How to Craft a Woven Paper Basket: Tutorial for Holidays or Other Fun Projects

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The DIY Woven Paper Basket Tutorial

A cute finished woven basket

Isn’t it so cute!

If you prefer to listen to the audio version of the instructions, use the player below or visit my podcast.

Or listen on Buzzsprout
Or watch on YouTube

This post is free and you can print the instructions directly from the website if you want. However, if you would prefer to get the PDF version of the instructions and a PowerPoint presentation for displaying the steps to your class, you can download them from my LRE or TPT store for $3. Thanks for your support!

Intro to the Awesome Basket

This basket is one of my absolute favorite crafts! I do it at least twice a year during our holiday themed summer camp programs as a Halloween trick-or-treat basket for the students, and always look for excuses to do it at other times of year as well. Because it’s just such a great craft to make any time of year: Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s, or just for fun. I’m really excited to share it with you all today!

I will say that it’s a bit more time consuming than the average paper craft. I find that for a class of 20-30 students in grades 5-8, it usually takes close to an hour to complete. So definitely take time into consideration when planning which day or days to make this.

Anyways, let’s check out how to make the cutest basket ever!

The Supplies

2 colors of construction paper OR printer paper (heavier is better, but we almost always just end up using the regular 70g printer paper)

Scissors

White glue, glue sticks, OR double-sided tape (the tape is highly recommended)

Guillotine cutter (optional, but really useful)

Markers to decorate (optional)

PowerPoint instructions to display for students (optional) available in the LRE shop or our TPT store

The Steps

Step 1: Give each student two different colors of paper and ask them to cut each paper into 8 strips longways (hot dog fold!). Alternatively, if your kids are younger or you just want to save time, you can use a guillotine cutter to cut the strips ahead of time. I often enlist the help of family members or my office staff at the summer camp to do the cutting.

Hot dog folded paper into eighths
8 strips of two colors of paper

Step 2: Take 4 strips of the same color and place them on the table side by side. Go ahead and line up the tops and bottoms neatly, it’ll make the next step easier. Also, be sure to space them fairly tightly but make sure you still have enough room to move them a bit.

4 red strips side by side

Step 3: Take one strip of the other color and weave it through the 4 strips on the table. Go over the first strip, under the second, over the third, and under the fourth. Try to make sure this strip is woven a little below the halfway point of the 4 strips on the table like in the picture.

Weaving the first basket bottom strip

Step 4: Take another strip of the color you just used and weave it in above the previous strip. This time we begin by going under the first strip, then over the second, under the third, and over the fourth. You should see the beginnings of a checkerboard pattern forming now. Try to keep the strips close together as it will make it easier to square up the center of the basket later.

Continue by weaving the third strip just like the first one (over, under, over, under) and the fourth strip just like the second one (under, over, under, over).

Now square up the center by pushing the strips tightly together and making sure that the woven part is more or less centered on the strips. Also be sure to check that the dangling edges of the strips are even with one another.

Basket bottom, woven and squared up

Step 5: Next we want to secure the weave. Some students love to go crazy and glue or tape down every single piece, but I personally find that unnecessary. Simply put a small piece of double-sided tape between the strips that make up the corners of the bottom and you shouldn’t have any trouble with things sliding around much. To do so, just gently pull back the top strip on each corner area and put a tiny piece of tape under it. Make sure that nothing has shifted and then stick it back down.

Securing a bottom corner of the basket

Step 6: Then, fold all of the dangling strip pieces to the center and then back a little to form a 90-degree angle with the bottom of the basket. These will be part of the sides of your basket. Since we only taped the 4 corners of the bottom, be a little cautious about making sure the center strips don’t shift while folding them.

Folding the side strips to the center
Folding the side strips up at a 90-degree angle
Side strips of basket all folded up

Step 7: Take 3 of your remaining strips of each color and cut them in half. You should now have 6 short strips of each color and one long strip of each color remaining.

Extra strips cut in half

Step 8: Pull down one of the corner strips on one side of the basket. I find it easiest to start with a strip on a right corner, but either corner is fine. Make sure the short strip is the same color as the corner strip (red on red in my photo). Tape the short strip down to the inside of the corner strip of the basket side.

Taping the first side weaving strip at the basket corner
First side weaving strip taped behind corner strip

Step 9: Then weave this strip into the side of the opposite color. When you reach the next corner, fold the side of the short strip into the basket and tape it to the inside of the corner strip (directly across from the first corner strip you taped the other end to). You now have one secured row of weaving on one side of your basket.

Weaving the first side strip of the first row
Inside view of first woven side strip
Outside view of first woven side strip

Step 10: Take a short strip of the other color. For this strip, tape it to the outside of the corner strip (the same one you just taped the last strip to the inside of). Weave it through the 4 side pieces. Then bend the end of it and tape it to the back of the corner strip on the next side (sorry, it’s a little hard to see in the photo).

Second woven side strip of the first row

Step 11: Repeat the method from Step 10 with the third piece. For the fourth piece, when you reach the end of the side, simply tape it to the back of the corner piece on the current side you’re weaving instead of folding it over to the next side’s corner. (See the circled section in the image below). You’ve now completed one whole row of the sides of your basket!

Finished first row of basket side with circled final attachment point

Step 12: Using the same method as in Steps 8 and 9, take a new short strip and secure it and weave it into a side directly above the first row. Remember to keep the strips close together as you work for a neat finished basket.

Inside of first woven side strip of the second row
Outside of first side strip on second row

Step 13: Weave the next three strips of the second row. This is done similarly to Steps 10 and 11, except that you’ll begin by taping the short strip to the inside of the corner strip of the basket. When you finish the final strip in this row, tape the end to outside of the basket, lined up with the corner. You should now have two finished rows of weaving on the sides of the basket.

Second row of weaving finished

Step 14: Repeat Steps 8-11 to complete the third row of the basket. We’re almost done!

Third row of weaving finished

Step 15: The ends of the side strips will be a bit loose at the top of the basket, so take a moment to secure those to the third row of weaving using a little bit of glue or tape.

Loose ends at the top edge of the basket

Step 16: Now, you can use your scissors to trim down those ends that are sticking up. If you want, this is when you could cut a few more strips of paper and fold them over the edges to make a cute trim. But I decided to leave the top edges alone this time.

Trimming the excess paper at the top edge

Step 17: Use your remaining strips to make a handle. I’ve done candy cane stripes like in the photo, a checkerboard pattern to match the basket, criss-crossed two strips to make a double handle, and just left them plain. Use your creativity to decide what style of handle you think looks best.

Candy cane striped basket handle

Step 18: Using your glue or tape, secure the handle to the inside of the basket. If you really want it to look awesome, you could leave two of the center strips unsecured on opposite sides of the basket in Step 15 and then tuck the handle ends inside them to hide that end. Or you can just do it the simple way like I did and just stick them to the inside of the basket.

Attaching the candy cane striped basket handle

You’re now finished! You’ve made a super cute basket for a holiday or just for fun. Congrats!

Take a moment to sit back and admire your work before showing it off to all your friends. ?

a finished DIY woven paper basket

If you liked this tutorial, please share your basket in the comments below. I’d love for you to stay up to date on all my latest content, so take a second and subscribe to the Little River English newsletter. If you have any questions on some of the steps, shoot me an email or leave a comment.

Hope you’re looking forward to more fun tutorials on crafts and other teaching resources. I definitely am!

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