Newspaper Baskets (Woven)

Beth Katcher
Patriots Trail Girl Scout Council
Boston, Massachusetts

I've never woven baskets with reeds, but our troop made newspaper baskets a couple of weeks ago and I should think the process would be the same.

    1. Weave the reeds flat. I wouldn't know how many to use, but just lay out some reeds horizontally.
    2. When the height looks good for the width of the bottom, do the basic over and under with the same number of reeds, working vertically.
    3. Now you have a woven square with lots of "ends" sticking out in each direction. Make sure that the woven part is centered.
    4. Now start the weaving of the sides of the basket by bending reeds upwards and weaving in and out again. I'm not sure how you would end each reed, but I'm sure you'll find a way or remember what you did before :-)
    5. Just keep going until the basket is a good height. Obviously alternate the in and out for each reed.

My troop did this with newspaper.

    1. Holding a full (double) page, fold in half lengthwise (to make the longest, narrowest possible strip).
    2. Unfold, then fold each half in half towards the center fold.
    3. Repeat 3 more times (your newspaper is folded in 8ths.
    4. Fold on the center fold for the final fold (16ths)).
    5. Then repeat as above to weave.
    6. Then raw ends are folded over the top and tucked into the top piece of newspaper -- like making newspaper situpons.
    7. A basket handle can be added using the same technique as finishing the ends.

I made baskets using a 4x4 with 3 strips for the sides and 1 for the handle or 3x3 with 2 strips for the sides and 1 for the handle. When doing the sides a stapler is handy. If you have a heavy-duty stapler that would help for the handles.

Our 5th graders had a lot of fun doing this, although it was hard for them to get really tight weaving.

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