Monday, March 31, 2014

Woven Felt Baskets

{If you saw our tutorial on how to make felt eggs, then you probably noticed the little woven baskets we put them in! Aren't they so cute? They are so simple to make and I definitely plan on making more of them in the future! You could make orange and black ones for Halloween or burnt orange, red and brown ones for autumn! Lilac purple and sage green ones for spring. Bright yellow and blue for summer. Seriously, the colour combinations are endless! It would also be so cute to have a whole set of stacking baskets! Ok, I'm done...}


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I knew I wanted to make small felt baskets for the Easter eggs I made. We've made woven baskets out of paper before, but I wanted these ones to be sturdier so we can use them for play and save them for next year as well. I looked around online to see what materials people used (regular vs. stiff felt, hot glue vs. craft glue, etc.) and came across a fantastic post! Pippa Quilts had these small woven felt baskets that were just so cute! Her tutorial was simple and easy to follow and she even has a second post on even bigger woven felt baskets! Seriously, it's worth checking out. :)

I started by picking out colours. The eggs are light and dark green, purple, pink, blue and yellow and I decided to stick to that colour scheme. You can use felt sheets or felt by the yard. I used a combination of both. 


Felt sheets are usually sized 9" by 12". So for the felt that was by the yard, I simply placed the felt sheet over it, pinned it and cut around it. I did not end up using the full sheet, but since they are already cut to length I will set them aside for future woven felt baskets.


Once you have the sheets ready, you can begin cutting out the strips. You'll want them to be about 3/4 inches wide. You can use a ruler or just freely cut them. (And just in case you are wondering, 1 inch was too wide. I tried!)


You'll need 9 strips for each basket. Since I was making two baskets, I cut out 18 strips.


I decided to test out fabric glue on these baskets to see how well they hold up and if it would be worth it for future batches. I only used fabric glue on the rings and used hot glue on the sides. So far the hot glue has my vote, not just for sturdiness, but because it is so quick to use. I had to let the fabric glue set overnight before I risked using them, so I do not think fabric glue will be ideal unless you have little clips to hold everything in place.

For the rings you'll want to add glue along the end and close it. You don't want to overlap it too much. A quarter inch is perfect. (Please note that I did not trim it like Pippa did.) You'll need to make three rings for each basket.


Then use the last six strips and weave them together. It should look like this.

 

Have the rings ready!


Start by placing the first ring over the woven felt. Weave every other felt strip through the ring.


Then fold the alternate strips into the center of the ring. Place the third ring over those strips. Fold the strips over the ring and trim them if needed. Glue them in place using a hot glue gun.


They should look like this when you are finished! I did not weave them too tightly, because I know the kids are going to try to stuff them full of stuff, so I wanted there to be a little extra room.

 

You could fill them with jelly beans! Or Easter grass, like I did. This is recycled crinkle paper grass, which my kids love for sensory bins!


And then you can fill them with eggs! Three plastic eggs or five felt eggs fit comfortably in them. They look adorable! 

Here are Bean's dark eggs!


And Munchkin's pastel eggs!


You could glue a handle on or loop a pipe cleaner through them, if you really wanted one. Bean requested one for a little while and took it off afterwards.


We will be using the baskets to store the eggs when they are not being played with. These would make such a cute centerpiece for Easter!


Please note that your little ones can help out with the weaving of felt baskets, but should not handle a hot glue gun. 

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