The basket weave is a very simple, yet beautiful technique, that my 3rd grade art teacher first taught me. At the time, my tiny brain and tiny hands had so much trouble grasping this simple technique. And when I finally did get the hang of this technique, it was one of my proudest moments. I remember my very first basket weave, it was a red and yellow weave, pasted on to one of the pages of my drawing book. It was, without a doubt, one of the prettiest things I had created. But soon 3rd grade life took over and I forgot about my prized basket weave and moved on to other things.
Very recently I was thinking of new ways I could use to decorate my jars. I wanted something simple, that could be replicated by craft enthusiasts of all ages, something that wasn’t time consuming, something that could be completed on a Sunday afternoon. I was thinking that the idea should make use of paper as the primary material, just so that it is easily accessible and extremely versatile. And then out of nowhere, I remembered the amazing basket weave technique that I last practised over 20 years ago! But it ain’t rocket science! So, I grabbed a few sheets of patterned paper and within an hour, had an absolutely beautiful little jar to store my crayons in.
So here’s how you can create this beauty…
Things and tools you’ll need
⦁ A jar (with or without a lid. Jar hacks is all about versatility!)
⦁ Paper of your choice. You can go for coloured, patterned, newspaper, magazine paper, old gift wrap…pretty much anything that falls under the category of “paper”. TIP: Choose paper that is not too thin and can withstand PVA glue application without tearing. TIP 2: Choose 2 contrasting styles of paper for the vertical and horizontal lines. Eg: Red & Yellow, Black & White, Contrasting patterns. However, if monochrome is what floats your boat, that’s just as beautiful!
⦁ Rope or twine (optional)
⦁ Glue stick
⦁ PVA glue
⦁ Hot glue gun & 1 hot glue stick
How to make a patterned basket weave jar:
To make this tutorial easy to follow, I will be referring to the two contrasting patterned papers as PAPER A and PAPER B. You may assign either of your pattered papers as PAPER A or PAPER B, but make sure you maintain this naming system throughout the tutorial.
Before you get started, prep your jar. Clean, wash and dry your jar. Get rid of any labels. If you’re using a plastic jar and are struggling to get rid of the sticky label, check out my tips on Jar Hacks 101
- Measure the height of your jar and trim the length of PAPER A to the height of your jar plus 3cms. So if your jar’s height is 15 cm, your PAPER A needs to be 18cm long. The width of your PAPER A needs to be long enough to wrap around your jar comfortably. I would suggest that you ensure that the width of PAPER A is at least 5cm more than the circumference of your jar, to make sure that you aren’t left in an awkward position that the completed weave doesn’t fully wrap around the jar.
- Measure and mark a 1cm margin from the top of your PAPER A.
- Mark points on the margin line that are 1cm apart each. Draw lines from these points to the end of PAPER A. Once you are done with this step, you will have vertical lines running down your PAPER A with a 1cm margin on top.
- Starting from the bottom of PAPER A, cut along the vertical lines, stopping at the 1cm margin line. At the end of this step, your PAPER A should look like a hula skirt.
- Cut PAPER B into 1cm strips.
- Take the first strip and apply glue on the tip of one of the ends. Ideally, your glue should cover not more than 0.5cm of the tip of your strip.
- Stick this strip on the first strip of PAPER A, right below the end of the 1cm margin.
- Now it’s time to start weaving. Start passing the PAPER B strip through the hula skirt strips of PAPER A in a one-up-one-down pattern (The strips of PAPER A will fall over and under the STRIP of PAPER B).
- When you reach the end of your PAPER A, cut off any excess strip of PAPER B and glue the end of the PAPER B strip to the end strip of PAPER A.
- Take the second strip of PAPER B and glue it to the bottom side of the first strip of PAPER A, right below the ending edge of the previous strip.
- Now repeat the one-up-one-down process with the second strip. You will notice the basket weave pattern start to form. Once you pass the strip of PATTERN B completely through the strips of PATTERN A, glue the end of the PATTERN B strip to PATTERN A and trim off any excess.
- Repeat this process until your basket weave is long enough cover the height of your jar. You won’t have to weave through the additional 3cms of the PATTERN A paper as this area will be wrapped around the bottom of the jar.
Steps to apply the basket weave to your jar:
- Apply a layer of PVA glue to your jar.
- Carefully place your basket weave along the top edge of your jar and roll the weave to cover the entire jar.
- Press down to ensure that the weave has adhered to the jar.
- Wrap the ends of the strips of PATTERN A around the bottom edge of the jar and glue it to the bottom.
- Optional Step: Wrap some rope around the mouth of the jar for so added beauty.
And that’s how you make a pretty little basket weave jar! Let me know what you think in the comments!