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» How To Weave a Reed Basket

How Did I Do It? > Hobbies, Games & Toys > How To Weave a Reed Basket
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Weaving a basket is a fun and easy-to-learn craft!
Weaving a basket is a fun and easy-to-learn craft!
Basket making is very old, with almost any pliable material being used to make these versatile containers.

Round reed is one of the easiest materials to use and these instructions will teach the reader how to make a basket that is approximately six to sevens inches in height and about a hand span in diameter.

Materials and Tools Needed

Round reed in two sizes, number four and number six reed is good to work with. Check in the nearest craft store or basket supply place to obtain your materials.

The rest of the supplies are found in your home: scissors or clippers to cut the reed; a bowl; needlenose pliers a few wooden clothespins and a good chunk of time to work on the basket.

Steps to Create Your Woven Reed Basket

First, a few facts about working with reeds, they are extremely brittle when dry because they are dry grass. But when you soak them in warm water they become wonderfully pliable and bend to almost any shape you desire. Then, follow these steps:

  1. To begin, cut eight pieces of the larger size reed, each piece should measure approximatly fourteen inches in length then set them aside to soak in warm, not hot, water for a few minutes.
  2. Working with the smaller sized reed, briefly run warm water over it before uncoiling it. It is best to suspend the tied end of the reed someplace high, like a nail or coat hook while working with it. If left loose it creates a unholy mess that strains anyones patience to try and untangle.
  3. To loosen a strand of reed gently pull it loose from the bottom, following it up to where it joins the others. Coil it in a circle as you go, but not too tight as it will break easily.
  4. Clip a wooden clothespin on it to hold the reed in place while it is being soaked. You will need several of these while weaving your basket.
  5. Check the larger canes, they should be ready to work with now. If they are too pliable just let then dry a few minutes.Reed that is too pliable splits easily.
  6. Place the smaller sized reed in the bowl of warm water to soak until it is ready to use. Place four pieces of the reed in your hand so they are horizontal and the other four vertical.
  7. Either use a clothespin to hold them together or hold them with your hand, take the thinner reed out of the water, unclip the clothespin from it and wrap one end diagonally across the bottom of the vertical reeds.
  8. Now is a good time to place another coil of narrow reed in the water to soak, do this when you take out one so you have one soaking when you need it.
  9. Bring the narrow reed over the vertical strands and under the horizontal ones. Continue this until the larger reeds are secure
  10. Separate the larger reeds into pairs, you should have 16 total. Cut one of them short so that you have fifteen, then treat the single reed as a double.
  11. Weave the narrow reed over and under the pairs, keeping the tension even. It is important to keep the reed damp. Dry reed snaps easily! As you are working, you can shape the basket to be narrower or wider and shallow.
  12. When it comes time to add another reed, try and make sure the end of the previous one is inside or hidden beside the larger reed. Overlap the ends so that they stay secure and continue to weave.
  13. Watch for any spots that are weak, this will make your basket unstable.
  14. Continue to weave using the over one under one pattern.
  15. When you are almost three inches from the top of the basket stop and place it upside down in the water so the upper larger sized canes are wet. Then gently bend one and place it inside the basketweave, skipping the reed next to it.
  16. Do the same all the way around. This gives you a nice decorative edge to your basket. At this time, make sure the bottom is level and the tension is even on the sides of the basket with no unsightly gaps. Set the basket aside to dry, then use or give away.

Comments

5 comments
  1. Sara
    November 14, 2008

    Wow, this is good information, I am going to try making one right away.

    Leave a reply
  2. Sara
    November 14, 2008

    Wow, this is good info. Never thought making reed nasket could be so simple.

    Leave a reply
  3. Linda
    January 31, 2010

    Thank you so much. I searched and searched and finally found this. Plan to try it as soon as I can.

    Leave a reply
  4. Micci
    May 22, 2010

    I am curious as to how much reed is used for a small three or four inch basket base that would be about 5 inches high.

    Leave a reply
  5. Taylor
    May 16, 2011

    i was just wondering if this works with flat reed too?

    Leave a reply

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