These woven baskets are classic! Children in first grade can make them (kindergarteners are still a bit too young, but not an impossible task it you help one-on-one). A bit tricky at first, but once you figure out how to make them, they are a delight: looks good almost all the time.
Start with an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. Fold in half bottom to top.
Cut a section off that is 3 inches wide (dimensions can vary but 3″ is a good enough size for children to work with).
Cut the top corners a little so they are rounded. This would be the loose (unfolded) edge of the paper.
Cut the strips about 3¼ inches long
Prepare a second sheet of paper of contrasting color. Rotate one of the papers so it is perpendicular to the first sheet as shown below.
Pry open the papers of strip 1 and slide strip A in between the layers of 1. Push the paper so strip A is beyond strip 2.
In the next step, you want the white paper to be on top so you can start the checkerboard pattern.
Now you want the red paper to be visible again, so pry open strip 3 and slide strip A in between the layers of 3.
The first row is done. Shuffle the paper up a little so you can work on row 2. Repeat the process with strip B except now, you want the first panel to be white so you can perpetuate the checkerboard pattern.
Pry open layer B and slide strip 1 in between the layers of B.
Pry open strip 2 and slide strip B in between the layers of 2.
Pry open strip B and slide strip 3 in between the layers of B.
The second row is done. Notice the checkerboard pattern. Turn the model over and check that the back side has a checkerboard pattern too. If not, you will need to undo some of the steps and try again.
Pry open strip 1, slide in strip C.
Pry open strip C, slide in strip 2.
Finally, pry open strip 3, slide in strip C.
This is how the back side looks like.
This is how it looks like on the inside.
Cut a strip of paper from the leftover paper and make a handle. Use tape, glue, or staples to attach the handle to the basket.
If you are working with a young child and the instructions above are too hard, you can try making a 2 x 2 basket. Here, in step 3 above, cut the paper into two strips instead of three. This will give you a reduced, more manageable pattern.
If you are working with older children, you can get creative!. Cut the paper strips into different sizes to get a number of different patterns. It’s not hard; just keep the checkerboard pattern and you can’t go wrong. The left panel shows you how to cut the paper to achieve the basket shown on the right panel.
Woven Baskets Variations
Paper cut into two strips.
Paper cut into three strips.
Paper cut into three strips with center strip cut in half.
Paper cut into three strips with outer strips cut in half.
Paper cut into four strips.
Paper cut into four strips with inner two strips cut in half.
Paper cut into four strips with outer strips cut in half.
Variation on the above cuts.
Paper cut into eight strips (4 strips then each one in half).
You can use different color papers and cut the tops a little different to make a whole different look: perfect for St Patrick’s Day!