Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weaving a Basket with Crochet Thread Tutorial - How to weave a basket using painted crochet thread and covered wire.

This tutorial came about when I was asked about the thread I used when I made the watering can.  It's crochet thread, Coats & Clark, Classic.  The miniaturist wanted to weave baskets with it. 

I suggested using waxed linen, 2 ply.  The wicker furniture makers use waxed linen, 3 ply.
I purchased some 2 ply months ago wanting to weave baskets but never got around to it.
The miniaturist said she couldn't get the 2 ply so I thought I could do the same thing with painted crochet thread.
This is the result of a question from a miniaturist and my experimentation.
I hope you enjoy it.

There's my ball of crochet thread with Delta's Ceramcoat Autumn Brown and Apple Barrel's Golden Brown.  I used what I had on hand.  The brown glass stain is used to coat the baskets after they are finished, that's just an option.
You will need 26 gauge covered wire.  I have the kind that is wound with thread.  Sometimes it's a little tedious to work with because the thread will unwind.  There is a different kind, Fibre-Craft makes it and it has more of a coating.  I am told it's easier to work with.  She buys it from
We are going to use mat board for the bottom of the basket.
Choose a "basket" looking color and paint the crochet thread and one piece of the covered wire.
I just dip my finger and thumb in the paint and run the thread through and hang it up to dry.
I cut the thread 24 inches (70 cm) long.  It seems an easy length to handle.
Four pieces should do for a little basket.
Don't forget to paint one piece of the covered wire, too.

The next thing to do is find a mould.  The ones I used for this project are a cap from my hair spray bottle, I cut the bottom off a Reese's Pieces candy container and I made a mould from odds and ends of Fimo.
The moulds should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall.  I like to use plastic because the tacky glue will not stick and I can wipe the glue off.
Remember 1 inch equals 1 foot for sizing the basket.  You don't want to make the basket too big. You have to fill it after you've made it.  A big basket takes more to fill!

I made the bottoms from mat board.  I traced around the Reese's Pieces container, then drew another line about an 1/8" (4mm) inside the original line.  I cut on the new line.  For the other moulds I used my circle and oval templates to measure for the bottoms. 

You want the mat board bottoms to be smaller than the bottom of the mould.

Cut the mat board bottom out.  See how it's smaller than the bottom of the hair spray cap.

We are going to drill holes into the edge of the mat board.  (I suppose you could drill into the flat face of the mat board and bend the wire out from the mat board, but I think that would create bulk.)
You see my little pin vise drill on the table.  This is a good little tool.
You will need an UNEVEN amount of holes.  We want as many spokes, that's the 26 gauge wire, as we can get into the mat board edge.

The circle you see is 7/16" (6mm) in diameter.  I have 17 pieces of wire to stick into it.

Cut the wire into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces, cut one piece 2 1/2" to 3" (63mm to 77mm), that's your handle.

After trying to devise a method for measuring where the holes should be I gave up and just started marking free hand.  Remember you must have an uneven number. Also, it's better to error on having too many spokes than too few.

Use a "T" pin to pierce a hole in the edge.

Now, drill a hole, removing paper so that the wire will have a place to be.

If you skip this the mat board will be hard to keep together.  It will split apart.

When you drill, hold the mat board between yours fingers and thumb, squeezing it, almost.  You will feel the drill.

So, this is what you need to do: Pierce a hole with the "T" pin, drill out the hole, dip the end of the wire into YELLOW WOOD GLUE, get a good amount on the wire and put the wire into the hole.  If you are using the wound thread type of covered wire I found if I twisted the wire in the direction that the thread was wound it helped.  This twisting kept the thread from unwinding.

I've got my first wire in, it's the handle.

You see all of my marks?

Go around the circle, piercing, drilling, dipping and inserting at every other mark.

Be sure you are holding tightly to the circle.

When you have half the wire in, place the assembly onto your table and press hard to seal the mat board together.

Now, begin again, piercing, drilling, dipping and inserting until you have all the wire in.

Press on the mat board again to seal.

I like to leave this to dry, if not over night at least several hours.
If you don't let this dry adequately the wire spokes will twist while you are weaving causing you headaches.

I wanted to show you how the mat board sealed around the wire spokes.

After your bottom/spokes assembly is dry you can paint it a "basket" color.

Leave this to dry.

I don't understand why this picture chose to load in sideways but it did.  I can't seem to get it turned so we will just have to be satisfied with it!
Center the bottom of the basket onto your mould.

Fold the wire spokes down around the mould.  You will have to do this at the edge of your table because of the long handle wire.

Lift your basket off the mould and tacky glue the end of the painted crochet thread to the bottom.

Press the basket back onto the mould.

Begin to weave, over, under, over and under.  Pull tightly and the basket will begin to grip the mould before you know it.

Second row begun.

Over, under, over and under . . . .

You see, I haven't even gotten up the side and the basket is staying on the mould by itself.  I am holding the hair spray cap.

Try to keep your weaving even.  Every so often set the basket up at eye level and check.

If you find you are high on one side use your tweezers to push the thread down.
This will only move 2 rows at the most, so check often so you can keep everything looking nice.  Doesn't hurt to unweave if you need to neaten things up a bit.

You are going to run out of thread.

Weave under with the thread that's running out. That's the original thread end you see on the right.

Place a new end behind the spoke your ending thread is coming out of and just continue to weave.
You will trim the ends off when you finish the basket.

I usually weave until I have a 1/2 inch (13 or 14mm) high sides.  This is a 6 inch (15.5 cm) basket in life-size.
I don't like them too deep, then I have to fill it!

See my ends where I started new thread?

Carefully PUSH the basket off the mould.  If you pull, the basket comes off and then you squeeze the basket misshaping it.  If you do this, put the basket back on the mould to reshape.

Trim the ends of the thread close to the weaving.

Trim off the spokes close to the weaving.  Don't leave any wire sticking up.  Don't cut your handle off.

Use the painted wire for the rim.  Bend the wire around the mould.

Cut the wire, leaving a little extra, maybe a 1/4" (6 or 7mm).

Slip the wire off the mould and straighten it.

Apply tacky glue to about 1/2" (13 or 14mm) to start.

Start winding the thread around the wire.

Continue to wrap the thread until about 1/2" (13 to 14mm) is left of the wire.

Apply tacky glue to this end and wrap the thread to the end of the wire.

Bend the wire rim around the mould to shape.

Place the basket back on the mould and apply tacky glue to the edge.

Press the rim down on top of the basket.
Trim the ends so they butt, apply glue to the ends.
The rim is glued on the outside of the handle.
Hold this until the glue tacks and is holding the rim to the basket.

Carefully push the basket off the mould.
Use small clips to hold the rim together until the rim is dry.

To get the length and shape of your handle right, find a cylinder to shape it around.  I am using a 7/8" (22mm) dowel here but you could use anything around the house.

Trim the handle to the top of the rim.

I threaded the crochet thread onto a large eyed needle, a tapestry needle.

I want to sew a "X" at the base of the handle.

I inserted the needle from the inside of the basket and came out right under the rim.

I crossed the thread over and behind the handle.

There's the "X".

Apply tacky glue to the end of the thread inside the basket.

Don't cut the thread that the needle is on.

Start wrapping the handle with the crochet thread.

Wrap the thread until you have about 1/2" (13 to 14mm) left.

Apply tacky glue to the wire and finish wrapping the handle.

The handle has been wrapped, don't cut the thread.

I didn't even take the needle off while I wrapped the handle.  I am going to need it to sew another "X".

Apply tacky glue to the rim and press the handle down onto the rim.

When the handle has dried sew another "X" on this side of the basket.

Trim off the extra thread and apply tacky glue to the end.

Touch up any paint you might have missed.

I have some little plastic clamps I bought when I first go into miniatures.  I know Hobby Builders still carry them.  They come in handy for this type of thing.

This is the basket made with the Reese's Pieces candy container.

These are the baskets made from my Fimo mould.

This is the basket made from the cap of my hair spray bottle.

I am showing the difference between the baskets that I painted with the glass stain.   I painted BOTH baskets with the golden brown, I painted the one on the right with the glass stain, too.  I really like this one.

This is also showing the glass stain effect.

Both baskets were painted with the autumn brown and the one on the right was painted with the glass stain, too.

I hope you have fun trying this out.  I think you be very happy with your finished baskets.  I will have the item number for the Fibre-Craft wire for you with the next post.   I have something else to share, how to make a fly swatter.  I will try to have it posted tomorrow. 

Have fun, expand on it, make it better, just keep making minis!!!


  1. Color me gobsmacked! Love this tut. Thank you!

  2. I love these! Thank you so much for another wonderful tutorial.

  3. Si que quiero intentarlo, se ve complicado para que tenga ese resultado, aunque creo q debe ser divertido, muchisimas gracias por este magnifico tutorial.
    Un beso

  4. Thank you again for another new, fantastic tutorial.

  5. THANK YOU !!!!!! you are a gold mine ! I o much love your tutorials. Alas I have never time to try but I make a treasure of your instructions.
    Have a nice day, Rosanna

  6. Te han quedado fabulosas!!!!! muchas gracias por el tutorial!!!!

  7. ¡Fantástico el tutorial! Creo que voy a intentarlo, a ver que sale. Muchísimas gracias. Un saludo.

  8. Muchisimas gracias. Como siempre un tutorial magnifico y fotos muy buenas. Mariajo

  9. Thank you for sharing. I have a question. Why do you paint the thread before using it? It looks to me it's easier when you paint the basket when it's ready.

  10. Gracías,por compartír, el blog tan estupendo que tienes, tus trabajos son magnificos!!!!!
    Besos desde España.

  11. Es un tutorial muy bien presnetado!!!
    Gracias por tu generosidad!!

  12. This is a very beautiful instruction. Thank you. Hugs from Craftland

  13. Gracias Kris, es un buen tutorial!
    Que pase un feliz día.

  14. Wow, thanks :-)
    In addition to your undeniable talent, I admire your ability to photograph all phases clear and comprehensive :-)
    Mini hugs, Flora

  15. Excellent tutorial, I'll be trying this out later :)

  16. These are fabulous! I hope mine look something like yours, they're perfect. Thank you for sharing once again. Gill x

  17. Como siempre ¡Excelente tutorial!!! Muchísimas gracias!!!!

  18. Excelente tutorial. Gracias!!
    Saludos. Beatriz

  19. Fantastic! I will try this!

  20. oh wow, i surfed in via Rosanna's blog, what a FANTASTIC tutorial! I really admire your work, and your generosity. Thank you so much for sharing ^ ^

  21. Yay!! I can't wait to try both of these new tutorials! Thanks so much for sharing!!


  22. I've seen tutorials for basket weaving but this is the first I've seen this technique and I have to say it looks like the best. I'm going to have to try this out. Thanks so much for all of your tutorials!

  23. This maybe my first weave project. I need to get a few more items for it. I love it thank you!
    what number is Fibre-Craft wire? what size is the corceht thread. thank you!

  24. Hello, your tutorials are very interesting, but this is my favorite! Thanks

  25. I made one of your baskets and I love how it came out. The next ones will get even better, I'm sure. I love the look and it was fun following along to your tut. Thank you so much for taking your time and all the work that goes into making a tutorial. I am always waiting to see what you will show next. Thanks again.

  26. I have such trouble with weaving - thanks for your wonderful tutorial now I feel I will have success at last! Thank you so very much!!! The effort you go to in order to provide these tutorials is appreciated by so many people, as shown by the number of followers you have! I am so happy that I found your blog and can be a follower too.

  27. thanks a lot!!!!

    i loved it. congrat.
    greetings from vallarta mex :D

  28. Régóta keresek, kutatok, hogyan készíthetnék kosarat. Most végre megtaláltam. Csodálatos ez a blog!! Köszönjük a rengeteg ötletet, amelyek segítséget nyújtanak remek közös hobbynk megvalósításához!

  29. So cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

  30. These are adorable! <3
    I'm thrilled to have found your blog!
    I've been wanting to make doll house miniatures for quite a while now and couldn't figure out where to start. I believe I'll find that perfect project here :) So looking forward to reading more.

  31. I NEED HELP! I have studied your tutorial for several months, and finally got everything I need to make one of these wonderful little baskets. I used to make regular-sized baskets years ago, but now I like the idea of making them mini much better. I used mat board leftover from some art classes, but when I got to the part where you create the holes in the edge of the circle, it was very difficult—it seems the mat board is not thick enough to easily accomodate holes/wires of that gauge. It doesn't look like your photo at all—my wires take up much more of the thickness than is apparent in your photo. I can see how easy it would be if the board were thicker. I know you are an expert at making these, so could you tell me the brand name of the mat board you use? I'm going nuts, because it's hard for me to get to art supply stores, and online it's impossible to compare the thickness of their board to the kind I use.

    I DID buy the 26 gauge covered wire. I have a whole set of miniature drill bits that came with their own pin vise, and tried to use the bit that is closest to the size of the wire. It is just not working! I managed to get all the spokes glued in, but the board splits so easily if I put any pressure at all on the spokes during the weaving step.

    I can see that your directions are very thorough and easy to understand. I know I can do this, but I now feel imprisoned by my mat board. Such a silly thing to feel!

    Thank you for sharing this tutorial (and others) on your blog. It's in my Bookmarks for sure!

  32. I've started over twice, and this time it's working. I still don't have wood glue, but used Weldbond instead. I also made the basket bigger, using a larger lid for the mold. In the past, when i've had a hard time getting the hang of something (like crochet), going bigger has really helped, and this is no exception. Instead of the acrylic paint, though, I used brown ink, which makes the crochet cotton more pliable. This project has even inspired me to start making real baskets again!

  33. This is one of the best tutorials I have seen on the Net recently! Great job explaining the procedure to us. I really must make some of these for the tree next Xmas time!

  34. You are just amazing, truly...I LOVE YOUR WORK thank you for your amazing tutorials. <3

  35. OH boy so nice, I had done mini dollhouse for over 25 years. I made a rattan couch, chair, table and 2 `etagere
    high boys . It is great to see this brought back.

  36. Where have you been all my life? I make quilling 3-D figurines and plants and these baskets are PERFECT for showing them off. Your directions are sheer perfection as well. I also crochet, so I have the thread and paint ready. All I need to do is wait to see what thickness of mat to buy and I'm ready to begin. Thank you so much for being so generous and sharing this with all of us. What a peach you are!! Lots of good wishes are being sent your way. Bless you!

  37. I LOVE this project and your tutorial is wonderful!

  38. muchas gracias por el tutorial , es genial y muy generoso por tu parte



  39. I found your tutorial via pinterest. Very clear instructions and the end product looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Nice tutorial. Thanks! One question. Could you paint after weaving?

  41. Love it! Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

  42. Thank you for a wonderful tutorial! I love the baskets and I love the tip on aging them with glass paint! So funny, I have used glass paint on so many other things and I just recently did a market basket project in which I tried to darken and age the basket with an oil base aging solution and;... na da...! I didn't even consider the glass paint. Now, I have taken your advise and the baskets look properly aged and broken in. Such a little thing to do with a BIG
    pay-off! Many thanks!


  43. I'm feeling the lighter one. It brings out the brightness of the tile.
    Basketweave Tiles

  44. Thank you for sharing all your wonderfull ideas. Your site is the best in the web !!!

  45. What a wonderful job done. I really appreciate your job. Thanks for sharing. Hotel Furniture

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Me admiro del talento que demuestras con esta miniaturas..!!!

  48. Muchísimas gracias por el tutorial!! Te han quedado preciosas, lo intentaré hacer por que soy forofa de las cestitas minis!!

  49. gracias por compartir exelentes ideas.

  50. Just found your tut and was so intrigued that I am now going to try this! I have never done any basket making, but my aunt and mom & dad used to. Dad made rocking chairs and did his own cane-making too. Now all are gone but mom, so this is a neat way to sort of continue the tradition and one that I feel I can do. Thanks so much for all the pictures and details, they are great for an absolute beginner like me! I may have just found a new calling!

  51. thanks for such details ! it's beautiful work

  52. wooooooow this is what i call care for others you shared this information for free GOD almighty bless you.

  53. Aaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhhhhhhh! This is just too cute! I think I can do it, those directions are just wonderful, clear and concise! Thank you for that. I'm too excited to start trying to make some of these. You have inspired me, however, it's late and I'm going to bed. I'll be inspired tomorrow:)

  54. And now I can move forward on my basket gondola for a miniature hot air balloon I was stuck on. Great tutorial.

  55. Masterful tut! I am making an 8th scale fully working replica of an antique bike that happens to have a front basket carrier. Authenticity is very important as it is to be a very special gift for a very special friend (who currently owns the full size version and is having to let it go for lack of storage space). This technique will be perfect. You have a genuine talent for teaching. Thank you so very much!

  56. Small woven baskets are those baskets which are made up of wood splints or cane. These baskets were used by our ancestors and are famous till now be of their wreathed style. These baskets can be woven by a metal wire or horse hair as well.

  57. At last I get it !!! will have fun doing this, need a log basket, thank you hugs Stephanie

  58. Wonderful Tutorial! I love the clear instructions, and the many photos! Thanks for the innovative way to create tiny baskets!!

  59. Hi Kris, These are phenomenal and what a wonderful tutorial.
    I was wondering how I can get in touch with you!
    Thanks, Daisy (

  60. Absolutely wonderful tutorial!!! Thank you for this.

  61. So talented. Thank you for your wonderfully clear instructions. Can't wait to start experimenting with different types of baskets. Thank you.

  62. Hi there to every one, the contents present at this website are truly amazing for people experience,
    well, keep up the good work fellows.
    banarasi dupatta

  63. Thank you for this tutorial - I have looked at quite a few basket-making tutorials and yours produced a better looking end product.

    Desperate to make one immediately, I did try to make one using plain wire and I had so much trouble! The wired slipped sideways, fell out of the bottom bit and wouldn't stick into the glue and much cussing ensued. The basket wouldn't stay on the mould so became smaller and thinner as I wove it higher, (which isn't a got look basket-wise).

    I then ordered some wrapped wire (like I should have done in the first place) and couldn't get over the difference and ease of using it!

    Love my long basket for holding scrolls. Couldn't have done it without your help. Thank you!


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