Introduction: Weaving Baskets With Newspaper

About: Easy and affordable DIY projects and ideas.

I have just discovered how easy it is to weave a basket using newspaper! It's so simple to roll paper tubes out of newspaper and then weave the tubes into a basket. You can bet I will be making plenty of these faux wicker baskets for future projects, as well as for storage in the home.

I discovered this post on a Russian website and the instructions don't quite make sense, so I started putting together my own paper weave basket using newspaper that I normally keep for cleaning windows and messy projects.

If you have never done basket weaving before, try starting out with this simple basket weaving project, and then work your way up to this basket chandelier.

Step 1: Making the Newspaper Tubes for Weaving

1. You need to cut long strips of newspaper to about 10cm wide. Fold the newspaper horizontally in half and then half again, and use a sharp knife to cut into sections. I used a pine skewer for rolling the tubes, but you can also use a thin knitting needle or 3mm dowel. Place the dowel on a corner of the newspaper at an acute angle. This will give you a long tube.

2. Tuck under the corner edge and then roll with your fingers. There are various methods of rolling the paper tubes, and after a couple of paper tubes you will work out which one works best for you. I start off rolling with my fingers and then carefully lift the tube, holding the end of the skewer in my right hand and rolling the paper around with my left.

3. When you reach the end, smear on a small amount of glue to secure in place. I have found the best glue to be No More Nails. It's not runny, hold the paper firmly and dries quickly.

4. You will notice once you have made a few tubes that one end is ever so slightly narrower than the other. Don't worry about this and you will find out why later on.

Step 2: Make the Base

1. For the base of of the basket cut two rectangular pieces of cardboard. These can be any size depending on how small or large you want the basket to be.

2. On on side, place two rows of double-sided tape around the edges.

3. Press down and secure the paper tubes in position. There are 13 tubes on the long side and 7 tubes on the short side.

4. Use double-sided tape to cover the top of the remaining piece of cardboard. Apply No More Nails to the back and press this down over the cardboard with tubes. Place a heavy book on top and leave to dry for an hour.

GOOD TO KNOW You can also use masonite for the base of your basket, or continue to learn how to weave a base for baskets, as I will be doing.

Step 3: Finished Base

Here is the base for a square or rectangular basket. You can cover the top layer of cardboard in any fabric you choose. I went for a black weave but next time I will try a burlap.

Step 4: Start Weaving the Basket

1. To start weaving, join two tubes together as shown in the images just below. Bend in half and thread around the first upright. This is where it gets tricky in the explanation, but I have included a video link that may help. The process is one tube in front - one tube behind and twist around every single upright. Give this a try and you will understand what I mean.

2. As you weave and twist, make sure to pull the uprights up and keep the tubes nice and tight.

3. If you need to take a break, use a bulldog clip or peg to hold everything in place.

4. At the corners do an extra twist before you go round the corner and repeat the weave twist.

Step 5: How to Make Long Tubes

How to make long tubes
As you reach the end of a tube, take a new tube and insert the narrower end into the end of the tube you are using. Give it a twist so that it fits nice and snug inside.

Step 6: Finish Weaving Your Newspaper Basket

1. As you weave and twist each row it's easy to extend the length of the paper tubes as you work.

2. Continue to add rows until you reach the desired height. I added a total of 7 rows.

3. This being my first attempt at any kind of weaving, I wasn't sure how to finish off the top row and ended up just cutting off the strips. Only afterwards (10 minutes later) I discovered that you are supposed to bend them over and push them down through the weave on the inside!

4. To finish off I sprayed on two coats of Rust-Oleum polyurethane spray. This provides protection for the newspaper and also stiffens it up nicely.

My very first basket took about 4 hours, which included rolling all the paper tubes. It wasn't difficult and I thoroughly enjoyed making it. Now I need to brush up on the various ways to finish off the top and weave different designs.

There are more instructions for weaving with newspaper and paper on

Step 7: More Newspaper Basket Weaving Ideas

inspired by some of the beautiful paper weave baskets created by BluReco...

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