket you can carefully tighten any loose spots in your basket that has gaps before you tuck your ends, and once they are tucked you can remove any remaining paper clips.

Step 6: Finishing Your Basket

Lastly, you can cut the long strips inside your basket for a cleaner look, although it is not necessary. Baskets can be made out of paper or plastic strips, strips covered by fabric, plastic or metal strapping, or anything that can be pliable and in strip form. I have put ice cream buckets and coffee cans inside some of my baskets so they can be reinforced and used for plants and other things.

Maps Challenge

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Maps Challenge