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Craft: Coiled Basket

Craft: Coiled Basket

Total Time Needed: Afternoon Or Evening

These pliable baskets will soon find a home clustered on your child's dresser top, ready to be filled with everything from barrettes to bottle caps. They also make great gifts.


  • Long strips of 1/2-inch-wide, bright solid color and calico cotton material (torn across the grain)
  • Blunt, wide-eye plastic tapestry needle
  • 3 yards of 1/4-inch cotton piping cord or clothesline
  • Scissors


Thread a strip of material through the tapestry needle, pulling through approximately 2 inches of the cloth. Do not tie a knot in its end.

Starting with the end of the cloth strip farthest from the needle and the very end of the cord, wrap the cloth around the cord tightly and evenly, with each wrap slightly overlapping the previous one. Wrap 2 inches of cord, then curl the wrapped portion of the cord into a tight spiral. Bind the outer and the inner coils together by inserting the needle through the center of the spiral and pulling the cloth taut.

Putting down the needle, continue wrapping the outer coil by holding the unwrapped portion of the cord in your left hand and wrapping the cord with your right hand. Every inch or so, bind that portion of the wrapped coil to its inner neighbor (again using the needle to feed the cloth between the appropriate coils and then pulling the cloth taut).

Continue wrapping and coiling the cord. To add a new color strip, just overlap the previous strip by approximately 3/4 inch.

When you have completed a flat circle that measures about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, create the sides of the basket by securing new coils in vertical fashion. Continue in this manner until the basket is the desired size.

Cut the cord and wrap the very end, sewing it securely to the coil beneath it. Snip the material strip and tuck in any frays between coils.


Once kids get the hang of making this bowl-shape version, they can experiment with other coiled shapes, such as a tall, straight-sided cylinder or a flat spiral for a dollhouse rug.