Now that spring is here, learn how you can make this springtime paper basket to show off your seasonal decor or holiday treats.
Cute paper boxes (like my heart boxes or the other boxes listed later in this post) are a creative way to share small treats and gifts with others. I have enjoyed designing and making boxes and decided to do something a little different this time. A spring gift box seemed appropriate for this time of year so I made a springtime paper basket that I wove. This will be cute filled with small flowers or make it an Easter basket by adding Easter grass and Easter candies.
Materials and Supplies
(This post contains affiliate links to one or more of the items I used in this project – which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission. There is no added cost to you!)
- Sheets of 12″ x 12″ Card Stock (2 sheets per basket)
- Design from my free Resource Library
- A craft machine, such as the Cricut
- Glue – I use Tacky glue for most of my card stock projects
- Scoring tool if your machine does not score materials
Cutting the Basket Design
The cut files in my Resource Library contain two files for the springtime paper basket. Those two files are available in both .SVG and .DXF formats. The PDF, also in my Resource Library, shows the actual size of the cut pieces in case you need to resize them in your application or cut them by hand.
Main Basket Cut File – 1 of 2
The first of the two files is the main basket piece. This piece is the base and vertical reeds of the basket. There are two layers in the file. One layer is the score line between the base and the vertical reeds. Remember to change that layer from cut to score, then select both layers and attach them before making it. If your machine does not score, hide the score layer and score it by hand after cutting.
Basket Pieces Cut File – 2 of 2
The second file contains the horizontal reeds used for weaving in and out of the vertical reeds of the basket. It also has the pieces for making a braided handle and a finish piece along the top of the basket edge. This file has three layers: draw, score, and cut. The draw layer (remember to convert from cut to draw) just draws numbers on the pieces of the braided handle to help you identify them as you are laying them out to follow along in my instructions. There are several score lines in these pieces. Again, if your machine does not score, hide that layer and score the lines after cutting. If it does score, convert that layer from cut to score. Select all three layers and attach them before making it.
In the picture below, looking from left to right:
- Half of the horizontal weaving pieces
- The other half of the horizontal weaving pieces
- Labeled 1, 2, and 3 are the pieces for the braided handle
- The far right piece goes around the top edge of the basket and has slots for inserting the handle
Colors for Your Springtime Paper Basket
In all of my test cuts, I cut both files from the same color of card stock and they were certainly cute enough. For my final cut, I wanted to show you how you can use two different colors to make a more interesting basket. By making several baskets and cutting them from all sorts of colors, you can come up with some amazing color combinations in your own baskets!
When you remove the pieces from your cutting mat, it will be important to keep the weavers (the sets of 4 on the left) in the same order they were on the mat. If you are doing two colors like I am here, lay these out similar to this on a separate surface.
Before You Assemble the Springtime Paper Basket
If you have ever made actual reed baskets, this will be very familiar to you, except there is no soaking in water and the pieces are short. 😃
To make shaping the basket easier, I added score lines for the horizontal weaving pieces. There are two sets of four and each set has a different set of score lines. Below is the line-drawing of the score lines.
Every other row that you weave, you will use a different horizontal weaving piece from the two different scoring patterns. I call them the short tab and long tab weavers, just so I have a way to explain this to you as we walk through this together. Looking at the picture above, the four weavers on top are the short tab weavers because the tab on the right is short. The weavers in the next group are the long tab weavers because the tab on the right are longer than the other set.
On the work surface where you will weave your basket, bring over the base of the basket and the horizontal weaving pieces. When you bring over the horizontal weavers, set a short tab weaver closest to you, then a long tab weaver. Repeat until you have 8 weavers. For my project, I am weaving every other row a different color and I am starting with the color that is the same as the base. When I am done setting up, I will have four of the short tab weavers from the green set and four long tab weavers from the yellow set. And, these weavers alternate (short and long — green and yellow) as they are set on the table in front of me.
This is how things look just before I get started.
Start With the Base of the Basket
Start your springtime paper basket with the base piece and fold each of the “vertical” pieces along the score line that runs around the perimeter of the base.
Weaving the First Row
As with many projects, getting it started is one of the hardest steps. After we get the first two rows in, this will get a lot faster and easier because those first two rows will help hold the structure in place for the rest of the assembly process. This is true when making reed baskets, too.
Starting the First Row
The first weaver I have laid out, the one that is closest to my left hand, is a green short-tab weaver. Fold along all the score lines for this first weaver.
Add a dab of glue to the short tab then tuck it in behind the vertical piece that is on the left-hand side of any corner of the basket. At each corner, the vertical piece that to the left of the corner is flush to the corner. The vertical piece that is to the right of the corner is off-set from the corner.
Position this first row weaver so that it is pushed all the way down to the base of the basket and the corner of the tab (the score fold) is along the edge of that left-side vertical piece.
It will be best if you can be as precise as you can in this initial placement since it is glued in place.
Hold in place until the glue has set enough that you can set it down. If you are making multiple baskets, this is when you can go start on the next basket. You want that first dab of glue to set well before moving on. Give it around five minutes.
When you come back to it, the glue will be set well enough that it will not pop out of place as you weave around the vertical pieces.
Continuing Along the First Row
Many people will familiar with weaving, even if it was just something you did in elementary school with cardboard and string but some people have never woven anything. Weaving is under, over, under, over, repeat until done.
The short tab is “under” or behind a vertical piece. It next needs to go “over” or in front of the next vertical piece. You continue moving under and over . Here is a picture of the first side of the first row of weaving.
Completing the First Row
Continue around the corner and weave all four sides. When you get back to the corner where you started, add a dab of glue to the end tab.
Tuck this end tab behind where you started and hold in place so the glue begins to set. Get that fold firmly into the corner so you can keep the shape of the basket very square.
The bottom row is now complete and we can move to the second row of the basket.
Weaving the Second Row
For the second row, grab the next weaver, which will be a long-tab weaver. For me, this one is a yellow weaver. Fold along all the score lines.
Starting the Second Row
Add a dab of glue to the last 1/8″ of the long tab and tuck it behind the vertical piece that is the second one to the left of the corner and lay it over the vertical piece that is just to the left of the corner. Make sure you push it close to the first row and that the fold lines up with the corner. Let this set while you start the second row of another basket.
Continuing the Second Row
When the glue has set, continue the weaving around the basket. The over and under should be opposite from the first row.
When you get to the end of this row, there is no tab at the end. Add a dab of glue to the end and tuck it in behind where you started and hold in place. The end should go right into the corner.
Finishing the Second Row
Now that the first two rows are in, you can snug up the horizontal rows so the first row is against the base all the way around the basket and the second row is right up against the first row. You may need to adjust the vertical pieces to make sure they continue to be straight.
Additional Rows (3 through 8)
Repeat what you did for the first two rows until you get all the way to the eighth row. I found that it worked best for me if I continued to start each of my rows in the same corner. When you get to the end, there will be extra length of the vertical pieces left over. This is intentional because it gives you something to hold on to as you are adjusting the weavers.
Using a pair of scissors, carefully trim off the left over vertical pieces. Handle carefully so the top row does not try to pop off. Set aside.
Braiding the Basket Handle
The pieces for the braided handle are the ones with the numbers marked on the top.
Braiding paper will include folding the paper into or against the score lines. Since I cannot score both sides of the paper with my machine, the score lines just act as a guide.
Do not pre-fold the score lines. It is easier to work with the paper strips straight and have those score lines help direct the paper how to fold.
To help you get started with the handle, grab a sheet of paper so you have a 90-degree corner in which to work.
Setting up the Braid
Start by placing strip number one along the left side of the page and positioned so that the top of the strip is in the upper left corner of the paper.
Tape strip number one to your work surface but do not cover the score line that is just under the number 1. Now pick up strip number two.
Turn strip number two over so the number is facing the paper. Position it perpendicular to strip number one. Just under the printed “1” is a score line. Align strip number two to this score line and make sure it is equally distant from the top edge of the paper.
Tape strip number two to your work surface. Lay strip number three against strip number two and tape it in place. You may want to add a little more tape to hold these starting ends in place.
Starting to Braid the Handle
With these starting ends secured, take strip number two and fold it down so that it lines up against strip number one along the left side of the paper. There is a score line that will help guide the fold.
Take strip number one, the one that is against the left side of the paper, and fold it up so that it lies against strip number three (which is parallel to the top of the paper guide).
The third fold is to take strip number three (which is parallel to the top of the paper guide) and bring it down so that it lies against strip number two, (which is now parallel to the left side of the page).
This is the beginning of your braided handle.
Continue to braid by taking the outer-most strip where there are two strips together, and fold it to lie against the strip that is perpendicular to it.
Finishing the Braid
When you get to the end, add a drop of glue under the last-folded end and on top of the smaller end that sticks out. Fold that smaller end over.
Cut off the leftover strip from the bottom of the paper braid.
Remove the tape from the starting end of the braid. Add a spot of glue behind the starting end of strip 3 and strip 2 to attach them to strip 1.
Add a dab of glue to the starting end of strip 1 and fold this over strip 2.
Your paper braided handle for your springtime woven basket is complete.
Attach Top and Handle
The last piece from the cut pieces is the top edge finish piece. This piece will go over the loose weavers in your basket and provide slits into which you will place the ends of your braided handle.
Apply a bead of glue along the side that does not have any cuts.
Lay this piece against the top edge of the basket. The corners have a double-score so they will wrap around the outside of the basket. There is also a double score where this piece folds over the top of the basket. There is no need to try to actually fold both of those score lines. They are so close together that it’s just there to give that fold a little extra depth.
I’m going to switch to my other basket because the green shows up better in photos than the yellow.
Apply some glue to the back side of one of the flaps that has a slit in it.
Insert one end of the handle into the slit from the outside to the inside. Only insert it about half an inch. This is so that the end will not stick out. Apply a little bit of glue to the end of the handle.
Fold this flap toward the inside of the basket. Adjust the handle to make sure it is not sticking out from under the flap and is inserted enough to be secure. Hold until the glue sets.
Repeat for the other end of the handle in the same manner. In the picture below, you can see you have to stretch around to get the handle to insert the correct way and still get to it to add some glue to it.
TIP: You can use these adorable and useful sewing clips to help hold things in place as you continue to work. I use these quite a bit when I work on my paper projects.
Apply glue to each of the other two flaps.
Fold the final two flaps to the inside of the basket and hold them in place until the glue is set.
Springtime Paper Basket is Finished!
You now have a completed springtime paper basket. Or, if you followed along and did what I did, you now have two… maybe more!
I selected some flowers for one of my baskets.
For my other basket, I added some Easter treats.
Select From All My DIY Boxes
I enjoy making little handmade boxes for gifts and treats. You can try some from this list of all the DIY boxes I have made:
- Square Paper Boxes
- Paper Treasure Chests
- Cupcake Boxes
- Heart Boxes (one of my most popular!)
- Shamrock Boxes
- Woven Paper Baskets
- Easter Bunny Boxes
- Kentucky Derby Party Favor Boxes
- Cinco de Mayo Mini Piñatas
I hope you have fun making more of these adorable gift boxes!