How to Make Your Own Baskets

Getting ready

starting materialsTo start, you need core material, stitching material and a large, blunt tapestry needle. I use soft, cotton clothesline or upholstery cording for core material; unless you are making a very small basket I would get at least 20 feet of it. I use small skeins of yarn for stitching material. Thicker-ply yarn covers the core material well, but thinner yarn is better if you are willing to put in more work to get finer details in the stitching. The needle should be between sizes 13 and 16.

How to start

Line up the first inch of yarn with the first inch of clothesline or cording and hold it in place with your thumb. Take the yarn starting just after that first inch and wrap it tightly around the yarn and cording you’re holding in place. When you get to the end of that inch, pinch it to keep it covered. Bend it to meet the yarn-covered clothesline in a tight circle- this will start a spiral. Using the tapestry needle, stitch a figure eight around the clothesline to connect the outermost part of the spiral to the inside line immediately touching it. Keep stitching figure eights around the core until it is completely covered.

The figure eight is the main stitch.the figure eight stitch With two loops of clothesline touching each other, wrap the yarn around one loop. Then, going in the opposite direction, wrap around the opposite loop, ending in the same position you started in.

Once the core is covered, begin wrapping only the outside clothesline. Wrap it at least three times in a row, then do another figure eight to anchor it to the coil. To start the sides of the basket, simply roll the clothesline 90 degrees and stitch it to the top. Once you make the right angle, keep coiling vertically until you reach the desired height.

Switching yarn

To start a new color or different piece of thread, put the end of the new yarn right up next to the current stitching. Wrap the old yarn over both the clothesline and the new yarn, in the same way you did to start the basket. Do this for about an inch of clothesline, stitching at least one figure eight, then cut the old yarn. Resume wrapping with the new yarn, covering up the end of the old thread.


To finish the basket, cut the clothesline and wrap the yarn around its edge with the previous row, as if they were one. Stitch a couple figure eights to secure it, thread the needle back through the figure eights and cut the yarn.

If you want to, you can go back and add embellishments to the basket after you finish. You could sew feathers, beads and other lightweight objects to the sides easily using the same color thread as the spot in which you are attaching the piece.