The paper heart basket is a traditional Scandinavian paper craft, normally used for hanging treats on the Christmas tree -- but the baskets are also kind of perfect for Valentine's day. Unlike most of my work this is not an original design, and you will easily find other instructions on the web, including a felt version here on Instructables and a gazillion videos on YouTube. However I am offering an easy template with variations you can play with and combine to make 6 different patterns.
Step 1: Download the Template
Click here to download the templates from my website -- the pattern is FREE, but you will need to enter a valid email address because I'll be sending you a link to the files via email.
Don't worry, I won't use your information for any other purpose (unless you ASK to get my newsletters). I just like to get a sense of how many people are interested in my projects. While you're there, feel free to poke around, I have tons of pop-up card and paper toy templates, many of which are free.
The PDF file has three different patterns on it. You will need to print it twice, on paper of contrasting color (red and white is traditional). In these photos I made three hearts by pairing matching patterns for each basket, but you can create asymmetrical patterns as well by weaving mis-matched patterns.
Step 2: Print and Cut the Template
I used plain old regular copier paper for these samples, and it worked just fine. As long as you're going to fill the basket with a couple candies (as opposed to river stones) then it will be strong enough. But of course you can use fancy, glittery paper, left-over wrapping paper, thick card stock, felt, leather, duck tape, or whatever else you can think of.
Fold the template along the dotted line, and then cut out the shapes and lines with a pair of scissors.
After you have cut your pieces, reverse the folds so any print lines will be on the interior of the basket.
Step 3: Weave the Basket
Weaving is generally pretty straightforward: you have 2 sets of thread (warp and weft) at a right angle. The weft is then woven through by going alternately above and below the warp.
The trick with this basket is that you are weaving folded paper, so instead of going below the warp you will go through it (like threading a needle) and instead of going above the warp you will go around it, wrapping it on both sides. This sounds complicated and confusing, and it's hard to photograph too, but once you're holding the paper in your hands it's a lot simpler than it sounds.
To get yourself situated, place your two, folded pieces of paper at a right angle to form a heart shape. Then weave the paper, starting with the strips at the top, closest to the rounded side.
You don't have to hold the woven part at the perfect 90 degree angle when you start, but as you get closer to the end you will wiggle the strips closer and closer to their final position.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Use scrap paper to make a little folded handle, and glue it to the interior of your basket, on either side at the intersection of your two woven pieces of paper.
Fill your basket with treats, a love letter, or Ricola if that is all you have, and you are giving it to someone who has a cold. Hang it on their doorknob, the coat hook in their locker or leave it on their pillow. Or put it on the Christmas tree where it belongs!