How to Weave an Easter Basket from Recycled Boxescomments (13) March 26th, 2013
I love looking at product packaging-you can do so many creative things with all those bold graphics. Here, I've cut up some assorted boxes and woven them into baskets for Easter. Once the holiday's over, you could even put them right back into the recycle bin-or use them for organizing.
What you'll need:
- Cardboard food boxes (see notes below)
- Metal ruler
- X-Acto knife
- Cutting surface
- Bone folder
- Tacky glue
- Paper clips
|More Easter projects:
• Knitting with Buttons: Easter Bonnet
• Oeuf Couture: How to Dress an Easter Egg
• How to Decorate Easter Eggs Ukrainian Style!
• How to Turn a Soda Can into a Spring Flower Brooch
A few notes on cardboard: For the samples shown here, I've used a pizza box, a 12-pack soda box, and a baking mix box. Packaging comes in all shapes and sizes-as long as it's made of chipboard, you can use anything you like. The larger the box you begin with, the larger your finished basket will be. I've made each of these baskets from a single box, but you could certainly combine cardboard from several different boxes if you prefer.
Before you begin this project, make sure your box is nice and clean. Cut the four sides apart, following the fold lines. Cut off any tabs from the top and bottom of the box.
Step 1: Start with the front or back panel of the box. Most weaving projects start with a little math and planning, so let's get that out of the way first.
Measure out a rectangle that's an odd number of inches wide. Then, add 6 inches to that dimension. This will be the length of your rectangle. So, by way of example, my rectangle here is 5 inches wide. Adding 6 inches, I get 11 inches. So I'm cutting a 5-inch x 11-inch rectangle.
Cut a second rectangle to match.
Step 2: On the back side of the cardboard, measure in 3 inches from each short edge and draw lines as shown. This should create a square in the center-and again, it should be an odd number of inches long and wide. My square measures 5 inches x 5 inches.
Step 3: Measure and draw parallel lines that are 1 inch apart across the ends of the rectangle, as shown here. (I'm making my marks with a Sharpie for visibility, by the way-you'll prefer to use a pencil.)
Step 4: Use a metal ruler and X-Acto knife to cut slits in the ends of the rectangle where you drew your lines. For each line, you'll be making two parallel cuts about 1/8 inch apart-I usually just cut a little to each side of my pencil line. These gaps will make your weaving lie flatter.
Step 5: Using a bone folder, score both ends of the cardboard along the ends of those slits.
Place a ruler along that score line, and gently fold the long tabs at the end of the cardboard upward.
Repeat steps 2–5 with the second piece of cardboard.
Step 6: Place the two pieces of cardboard at right angles to each other, as shown. You can arrange them so the graphics face up or down-this will create different looks in your finished basket.
Glue the two pieces together in that center square, placing glue along all four sides for extra sturdiness.
Step 7: Time to weave! Use the remaining pieces of your box to cut four long strips, each 1 inch wide.
Then, start at one corner of the basket. Bend the long tabs in and out, alternating as shown.
Step 8: Take one of your long cardboard strips and fold it in half. Place this fold at the corner of the basket and nestle it between the long tabs, as shown.
This is a good time to mention that you can place your weaving strips with the graphics facing in or out. For this tutorial, I'm facing all the graphics out for clarity. But take a look at the finished baskets at the top of this post and you'll see samples where I faced them in, creating a checkerboard pattern.
Step 9: Put a drop of tacky glue where each tab comes in contact with this strip. Press the tabs in place, and secure them with paper clips while the glue dries.
Let the glue dry for 10 minutes or so before proceeding.
Step 10: You'll have some extra cardboard sticking out at the ends. At the end where this strip passes over the last long tab, fold it to the inside of the basket.
At the opposite corner, where the strip passes under the last long tab, cut it to match the edge of the tab.
Step 11: Fold another long strip and repeat steps 7–10 to weave from the opposite corner. Let this dry for another 10–15 minutes and remove all the paper clips.
Step 12: Time to glue those two loose corners. Each corner should now have one long tab, as shown. Place that to the inside of the basket and glue it in place. Hold it with two paper clips for extra stability, and let the glue dry for about 10 minutes before proceeding.
Repeat steps 8–12 to weave another row. This time, reverse the pattern so that you weave over every tab you wove under in the previous row, and vice versa. For extra strength, start the weaving in the opposite two corners-the ones you glued in step 12.
Let this second row dry another 10–15 minutes, then remove the paper clips.
Step 13: Now to finish the top edge of your basket. Fold all those remaining little tabs of cardboard to the outside. I like to then trim them so they're rounded. I just place the basket upside down, and cut myself a little rounded-edge template to trace on each tab. Then I trim each one with scissors.
Or, you may prefer to fold and glue all the tabs to the inside, and glue some decorative cutouts to the edge, as I did in the little yellow basket above. And you can always add buttons, ribbon, or any other embellishment you like.
Step 14: Cut another 1-inch-wide strip from the leftover pieces of your box. This will be the handle of your basket. If you have enough cardboard to cut one strip that's long enough to make a nice handle, great! If not, you can glue two pieces together end to end. (If you need your handle to be extra strong, then you can also reinforce it by putting some packing tape on the underside.)
Trim the handle to a size you like, and glue the ends to the inside of the basket. It's a good idea to glue as much surface area as possible here, so make sure the handle is glued all the way to the bottom of the basket, as shown here.
Fill your basket with some shredded paper or natural straw, color some eggs, and you're all set!