Time for my basket fix. Yep, I have always been a basket fan, so one day I decided to look up how to make them. I was getting a little tired of always buying them.
I am always on the hunt for baskets. My family puts up with it because they know my basket stash will be a lot smaller after the holidays because I fill baskets throughout my house with cookies and handmade treats to give out every year. I read somewhere that this is an old Swedish tradition. Wonder if this is some sort of DNA memory in me from my grandfather and his childhood in the old country as they say.
Anyway to get me on my adventures in basket making, I started with a simple clip on YouTube with rope baskets and have since made a vine basket, yarn baskets and soon to learn pine-needle baskets. See, didn’t I just tell you I was a basket fan…well I wasn’t kidding.
Anyway, these cat baskets are your basic yarn around rope weaving baskets that the natives used to do many years ago but I decided to get a little extra creative and make them into cats.
I started with a black cat to go with my stuffed fabric pumpkins and regretted not picking an easier color to take instruction photos with. You can watch the video of the link I provided for better instructions(It’s the same one I watched). Please watch the video, this was complicated and the video makes it so much easier to accomplish this goal. But before you start here is a little tip, cut a tiny strip of card stock to help you thread your yarn into your yarn/rug needle. This simple little step all on it’s own will make your life much easier when weaving these baskets. Believe me, once you get the hang of it, they are pretty addictive to make.
To begin making these little cat baskets I made your basic Indian weaving rope basket then I added cat details. First you need to buy some rope to wrap yarn around and then pick colors of yarn you want your cat to be. The rope is available in most craft and hardware stores but if you are desperate an old rope mop can be taken apart and made into many, many baskets. My husband’s aunt gave me a brand new rope mop once and told me she knew I could figure out something to do with it. The next morning I brought her a basket made out of vintage mohair’s in the natural colors of green. It was like something out of a forest and super soft. So get creative when looking for different types of ropes to make baskets with.
To start, I fold the top of my yarn strip that I will be weaving with around the top of rope and dab some glue to help hold in place better. The glue part is optional, I like to use glue with working with slippery super soft yarns. Then I wrap yarn around that about 8 times then start rolling into a circular shape. Again…watch the video, this is one of those dyslexic things I guess where I know I am leaving a whole bunch of something out of these directions. Wish I could just say “ Hey make a rope basket and turn that into a cat” but most people who already have that skill forget how hard it was when they were learning that skill. People who have been doing something a long time sure make it look easy when they try to teach it. Just hang in there, you will get it eventually.
I start connecting the rows of rope together to form the basket by bringing my needle up through the second rope (middle of circle) and then pull through and wrap around the two rows to hold together; I do this twice then continue on by wrapping single top row about 5-6 times then repeat process.
Once you get the size of base you want to use as the bottom of basket start weaving/wrapping the ropes up instead of flat, then continue weaving until the desired size basket you want, cut rope end and tuck end down and wrap yarn around that to hold in place.
Your basket should look like this when finished.
Take a pipe cleaner and fold in half and wrap yarn around to make a tail then glue to the backs of your basket.
Then glue tail to backs of your baskets.
Add pointy felt ears and glue to inside of basket using tacky glue.
I added colorful scraps of fabric the the center of some of my ears.
I made eyes out of felt and little black buttons that I sewed to the center of the felt pieces then glued onto basket.
The noses were needle felted balls which are super easy to make once you decide to try out needle felting.
You can also use regular mini pom poms for your cat noses that you buy at most hobby and craft stores. I embroider a mouth under the nose using bright threads like orange.
Tacky glue little bits of wire around noses for whiskers.
Once your baskets are completed, add treats & gifts to hand out to friends and family during Fall celebrations.
These feline baskets would look adorable on a table filled with candy treats all around it.
Best tip for this project is to watch the YouTube video and patience, yes, lots and lots of patience. Happy Fall decorating everyone.