Themed gift baskets make amazing, affordable, and memorable gifts. The key is to pick the items carefully and to pay attention to the presentation. Here is a complete list of our very favorite gift basket ideas for everyone on your list, plus money-saving tips and tricks on assembling DIY gift baskets!
If you're anything like me, you have a running list of projects you want to try. Things you save repeatedly on Pinterest, ideas you scribble down in the back of your planner, or maybe you just keep a mental list in your brain. Clothesline baskets have been on my want-to-try list for forever, and this week I took the plunge. After conquering the first one, I want to make a million of these clothesline baskets. A million! Additionally, I'm loving the simple stripe in this basket. We're exploring all things Scandinavian this month, and this basket fills the bill with equal parts monochrome and texture.
If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen my story about adventures in DIY basket land. No lie, it was a little rocky at first. I did have to start over twice, but hopefully my floundering can help you succeed. Here's what I learned: The key to a successful clothesline basket it to not rush. Take your time, and whatever you do, don't be forceful! Just sit back and let the machine do the majority of the work. Okay, let's get started! Watch to see how this basket came together, and follow the full tutorial below.
- Cotton clothesline, which can be found at your local hardware store
- Thread to match the clothesline (I chose a colored called "natural")
- Sewing machine and notions
- Floss or yarn (optional)
- Thread to match the floss or yarn (optional)
To begin, set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch, and load it with the neutral thread color. You will want a wide enough stitch to join the edges of clothesline together. Next, coil one end of the clothesline in a snail-shape. Keep the coil in place using straight pins.
Using a zigzag stitch, sew around the coil starting from the center, following the snail-shaped path. Your zigzag stitches should reach across the divot between the edges of clothesline. Go slowly as you begin. As needed, leave the needle down and rotate after releasing the pressure foot to make tighter turns.
Continue following the coil shape, stitching the clothesline to the perimeter of your initial coil. Make sure that the zigzag stitch is catching both sides of the clothesline, otherwise you'll end up with holes in your basket. Do not pull or push on the clothesline as you stitch it in place - this will make the shape warp! The dogs of your sewing machine will feed the clothesline through as you go, keeping you at a good pace and tension. All you have to do is feed the clothesline through and keep it on track. Continue sewing until you've reached the desired size for the bottom of your basket.
When you're ready to start working on the sides, rotate the bottom of the basket up, and continue stitching as before. Try to force the bottom of the basket at an angle as you stitch, but again, don't pull or push. Stitch at an angle as you continue, and the basket will begin to curl up and take shape. Once your basket has successfully turned, stitch as before. Keep sewing around and around until your basket is as tall as you want it to be.
If you want to add a little extra detail to your basket, you can wrap the clothesline in floss, thread, or yarn intermittently before stitching it in place. I paused 4-5 rotations from the top to wrap the clothesline in floss, creating a stripe.
After wrapping the clothesline in floss, use matching thread to carry on the zigzag stitch.
When the basket has reached the desired height, it's time to add handles. Carry the clothesline away from the basket in a handle shape and pin in place, as seen above. Continue the zigzag stitch up to the point where the handle starts. Backstitch to tie off, and pick the zigzag stitch back up where the handle ends. Repeat for the other handle.
Stitch around again, and when you meet with the first handle, sew along the top of the handle, carrying your clothesline along the handle. Continue around, and repeat for the second handle. Repeat this type of rotation as many times as desired, depending on how thick you want your handles to be.
When you are finished, cut the end of the clothesline 1-2 inches away from the stitch. Sew the end in place on the inside of the basket.
And voilá! A clothesline basket!
After getting the hang of the process, I could see marathoning a Netflix show and making a whole slew of these. Once the basket starts to take shape, it's kind of relaxing and cathartic. Basically the perfect rainy day activity. Happy sewing!
Watch as we transform a plain IKEA organizer into an adorable picnic basket!
Picnic season is upon us. As a matter of fact, July is National Picnic Month! To celebrate, we're working on projects all month that are best enjoyed outdoors. Today I'm here to show you how to transform a regular straw tote bag into a handy backpack, perfect for bringing an outdoor lunch to the park. Keep reading to see how this picnic basket backpack was made.
- A tote bag made from straw or some type of woven material (I snagged mine off a clearance rack at the craft store!)
- Jean rivets and a riveting tool
- A hammer
- Two 1-yards strips of suede material (1/2" width)
- Four metal D-rings
- Two large sew-on snaps
- Embroidery thread and needle
- Marking pencil
Begin by determining where the straps of the picnic basket backpack should lie. The top straps should sit roughly 11" apart from each other, and the bottom straps should be wider, at about 13". Weave a strip of suede into the top of the tote bag. You can do this by opening up a section of the woven material, and feeding one end of the strip through.
Weave the other end of the suede through the bottom of the bag. This will be trickier, as you'll need to pass through the front and then again through the back. Do the same on the opposite side of the tote bag.
At the top of the bag, fold the strap over so it meets with itself. Using a marking pencil, draw an "x" where the rivet will sit in order to create a loop from the strap. Make sure to mark both the end of the strap and the point where it meets itself, as the rivet has to pass through both materials.
Do the same for the bottom of the bag.
Pull both straps off the bag, and transfer your markings from one strap to the other. Now both your straps should be marked at the top and bottom.
Now it's time to get to riveting! Per the instructions that come with the riveting tool, grab the awl, the appropriate accessories, and a hammer. Lay the strap on the backer, then position the awl above one of the marks you made on the suede strap. Hammer until you've created a hole.
Repeat for all the marks made on the suede straps. You will end up with two holes on each end.
Next, prepare to install the rivets. Grab a jean rivet, and per the instructions accompanying your riveting tool, assemble the tool (as seen above).
Weave the straps back through the bag, and align the holes. Align the riveting tool over the hole, and hammer until the rivet is flat. Repeat for each end of the straps.
To make the straps adjustable on this picnic basket backpack, you will need to install D-rings. Cut each strap roughly 18 inches from the top. You will install the D-rings to the top strap, not the bottom.
Grab two D-rings and fold the end of the strap over the straight side. Just as you did in the beginning, mark where the rivet should go, create the holes with the awl, and hammer the rivet in place. Do this for the strap on the other side of the bag. To use the D-rings, feed the bottom strap through both of the rings on the curved side, then back down through the front ring to tighten.
Finally, use a needle and thread to add two snaps to the inside of the basket to keep it closed.
What you do with the handles of the tote bag are up to you. If the handles are short enough, you could leave them. I opted for cutting part of mine off, then tying them to the inside so they wouldn't unravel.
Now you're ready for a summer full of picnic adventures!
I kept my picnic basket backpack pretty simplistic, but if you want to jazz yours up a bit, you could add an interior lining, some pockets, or even dividers.
Looking for a more traditional basket to bring along on your picnic? We have a simple IKEA hack for that!
Can you have enough baskets? I don't think so. Here is a fun and easy way to upcycle those super inexpensive thrift store baskets you can find anywhere.
I found these two baskets for 25 cents each at my favorite local thrift store. They are the perfect size for what I call "drop zones" for random things I need to set down.
I am personally loving embroidered straw hats and totes. This look on a hat or tote is totally a summer vibe, but I thought the idea could be used year round in home decor. The plan was to attempt it on the 25 cent basket for my entryway. [Left Photo: Koko Polenki; Right Photo: Smallable.com]
Here is what you need:
- Basket: I chose the round basket because it had a tighter basket weave. It looked like a better option for stitching writing.
- Yarn: You do not want thick yarn but you don't want thin string either. I got mine here.
- Chalk Pencil or Fine Tip Dry Erase Marker: I used the dry erase marker so you could see my tutorial. Next time, I will use a fabric chalk pencil. The dry erase did easily wipe off on my basket. I am sure this is not the case for all baskets.
- Upholstery Needle
Write your word on the basket. I wanted the word "stuff" because this little basket was going to hold my stuff. If you are using a dry erase marker, first test it on the back of your basket to see if you can wipe the marks off. I free handed the word, and had to erase it a couple of times. I used a disinfectant wipe to erase my lines. A baby wipe would work as well.
String your needle. I tried to double my string at first thinking the stitching would go faster. It was just harder to feed through the basket so I did a single string and made the writing thicker by repeating the stitch.
Start your stitch on the back and tie a knot to secure the yarn. Do not cut the excess string immediately. Leave a little excess so you can tie off the string when you need to start a new one.
Stitch along your lines.
I will tell you this might take some time, depending on the basket. The stitches would be much easier on a straw basket. Give yourself a little grace with the stitches. I was okay with my lines not following the markings perfectly because I knew the dry erase pen would wash off. There is not an easy 1,2,3... for how to make a stitch. I simply stitched in a way that the letters would take shape. I learned that sometimes if a stitch would not stay in a direction I wanted it to go, I could get it to stay in place by tying it off in the back and starting a new string.
I would also advice ending strings often. This will help you if you don't like the way your letter is looking. I didn't like how part of the letter "f" was turning out so I used a seam ripper and my scissors to undo the letter. Since I had used another string for the other half of the letter I didn't have to rip out the part I liked.
To tie off your stitches. You will do this the same way for a new string and when you are completely done. To do so, tie a knot. For extra security, feed the string through one of the back stitches. Leave a little excess on the end to be able to tie a knot with the start of the new string.
When you are all done, clean up the back of your basket by cutting any excess strings.
Finally, clean off your chalk or dry erase markings with a wet rag. I used a disinfectant wipe.
My advice is don't try to make it perfect. With some baskets this is not possible. I did my best to make it readable with clean lines. A straw basket would be much easier to stitch perfectly straight stitches.
This project could be used to monogram a smaller or larger basket to hang on the wall. It also could be a unique way to label a storage basket like this one.
For me, my basket is used for a drop zone for my keys, mail, and....well, stuff.
Put old t-shirts, fabric scraps, and discarded bedding to use with this fun -- and functional -- DIY idea!
We are a bit strapped for closet space here in San Francisco –- the verdict is still out on if it’s because I have a shopping problem or the fact that our 1906 apartment has tiny closets! I had been on the hunt for a practical way to store excess blankets and pillows when I came up with the idea to make a fabric basket.
Well, THESE are awesome! I'm not a big basket person usually, but I would definitely make an exception for these DIY beauties.
Ryan from The Blooming Thread designed this gorgeous felt rose basket and shares the how to with the world. Kinda reminds me of Curbly's own foldable gift box project. For
'Tis the season of cocoa and gift baskets, so there couldn't be anything more appropriate to combine them. The marriage? Dee-light-ful! The folks at Fiskars tell us how they did it, using Fiskars products, of course, but a bit of free hand cutting could produce equally cute results if you don't have all the suggested tools on hand. Here's a few things you'll need to start construction:
- a small wicker basket
- card stock for trim, several...
Jeffery Rudell never ceases to amaze me. Today he shows us how to weave a basket out of newspapers. A cleverly ironic way to recycle newspapers that will store newspapers waiting to be recycled!! LOVE it!
What will you need to make one? These items:
A simple tutorial for folding a basic paper basket.
I'll take mine full of fresh spring berries, please.
Diane's recycled-from-boxes Easter baskets couldn't be a more perfect home for our Frugal Easter Eggs. Seriously, how ingenious is this? Packaging boxes woven into the cute, free and recyclable baskets?? Fabulous.
In my on-going effort to clothe naked baskets everywhere–well, at least in my house–I decided to try crocheting basket liners. If you decide you’d like to make one of these, I’d suggest using yarn that doesn’t snag easily. A sturdy 4ply acrylic works great.
Since baskets vary considerably, you use the basket itself as a pattern, fitting as you go. To start, you’ll want to make a panel–or a circle, as the case may be–to fit the bottom of the...
If assembling a moss hanging basket seems a bit intimidating, take a look at this video. The procedure is easy and the result is gorgeous!
Portable file totes are a great way to store papers, but they’re generally very utilitarian. However, if you want a more attractive and inexpensive alternative, you might want to convert a straw handbag or basket into a personal file cabinet. The whole process took me about ten minutes and cost–no kidding–$2.50.
What you’ll need:
A straw tote or basket that will accommodate letter or legal-sized manila file folders (I found the perfect straw tote...
As Memorial Day is just around the corner, that means so is picnic season. For everything dining al fresco, amble on over to picnicfun.com, which just happens to be having a 25% off Memorial Day Sale. Their fully furnished baskets start at around 40 bucks and end at about a thousand.
For a romantic outing for two, is the Aegean Deluxe Travel Picnic ($44), which includes plates, flatware, corkscrew, cutting board, cheese knife and salt and pepper...
A few years ago, I heard Martha give a tutorial on how to assemble a housewarming gift based upon the basket given to George and Mary Bailey in "It’s a Wonderful Life." Basically, you find a lovely basket, fill it with decorative ‘grass’ and add a loaf of bread, a container of salt and a bottle of wine. You then write or print out in a fancy font the following:
Bread! That this house may never know hunger
Salt! That life may always have flavor