(Not Underwater) Cardboard Basket




Introduction: (Not Underwater) Cardboard Basket

About: I'm an artist, environmentalist, animal lover, gardener, recycling nut, a high school teacher, crafter, Mom, Christian and widow who reads a lot in between figuring out how to do things.

OK- I'm an environmental nut! I admit it. I find ways to reuse stuff that most "normal folks"  just toss or put in the recycle bin.

I'm also an art teacher and the phrase  "majoring in underwater basket weaving" or something close to that drives me crazy!! Mostly because making baskets isn't as easy as the phrase implies. I teach my students how to weave paper, yarn and also baskets. This basket is a modification of what I taught my 6th and 7th graders using scraps and "no budget" materials.

left over cardboard cereal box
fabric scraps
paper scraps from magazines
(You won't need any water because we're using fairly pliable materials)

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Step 1: Flatten Box and Cut Into Box Shape

  • Flatten the cardboard box.
  • Turn inside out to use the plain brown side for your measuring.
  • Figure out how big you want the basket to be.

Now this is the tricky part. I don't give my students a pattern, but usually make suggestions as to size. The only requirement is that the sides should be the same height-- mine turned out to have 8 cm high sides.  I fished out a piece of newspaper and made it the size of my cardboard. I used that to experiment on size and then after I figured out the size I wanted, used it as my measurement. 

Mess up? Put your goof into the recycle bin and get another paper.

  • You'll want to measure and draw your box/basket shape. Basically you divide your cardboard into 9-- decide whether you want a rectangle or cube shape....see the pdf because that shows better than I can explain in words! Cut off the corner boxes. Lightly score the fold lines and it will fold easier- be careful when scoring if you're using scissors like I demonstrate in the picture because you can cut yourself on the blades. It is best to use a dull pair of scissors for scoring if you don't have anything better.

Step 2: Weaving

  • Draw and cut lines for weaving on the sides of the box-- see pdf .
  • Measure around the sides to see how long your weaving strips should be.
  • Cut weaving strips from paper, cardboard, fabric, yarn.....
  • Start weaving: over, under, over, under, over....
  • As you come to a corner, make a crease and pull the other side up- keep weaving: under, over, under...
  • After you go all the way around the bottom, you'll end up where you started! Use a little extra to overlap on top of the beginning of your strip. Glue it down and use a clothespin or paper clip to hold temporarily. I don't like staples in the sides because you end up snagging your fingers on them. Glue I like better, but it takes longer.
  • Start the next row in a slightly different place -- why? it just makes the basket stronger.
  • Keep weaving rows until you get to the top of your basket. The top row you should glue every section. Then use all your clothespins or paperclips to hold until the glue dries.

I didn't like the inside bottom-- offended my aesthetics, so I made a "woven" bottom and glued that inside, but this isn't necessary.

Step 3: Ta Da!

Add a handle if you want-- or not. I found a piece of scrap cardboard lying around my scrap bin  for my handle. (OK, it was in the trash, but my trash in my "studio" never gets taken out so the trash is essentially the scrap bin.) I ripped of the paper on one side so that it makes a nice curve and put fabric over the cardboard.

I haven't decided if I want the handle permanently, so it is just on there for looks right now.

You'll see another basket in the photo that is made from paper tagboard woven on the bias. Now if you can master this basket, maybe I'll be nice and teach you that one too.

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction



    Reply 3 years ago

    which U of M?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    2 funny! Someone has a sense of humor!



    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Well actually it would be offered at OSU and MSU.