Monday, March 9, 2015

DIY: Fabric Easter Baskets

Fabric Easter Basket Tutorial

Finished fabric Easter baskets

I first made these fabric Easter baskets in 1997 or 1998.  They were a big hit, but I really haven't made them since as far as I can remember.  The only thing I changed this time was that I made my own fabric stiffener solution whereas the original baskets I had made used Stiffy brand fabric
Easter baskets circa 1990s
Original Fabric Easter Baskets Circa 1998 (?)

The best thing about these baskets is that they are so easy to customize for just about anyone.  You are only limited by the fabric choices (which are pretty substantial) available to you.  Besides the cutting and hot glue, this is a great project for kids, too!  Many craft and fabric stores have bins of small scraps and / or fat quarters used for quilting.  The amount of fabric you need depends on the size of the container you are using.  I usually use a whipped topping tub, but I didn't have one on hand so I used old margarine spread containers for the green and pastel baskets featured here.  You don't need to exactly measure as you will see in the photos of this tutorial.  Generally, I would say that you need about a 14" square (or round) piece of fabric.

I made two different solutions for this project: the green plaid basket was made using a solution made from Modge Podge (matte) and water.  This didn't work quite as well, but it could be that I used too much water since Modge Podge is already pretty thin. I used just over 1/3 cup of Modge Podge (it was all that was left in the jar) and just under 1/3 cup water. 

 The pastel basket was made from a solution of Elmer's Craft Bond brand tacky glue.  This glue is much thicker than Modge Podge and I used the same measurements as the Modge Podge solution.  

I mixed both solutions in old large (32oz) yogurt containers and used my hand to mix (I wanted to feel the texture/thickness of the solution).  

Solution should be fairly thin and runny

Supplies for basket:
Fabric Stiffener (purchased or DIY)
Cotton or cotton blend fabric (at least 14" square or circle)
Plastic tub
Soda bottle (1 or 2 liter size is best) or something with a similar circumference
Plastic wrap
Glue Gun
Wax paper

Step 1:
Using the plastic tub as your base, cut a circle of fabric (go larger since you can always trim excess). 

I cut a section from the yardage

Trim the rectangle into a circular shape

To check the size of the circle, pull up edges of the fabric over the lip of the bowl, you want a minimum of a 1" overlap.

This is much more than 1" overlap

Step 2: 
Prep your work area. I used some old packing paper or use newspaper.  I also covered the paper with wax paper as a precaution as the ink could transfer to the fabric when wet, and it also prevents sticking.  Cover your plastic tub with plastic wrap.  This is necessary so that the fabric doesn't glue itself to the tub, and it prevents the transfer of ink from the tub to the fabric. 

Use 2 sheets of plastic wrap to completely cover the edges of the tub.

Prepped tub

Step 3:
Saturate the fabric in the fabric stiffener, and squeeze most of the liquid from the fabric.  You want the fabric to be very damp, but not dripping.
Soaking the fabric in fabric stiffening solution
Saturate fabric

Squeeze excess liquid

Step 4:
Flip the tub upside down and center wet fabric over the tub and smooth down the sides.

Step 5:
Flip the fabric covered tub over and pull the fabric edges over the edge of the tub. You can adjust the fabric at this time to even out the edges around the tub.
Placing fabric around bowl mold to dry
Add caption

Step 6:
Carefully flip the tub upside down again keeping the "tabs" inside the tub and air dry for at least 4 hours to overnight.  TIP: Do Not try to speed up the drying process with a heat gun or hair dryer. This causes the fabric to dry "softer" rather than stiff and it won't maintain it's shape. Trust me, I made this mistake. The bottom edges will be a bit damp, but if the rest of the fabric is dry go to the next step.

Step 7:
When fabric is dry (remember, bottom edges will be damp---you want them that way), flip the tub over and carefully open up the edges as shown in the first picture below. Carefully, pull the tub out.  I've found that it's easier to remove the tub leaving the plastic wrap attached to the fabric. Once the tub is out, gently remove the plastic wrap and re-wrap the tub. 

Step 8:
Push the tabs back into the bowl-shaped fabric, then place the re-wrapped tub into the fabric as shown.  Then set aside until the fabric is completely dry (about 3-4 hours). 

Step 9:

Cut strips of fabric at least 2 1/2" wide and as long as you want based on the size of your basket and personal preference. Saturate the strips the same was as for the bowls.  I fold the ends over lengthwise and press down.  The liquid helps hold the fabric together.  Place these over a plastic-wrapped soda bottle (I used a 1 liter Pepsi bottle since the baskets are on the small side), and prop up the bottle wherever you can to let the strips hang to dry.

Fabric handles draped over a 2-liter bottle to dry

As you can see, the green fabric didn't adhere well after drying.  I fixed this with a little hot glue.  

Step 10:
Once baskets and handles are dry, attach the handles using hot glue.  You could also attach other decorations (see lace in the photo of my original baskets) to the baskets using hot glue at this time.

Attaching the handles to the bowl section of the basket with hot glue

Voila!! You have adorable fabric Easter baskets.  These are fairly sturdy (the green is less so), too.

Full 32oz. tub of yogurt

Full 32oz tub of yogurt.
Fnished baskets


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