So, as I gather up more and more materials, I need to find more and more attractive ways of hiding them and this is where I come into my element. Making my own storage is always the best option for me. In my small home office, creating bespoke solutions maximizes the small space and gives me more room to work (or just fill with more stuff), so it’s usually my first port of call.
Square woven baskets are easy to make, durable and look fantastic, so I made this trio of baskets in various sizes for my latest attempt at controlling the clutter. -Fran
– Basket cane/reed
1. Soak the canes in warm water for about an hour then drain, and hang to remove excess water.
2. When there is no visible water left on the canes, cut into similar length strips. The amount will depend on the size of the basket, but you always need to work with odd numbers of horizontal and vertical canes. My middle-sized basket has 7×7 canes. The length of the canes will determine the height of the basket, so it’s always better to over-estimate.
3. Take half of your canes and secure them to a surface with tape or a heavy book. Try to imagine a square made from the other seven canes laid over the middle of these. Tape at the edge of this square.
4. Start weaving the first of the remaining canes in. You want all the canes to be the same way around. Work with the natural curve of each cane so that the ends curl up towards you.
5. Take another cane and alternate the weave to create a classic basket weave.
6. When you’ve finished weaving in all of the canes you should be left with a square right in the middle of all your canes.
7. Test the cane to see which way it bends. The wrong way will split the wood but the right way will create a smooth bend as shown below.
8. Lay the canes so that you can bend them up towards you without splitting. Work around all four sides, bending the canes over a straight edge to get a clean line.
9. I’ve found there are two ways to weave the sides in: One at a time using clothing pegs to hold the canes in place or weaving in three canes at once. I’m going to show you the latter because I think it’s a little bit quicker and easier, and who doesn’t want that?
Starting on one side of the square, weave in a much longer length of cane (this has to go all the way around the basket) keeping the pattern of the weave and ensuring that you can bend the cane up towards you.
10. Do this with another three long lengths of cane.
11. Bend all three together at the very edge of the last cane that they are woven into.
12. Continue to weave all three canes through the second side. Remember to keep the weave consistent at the corners.
13. Fold and weave through the third and fourth sides until you’ve reached where you started.
14. Trim down the excess cane to around two inches and weave the ends into each other.
15. The basket is taking shape now. Weave in the next canes one by one until you’re happy with the height of the basket. You need to have a least three inches left on the “spokes” to bend them down into the basket, so bear this in mind when you’re creating the height.
16. Fold over the outer spokes (the ones that are on the outer side of the last cane) over and into the basket. Tuck these away under the third cane row down. To make this easier, trim to size and use a butter knife to lift the third row and slot the spoke underneath.
17. Do this for every outer spoke. This will leave every other spoke free. Run one last length of cane around the middle of the basket and peg into place.
18. Bend and tuck all of the remaining spokes over this cane and under the second row down.
19. Position the ends of the cane underneath a spoke to create a neater finish to your basket.
I made two more baskets. A smaller one with 5×5 spokes and a larger basket using 9×9 cane spokes. These baskets were filled unsurprisingly quickly, but luckily I have a lot of cane left over. I’ll definitely be making some more.