Do you want to start basket weaving? It’s a relaxing and rewarding craft.
Here are 7 tips to get you going:
- Sign up for a class or a course
- Buy a kit
- Gather all the tools
- Set up a workspace
- Start a small to medium basket
- Make a basket with a handle
- Learn a few basic basketry terms
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One: Sign up for a basket weaving class or a course
Taking a class is an obvious and easy way to start basket weaving. Having a teacher in the room to help you over the tricky bits is helpful.
Search Google for basket weaving classes in your area.
Check out local community colleges, arts and crafts schools, and the Parks and Recreation Dept. for in-person classes.
A more flexible option is online learning.
Yes, you can learn to weave baskets from the comfort of your home!
I have many basket weaving video courses available. You can find all my video courses here.
And, if you really want to build your skills as a basket weaver, join Textile Indie’s Basketry Immersion: A Year-Long Journey.
Twelve different basket designs with video and written instructional support to learn foundational basketry techniques.
Over the course of twelve months, you will receive one basket pattern and a video with supporting instructional material each month. Start at basket one and weave all twelve.
Two: Buy a basket weaving kit
Test out basket weaving using a kit so that you don’t have to buy large batches of the reed.
I have kits available in the Textile Indie Shop.
If you’re taking one of my basket weaving courses, I make it easy for you to start with course-specific kits.
We also offer full-color instruction manuals in our Basketry Immersion and Video Courses.
Three: Gather all basket weaving tools
Gather your tools before beginning to weave. It’s much easier to have everything ready to grab when you need it than to have to run to another room to find something or stop because you don’t have the tool you need.
Essential tools to start basket weaving
- Cloth measuring tape
- Reed cutters
- Spoke weight
- Straight tipped packer
- Box cutter
- Metal clamps
- Plastic clamps
- Spray bottle
- Water tub
For a complete list of tools with more information and resources, see Basket Weaving Tools: What You Will Need to Get Started
Cost-cutting tool alternatives
To save money when you first start basket weaving, here are a few tips for substituting tools you probably have around the house.
Instead of using a spoke weight, an alternative is to use a hammer. It is heavy and will hold the stakes in place, accomplishing the task, though not as fancy.
Replace a straight-tipped packer with a flathead screwdriver or even a butter knife in a pinch.
If you don’t have a water tub or spray bottle, you can always use the bathtub or sink to wet things down whenever they start to get dry.
There was a time when I was weaving baskets on the bathroom floor, next to the tub, because it was the most convenient way to get to the water without dripping all across the house.
Four: Set up a basket-weaving workspace
Having a workspace laid out will help with your workflow. After gathering all your tools, set up a table, workbench, floor space, or wherever you like to work.
As I mentioned, I’ve even sat on the floor in the bathroom and woven baskets using the toilet seat as a table because it was the most convenient water source.
I highly suggest using a table that is hip height, as this will raise your work surface up to you and make it easier to weave. You can also weave sitting down. However, there will be times when standing up will give you better leverage on the materials.
Watch this video on how I set up my basket-weaving workspace:
Five: Start weaving a small basket
Starting with a large basket will be overwhelming and frustrating.
A small basket project is manageable and will encourage you with early success.
Here’s a great beginners’ basket to get you started:
Six: Make a basket with a handle
This may seem surprising as adding another element into a basket is daunting. But weaving a small or medium basket with a ‘D’ handle will actually help guide the basket shape.
The handle acts as a support for two sides of the basket. Having the handle as a steady target for two basket walls will help shape the other two walls.
For an explanation of a ‘D’ handle and other handle types, see Beginners Guide to Basket Handles.
Seven: Learn a few basic basketry terms
Understanding basket-making lingo will help you follow along in a pattern, book, or course.
If you want a print version of the glossary, click the button below.
Start basket weaving!
Basket weaving is a practical, satisfying, and relatively inexpensive hobby.
If you want further information about basket weaving, check out our library of articles:
Textile Indie Basket Weaving posts
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