A lot of you regular readers know, my husband and I work opposite shifts. I work a full time day job in an office, and he works full time evenings bartending. We have a couple hours of overlap in our schedules, and two days a week, Raya goes to daycare to play for 2 hours… which is crazy expensive. (Thankfully we only have to pay for 4 hours a week of child care!) But on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, our friend Michele comes over to watch Raya.
We don’t have family in the area who can help during the week. My mom lives nearby, but she works full-time as well. So for Michele to volunteer her time every week asking for nothing in return – well, she’s just an awesome friend. Really – like family to us, and we really don’t thank her enough. So I put together this little gift basket for her.
I have the tutorial for making your own any-sized burlap gift basket below – but let me take a minute to tell you about the goodies! I recently tried the brew-at-home Starbucks Holiday Blend.
I normally get my Starbucks fix directly from a barista, but I’m really impressed with this home-brew blend! I found it at Sam’s Club, and picked up one of their Artisan Pies (the Artisan Fresh™ Apple Lattice Pie – YUM) to go along with it.
The combination was so wonderful that I knew I had to share it with our friend. :) The coffee is already delicious as a morning pick-me-up, but it’s even better when paired with the holiday spices of the pie – it brings out the hint of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove in the coffee blend when you try it alongside the pie! The Starbucks Holiday Blend is a limited-edition seasonal flavor – so I will definitely be grabbing another bag to last me through January, too.
Now, a pie is not really an easy thing to find a gift basket for. Have you ever discovered this? So the only solution (and the logical one for a crafty, DIY-mama) was to make one.
What you will need:
- approximately 1 yard of canvas 60″ wide, or more like 2 yards of you’re using 36″-45″ wide. You will need 2 squares of fabric that are approximately 30″, if you are making a pie-basket like me. There are note below how to adjust these measurements for other shapes & sizes. If you’re using fabric from your stash, it’s not essential that the two squares are the same color. One is for the basket interior, and one will be lining the burlap (which you will be able to see through a little).
- approximately 1 yard of burlap for one large fabric square
- Fusible interfacing to make the basket more sturdy – mine was about 24″ wide and I needed about 3/4 yard.
- Basic sewing supplies and paper to create your pattern.
First, I taped some regular paper together. You can use newspaper, but I hate doing that with light-colored fabrics because the ink can get on your fabric. So feel free to go that route, just be careful! Now, determine how big you want your basket to be. My pie box is about 18″ square. I traced that out for my base, and then added a 6″ side to it (I want the basket to be about 3″ tall, and I want to fold the edge down an inch or two as well). Then, I expanded each side flap by another 3/4″ to account for my seam allowance.
When I was done, it looked like this:
As long as the center area is the size you want your base to be, you can adjust this pattern to fit any size square or rectangle.
Then, I traced out my pattern on my fabrics. I cut two from canvas, one from burlap. Next, I ironed my fusible interfacing between my canvas and burlap.
I found burlap to be a hassle to work with, although the end result was worth it. But since it was giving me fits, I stitched all around the outer edge of the two pieces I fused together, so that none of the edges started to fray.
At this point it’s time to form your sides. With the right sides facing, fold each flap so that the two edges meet. Sew with about 1/2″ seam allowance.
Now, do the same thing with your remaining canvas piece. You’ll have 2 boxy-looking pieces.
Turn the canvas liner so that it’s right-side-out – so that the smooth edges are facing the outside. Place it inside the inside-out burlap. I know that sounds confusing… it should look like this. The smooth side of the seam on each piece should be facing each other:
Now, sew around the top rough edge ALMOST all the way around. You might find it helpful to pin your two pieces together. (I am lazy and I didn’t bother.) ;) Leave about a 4″ hole for turning it right side out along any one of the sides. It works best if you DON’T leave a hole on your corner.
Now, reach into the hole, and pull the inside of your basket out. You are turning it from inside-out to right-side out. Tuck the edges of the hole in, and pin it shut so that it looks like the rest of your seam. Straighten out your basket – we’re almost done!
Now, topstitch all along the edge between the basket and liner. This will capture the raw edges of your hole, and give the whole basket a more finished look.
Now, just fold the edge down if you want to, and it’s ready to pack up!
You may wonder why I didn’t add handles. You certainly may! I just wanted to keep the construction as simple as possible, since it’s really just a way to gift wrap it – and without the extra details it only took me about 20 minutes to sew up. It’s a nice sturdy construction and can be reused for lightweight items, like table decor (I’m envisioning another one for myself as a centerpiece with pinecones?) It will still need to be supported on the bottom when the pie is transported, but the burlap makes the pie look great – much better than giving it on its own!
Michele loved it! This combo is a great one to give for Christmas.
Have you tried the Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee yet? How do you like it?