Christmas is just around the corner. Homemade gifts are very popular ideas these days and I think I have found an idea you will enjoy now AND for YEARS to come. For packaging a gift, for displaying a collection, or even just for managing clutter, baskets are wonderful!
Even in the beginning, man's eyes were bigger than his common sense. And ever since, we have been finding, accumulating, and storing all sorts of THINGS!
Make baskets out of old newspaper pages. You don't have to be incredibly creative, though a little bit helps. Your children can always pick up your slack in that department. These really can turn out nice! Plan for an hour or so at the kitchen table and you're in business!
First, collect your old newspapers. Sort them into types. My 3 piles were of comics, grocery circulars, and newsprint (by subject - headlines, finance section, etc. can be fun, too). Buy several grade school glue sticks and some medium weight florist's wire and you're ready to go! The florist's wire is not absolutely needed, it just helps a bit when you are manipulating the reeds later.
STEP 1: Make a "reed" out of a 13 1/2- by 22-inch sheet of newspaper. Starting with a long edge, tightly roll the sheet (around an equal length of florist's wire) into a tube. Flatten the tube and use a glue stick to secure the open edge. Assemble seven more reeds.
STEP 2: Lay four of the reeds side by side on a flat surface and weave in the remaining four. Slide the strips together to make the bottom of the basket. Fold the ends of the reeds up to form the side spokes (this is where the wire helps).
STEP 3: Now, cut newspaper sheets into four 11- by 27-inch rectangles. Using the same method as before (preferably with the wire), roll four more reeds. Tape the end of a reed to the base of a spoke. Weave the reed in and out of the spokes, around the basket.
STEP 4: Tuck the end behind a spoke. Weave in the other reeds, one above the other. Fold the tops of the spokes into the basket and tuck them behind a reed.
STEP 5: Use craft paints, lacquer or spray paints to coat the finished basket inside and out, then add decorative items or painted designs.
Once you've made a couple, the sky is the limit on variation!
MAKE A HANDLE
To make a handle, EXTEND one of the reeds on either side of the basket and then when you pull them together ober the top bind them with an extra reed to make a "thicker" spot/handle.
Dip them into liquid starch after they're formed, so they dry stiff or lacquer them after they're painted.
TRY AGAIN FOR DIFFERENT SIZES AND SHAPES
You could even make teeny tiny ones for Christmas ornaments, or smaller gift baskets
Dip autumn leaves in floor wax and then hang to dry (retain color and shape that way). The baskets could be decorated with autumn leaves.
UTILIZE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE NEWSPAPER FOR DIFFERENT BASKETS!
Use the COMICS SECTION for childrens baskets - even alternate comics with newsprint. You could make them out of GROCERY CIRCULARS also for "kitchen-type" gift baskets! Make a billbox for Dad out of the FINANCE SECTION. Just fold your reeds to allow the print to "show" On this latter idea, line the basket with play money.
Make a bubble bath basket by filling your woven creation with a votive candle, a soft washcloth, a bar of herbal soap and a cannister of homemade bath salts. Wrap the whole thing in mesh bag that mom can use to collect bath toys before jumping into the tub.
Make a Snow Man Kit in a basket. Collect charcoal for eyes and a fabric remnant for a scarf. Add a squirt bottle of colored water to "snow paint" with and a extra set of mittens. Add a couple of packets of hot chocolate mix (with marshmallows) and you have it covered!
You get the idea! Happy Basket Making!
Thanks to essortment.com for the instructions!