Monday, September 20, 2010
Basket Weaving using Recycled Containers
I'm always looking for good weaving projects for little hands. I was going thru the storage room and was overwhelmed with just how many recycled plastic containers I had. You know the ones from yogurt or sour cream...the ones you hold on to thinking..... "one day I'll need it for a project".
Inspiration strikes and I realized "Hey you could use it as the base for a basket weaving project"........
and that's where it started.
- recycled containers
- yarn, string, embroidery floss, and/or fabric strips
- old book pages, newspaper, maps
I use old books that I get from the discard rack at the library or old maps. Newspaper also works well. Cut into little strips and a glue/water mix in a 1 to 1 ratio. You could also use Mod Podge.
Leave to dry overnight.
Now find out the diameter of your container. In order to get a woven basket you need an odd number of cuts in your container. An odd number allows you to cover the basket fully like the one holding the paintbrushes above. I also used an odd number of cuts on the basket holding the branch with leaves.
The other basket was done with an even # but I had to alternate woven sections.
Using your scissors make cuts down the container. Now you can make them all the same size, you could make them random sizes or you can make a pattern like one narrow strip and then one wide....lots of possibilities it's up to you. Just remember to have an odd # if you want the fully woven look.
Select the material you want to weave with and tie it on on one of the sections in the inside.
I put a bit of tape on the section I start with so if I'm making a specific pattern I can keep count of the rows.
Then start weaving in and out of the different sections. With an odd number of sections on the first pass you will have your yarn/string on every second one and then on the second pass the string will be on the other ones.
On this one I decided to do extra weaving on the narrow strips.....because I had to cut an odd number to get the fully woven look on the first part I need to skip a strip to get the weaving on the narrow part....that means 2 strips look exactly the same side by side but you just have that part in the back...it still looks terrific.
When it's time to switch colors or material just knot the 2 ends together on the inside.
This is great for teaching patterns in Kindergarten and Grade 1.
Continue right up to the rim...the string just settles in nicely below it. You also could trim the container down if you wanted a smaller basket.
Knot off the end onto one of the strings on the inside and then stuff the end in behind the strings.
The kids found the weaving easy and were planning all sorts of patterns...I have some basket weaving books and we are seeing how we can adapt those patterns...we are also looking at using different containers like a ice cream pail for a larger basket or cutting the top off a milk jug and then weaving that.
Give it a try... and if you're like me you have lots of containers waiting to be woven.
See you next time.