I have been having so much fun playing with Valentine’s Day ideas. I don’t know why – I didn’t do nearly this much Christmas-themed crafting. I’m not even romantic. I guess there’s just something sort of whimsical about Valentine’s Day. (Speaking of which, if you feel the same way, I invite you to sign up for the Valentine Exchange! Click the button on the sidebar for more info!)
Today, I want to show you a heart-shaped basket I wove on a cardboard frame with some yarn. I love how it turned out!
This one is definitely manageable for older kids, and it’s all supplies you probably have on-hand as well, which makes it a win in my book. I say older kids, because it did take me a full hour, which is a very long craft for short attention spans.
My inspiration came from a tutorial I saw over the summer, but it was back in my pre-pinterest days, and I didn’t bookmark it, and can’t find it anywhere now. But I remember it was a lot like a raffia-woven basket I learned to make as a kid. (If someone sees this how-to and recognizes it, let me know, because I always like to give proper credit to the creative mamas who inspire me!!) Anyway – some of this is from a quarter-century-old memory, and some of this is from that tutorial, and I think some of it I must have totally made up (forgive me if there’s a “proper” method I’m ignoring, LOL) but I hit on a design that not only works, but I think turned out pretty cute, as well. Let me show you!
Time: 1 hour
- sturdy cardboard for your frame
- scissors to trim
- a hole punch
- yarn (I used a small skein and had tons leftover)
- felt to line the inside and cover the underside
- glue for your felt
- tape to tidy up your pattern
- a needle big enough to thread your yarn through to finish off the top
I had a tough time with the dimensions and shape of my cardboard frame (this is attempt #3), so I will post my pattern here for you. It’s low-tech, all I did was just pop it on the scanner, but if you save the image and print it on a regular-sized piece of paper, that should be really close to my dimensions. Just don’t attempt the pattern on actual paper – use some heavy-duty cardboard. The weaving will secure it together, but it will NOT strengthen it. So if you feel like what you’re using is flimsy, that’s the same strength it will have when it’s a finished basket.
So, cut out your pattern, and hole-punch each of the little slats close to the end. Be sure to keep the edges of the slats intact.
When you trim it up, make sure there’s a gap big enough to slide your yarn into between each of the slats. If you need to trim any down, they don’t have to be 100% exactly the same size, just similar.
Bend your slats upward and tape your extra slats onto the holes in the pattern. Because this is a heart-shape, you have to cut them out separately. If you modify this idea to be a square or a circle, you won’t have that trouble. Just a note, though – you’ll need an odd number of slats. It will make better sense why when you begin weaving, but the odd number will ensure that you weave covering both sides of the slats (you may or may not have noticed that the two halves of my heart don’t have the same number of slats, there’s one extra.) I’ll point it out what the odd number does when we get there.
I glued my felt on now to the inside and underside of my basket. It’s up to you, though. I will mention this – I don’t feel like I was really careful enough with the shape I added to the bottom side, and the edges of my cardboard showed a little (take a look near the point). So when you do it, be sure you cut your piece as closely as possible to your pattern so that it reaches all the way to the edges.
Now, pick a point to start. I started at the heart’s point. Start your yarn, weaving in front of and the behind the slats as you go. I just worked right off the skein. I still have no clue how much yarn I used.
When you get back to the point, the fact that you traveled around an odd number of slats means you’ll now be weaving on the opposite side of each slat as you did the first round. You don’t have to weave tightly, but do make sure that your yarn is pushed firmly down toward the bottom as you go – if it gaps at all, you’ll be able to see cardboard on your finished piece. Especially if you are upcycling scrap cardboard (which may be printed!) you want to make sure that doesn’t show through.
If you’re having trouble pushing it down well, your slats may not have a large enough gap trimmed between them. There should be enough room for the yarn to slide between.
Now, just keep on going around. And around and around and around. You should find once you get three or four rows in, that your slats are now standing up on their own.
It takes a lot longer to weave than I thought, but maybe I’m just impatient. Put on some good music or have some good conversation, and you’ll be done before you know it. It’s very easy, just repetitive.
When you get as high as you can weave (ideally, at least halfway up the holes), stop. I stopped at my point just to make it easy to keep my place.
At this point you will need to cut your yarn, but you’ll need enough as a continuous piece to finish the top. So I paused where I stopped weaving, and pulled off an additional three-or-four arm-lengths from the skein. You need to be able to work with it, but it’s better to have too much than not enough. Sorry I’m not more specific – I guess I’d say, maybe like 8 feet?? Ish??
Thread your needle (yarn your needle?)
Now, this step is very hard for me to explain, so I hope you are visual. Stretch your yarn off to the left (if you wove clockwise – to the right if you wove counterclockwise). Make a stitch through the hole from the front, and snug it up. I’m sure if I were a crocheter, there’s a name for this, but I don’t know what it would be called, since this is about all I do with yarn. :P
You want it to look like this, sort of a knot, so that your weaving doesn’t unravel. It’s the only knot we’ll make until the end.
Now, skip the next slat and move onto the second one, and stitch through the hole from front to back.
Keep doing this, looping it through every other hole.
And just like your weaving, because there are an odd number of slats, you’ll be hitting the missed holes when you make your second pass:
I didn’t count how many times I went around, probably six? I made it somewhat loose and fluffy. You’ll keep filling the holes in until you can’t see the cardboard anymore, or until the top looks as fluffy as you like, or until you run out of yarn. :) If you do run out of yarn, you can tie your piece off and thread up another, just take care to keep your knots hidden.
When that happens, make a knot in an inconspicuous place:
I tightened it up after this, but since you couldn’t see it, I didn’t bother to take a photo. :)
Now, just add some treats, if you like (oh, don’t mind if I do…)!
And it’s ready for your Valentine!
I link up to these great parties!