HACK: Woven wicker basket

We love a craft hack, so the chance to rediscover a three-dimensional weaving technique with wicker instead of newspaper was too good to pass up. Inspired by our beautiful botanical-themed moodboard in issue 34, we wanted to show you how to get a bit of wicker into your lounge; it might not be wise to fill with flowers, but it’s the perfect place to stash small balls of yarn from a current crafty project.

You'll need:
    • Lengths of willow or rattan
    • Small piece of cardboard
    • Wooden BBQ Kebab skewer
    • Hot glue gun
    • Craft knife
    • Scissors
    • Stapler
    • Clothes pegs
Woven Wicker Basket
    1. There are a number of different methods for basket weaving; some have a woven base but this method starts with a solid version. Cut two discs of cardboard approximately 10cm in diameter; these can be as large or small as you like depending on the size of basket you want to make.

    2. Use a craft knife to cut the willow or rattan down the lengths to make them thin and more flexible. Be careful with this; make sure the knife points onto a flat surface to cut through the wood, and keep your fingers out of harm’s way as you slice your lengths down the middle.

    3. This basket has 24 upright strands of wicker, these are the ‘struts’ that the weaving is created around. The pieces of wicker are approximately 30cms long; again this length depends on the size of basket being produced, if you want a shallower basket reduce this length. The 24 wicker lengths are then laid out evenly around one of the cardboard discs in a star shape and glued in place. The remaining disc is then stuck on top, sandwiching the ends of the tubes inside. To make sure that the tubes are attached securely, staple the two discs together.

    4. The lengths need to be pointing upwards, so take each and bend it in a clockwise direction, wrap it around the next length and bend it upwards. Take the one that has been wrapped around, bend it over and around the next length and so on, making sure that you are wrapping them evenly in the same direction. The last length is wrapped by slightly loosening the first loop and threading it through and upwards to create the last upright.

    5. Now to the weaving; bend one of the extra lengths in half and place it around the base of one of the upright struts, cross the two ends of the wicker length on the other side of this strut between the next upright and then repeat the process, working in a figure of eight motion around the upright lengths. Make sure that the wicker lengths are always being crossed in the same way, e.g. right over left. As you reach the ends of that tlength, two more can be connected to the two ends of the original by placing a little dot of glue on the end and slotting in a new one. Clothes pegs are useful at this stage to keep the first row of weaving in place as you work. As the weaving becomes deeper it is easier to manipulate the wicker into position.