Make a braided Easter basket the centerpiece for your Easter table! You can use worn clothing or buy
new cloth, or you can use extra bulky yarn. Choose pastel colors and make sure your material has been
freshly washed – to be sure it’s clean if it’s used material, and to be sure it won’t shrink if it’s new.
If you’re using material, cut it in one inch strips, and sew the strips together to make a long one. Some
people sew all the strips together first and wind them into a ball, but I’ve found that it’s easier to braid
with if you sew the strips together as you need them. Dealing with three balls tangling over and under
and around each other is more trouble than I need!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Material strips or yarn
3. Large eye tapestry or yarn needle
4. Stout string or yarn for lacing
5. Sharp sewing needle
Optional: Wire for handle
When you have three seperate strips started and you’re ready to braid, you’ll need to find a way to hold
the beginning taut. You can use one of these ideas, or find one of your own:
1. The spool spindle on a sewing machine is sturdy enough. Tie the three ends together and slip the
piece over the spindle.
2. Tie the ends together around a slender chair arm or spindle or slat.
3. Have someone hold it for you. This gets tiresome and limits the amount of time you can work on the
4. Tie the ends together and slip a pencil through the piece, then put it on the floor and step on it while
you braid. This works great after you’ve got it started, but you almost have to be a contortionist to begin
A combination of #3 and #4 can work well.
5. Use a clothespin to clip it to a hanger or line.
However you choose to do it, the first few inches are the hardest, so don’t despair! As you braid along,
you’ll become used to it and it will get easier and faster.
Once you have a good start on the braid, you can start putting the basket together, or you can wait until
you have quite a bit of braid made. You’ll need to start the basket at some point to see how much more
braid you need, or if you’ve braided too much. There’s really no way to tell how much you’ll need for two
reasons: Everyone braids a little differently – looser, tighter, straighter… whatever, and the materials
used will make a difference in how much length you’ll get from them. Ok, make that three reasons: Only
you know what size you want your basket.
In other words, you’ll need to wing this part and make it your way.
To start, make a coil of the end of the braid by placing it on a flat surface with the flat side of the braid
down and sew it together firmly. Continue coiling the braid, flat side down and begin lacing it together
like you would a shoelace. Be careful to sew it firmly but not too tightly or it will curl. This will be the
bottom of the basket.
When you have the bottom of the basket as big as you want it, start building the sides by turning the
braid on it’s narrow side and lacing it in rows upon itself, around and around. This takes a little more
stitching and patience, but if you watch it closely, you can make adjustments where they’re needed to
keep it round and neat.
When the basket sides are as tall as you want them, cut the last strips to taper narrower and narrower. When you braid them together, the braid will become narrower. Keep lacing this narrowing braid in place until the last two to three inches, then tuck it between the braided sides and sew it firmly in place.
You can make a braided handle for your basket with a single braid (or a couple sewn together if you prefer). Sew it firmly to the bottom of the basket, evenly placed on two sides. To make it stiff, weave a light wire through the braid and whipstitch around the ends to keep them from poking or pricking.
There you have it. Fill your basket with grass, eggs, Easter candy or toys and put it on your Easter table.