Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Weave a Basket out of the Newspaper

Long before everything was made out of plastic, people used baskets to carry things. Weaving reeds is a age-old craft and one I knew would capture my eight-year-old son's interest.

Our reeds were made out of Saturday's newspaper. With our hands, several pieces of newsprint, and a glue stick, we successfully made a small basket.

Here's how we did it.

  1. Open the newspaper and cut along  the center fold. You'll need 11-12 pieces of cut newsprint. Tightly roll it the long way.
  2. When completely rolled, flatten.
  3. Add glue to secure. Repeat until you have made 11-12 newspaper reeds. Try to make them approximately the same width. (Our newspaper reeds ends up being about 1 inch wide.)
  4. Now lay four reeds vertically on the table in front of you. Weave four other reeds through them, centering the woven part in the middle.
  5. It will now look like a cross made out of newspaper.
  6. Fold the ends of the reeds up and begin weaving another newsprint reed through the spokes, moving around the basket to make the first layer of the basket's sides. (It helps to have another set of hands for this step!)
  7. Glue the reed's ends together by overlapping. Continue with two to three more layers of reeds, building up the basket's sides.
  8. Now fold over the reeds that are still sticking up either into or out of the basket. Trim if necessary and tuck the ends down into or up and under existing weaving.
Voila! You're done. Paint it if you'd like.

This idea came from a wonderful book of craft ideas I checked out from our local library.


  1. Great idea, looking for an idea for Easter baskets (yes a little early)
    These look great and also cheap as I'm going them with a big group. Hope ours look as good at this one

    1. Another good craft for making Easter baskets is:
      1 cardboard 2qt milk or juice carton washed & dried
      1 bag cotton balls or craft poms.
      Glue (stick, school or hot)
      1 empty (foam or colored cardboard) egg carton.
      Lay milk or juice carton on its side so that folded top sits up and down not across. Cut top rectangular side off with knife or scissors but do not discard, it will be used to make handle by glueing at middle of carton. Cut out ear shapes from egg carton top and can paint or color leaving 1/4 - 1/2 inch uncolored around edges. Glue on the handle (can staple to make more sturdy attachment), and ears to inside front (old top) of carton. Thin strips of egg carton cut in very fine slivers, and Google eyes or round pieces of egg carton can be glued to either side of old top to create whiskers and eyes. Lastly glue cotton balls all over outside of carton avoiding "face" area.
      Violla!! You now have a bunny shaped basket mostly made of recycled materials.

  2. This is very cool - I definitely want to try with the kids! Pinned :)

  3. We did the same project with colored paper. -

  4. I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your newspaper basket! You can see it here:

    Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

  5. This is so cool! My 8 year old would love this! How are you going to use it now? :)