Learn Simple Weaving Techniques by Making Miniature Baskets

Woven basket
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Learn to weave miniature or dollhouse baskets with thread over wire to replicate traditional full size weaving techniques.  This list has two pages of linked projects with clear photo instructions. The projects are laid out in order of difficulty for each type of basket. Using the techniques shown here, you can make these baskets for a range of dollhouse scales, or use traditional materials and make the baskets in full size. The baskets range from traditional coiled baskets to woven baskets...MORE using methods made for cane, fibers and fabric or flat splints of wood.

  • 01 of 14

    Weave a Miniature Flower Gathering Basket

    A braided edging finishes a 1:12 scale miniature flower gathering basket
    A braided edging is glued to a base woven from embroidery thread to finish a miniature 1:12 scale wicker basketPhoto ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc. Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    This flower gathering basket  is another good miniature basket for a beginner. It adds a braided edge finish and a handle to the same simple weaving technique used for the miniature fruit basket. As these baskets do not need sides shaped by changing the weaving technique they are very easy for someone new to making baskets. In full size these flower gathering baskets are made from cane.

  • 02 of 14
    A finished woven fruit basket in dolls house scale made from wire and embroidery thread.
    The finished woven fruit basket in dolls house scale, made from wire and embroidery thread. Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    This miniature fruit basket in dollhouse scale is the easiest miniature basket in this collection. It is made with traditional basketry techniques using linen embroidery thread. In full size it would be made from cane. You can make the basket larger or smaller by changing the gauge or number of the wires, and the thickness or number of strands of the embroidery thread.

  • 03 of 14

    Weave a Miniature Oval Basket With a Handle for Easter or Shopping Baskets

    The completed oval basket can be used for all kinds of scale dollhouse displays.
    The completed oval basket can be used for all kinds of scale dollhouse displays. Here the basket is shown with the hand of a 1:12 scale doll. Photo copyright 2009 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.
    By weaving a shopping basket or easter basket the beginner will learn how to set an oval base for any size or scale of basket, using traditional weaving techniques. In miniature, these baskets can be woven from cane, or fiber and thread over wire or cane. In full size they would be woven from cane, with cane stakes for the base and sides.
  • 04 of 14
    The top wires are wrapped around the hanger to finish the dolls house scale bird cage.
    The top wires are grouped to the center with the hanger in the middle and the ends are wrapped with wire to hold them in place. Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Use the instructions for a woven miniature bird cage  to make a basket entirely from covered wire. It is a form of oval basket with straight sides, and you can use the instructions to make various bird cages with different shaped bases, or to make laundry hampers, shopping carts and other larger straight sided conical baskets.

    The basket can be filled with flowers or you can make miniature doves to go in the basket.

    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14
    Miniature woven pastry basket or drawer in dolls house scale.
    Miniature woven pastry basket in dolls house scale with a wooden base that allows the basket to be used as a drawer. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    Make these rectangular wood bottomed baskets with or without dropped handles or pull fronts to add to pastry counters or miniature kitchens. These baskets have a solid wood base, and the technique can be used for a range of trays or other containers where you want woven sides over a flat base.

  • 06 of 14
    A 1:12 scale tartan coiled rag basket holds miniature knitting, needles and yarn.
    A 1:12 scale coiled rag basket filled with knitting supplies is ready to be placed in a dolls house scene. Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Colorful rags were often used to make coil baskets. This technique for making a miniature rag basket allows you to make baskets for dollhouse scenes. For this basket the rags are wrapped over wire, for full sized baskets the coil is made from rags alone, or rags wrapped over a center of straw or rope. Coiled baskets are easy to shape and once you learn the technique you can expand it to a wide range of basket designs.

  • 07 of 14

    Coil a Miniature Moses or Baby Basket

    Miniature Moses basket made from raffia and wire, shown with a dollhouse doll for scale.
    Miniature Moses basket made from raffia and wire, shown with a dollhouse doll for scale. Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd

    Coiled "Moses" baskets or baby baskets with handles have a very long history. Coil a miniature moses basket using strings of garden raffia wrapped around a wire center. You can also use paper for a similar effect. In larger sizes, you could wrap raffia around itself or a cord of heavy crochet thread to make similar baskets. Wire makes the moses basket a bit easier to manage in smaller scales.

  • 08 of 14
    Dollhouse baby in a simple miniature oval basket woven from wire and crochet thread.
    Miniature oval basket woven from wire and crochet thread to fit a dollhouse scale baby. Photo © 2013 Lesley Shepherd
    Make a  simple woven baby basket to use  alone to store items in a nursery, or set on a base as a baby bassinet. You can echo the colors of your baby nursery by using ribbon trim as you weave.


    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14
    Dollhouse miniature wicker change table made from instructions on Miniatures.about.com
    Miniature wicker change table with dollhouse scale baby. Photo © 2013 Lesley Shepherd

    This woven wicker change table is a companion piece to the baby basket. It is shown here woven from crochet cotton over white cake wire.  The method of weaving furniture is very similar to that used for baskets with a wooden base.

  • 10 of 14

    Designing Custom Baskets in Miniature

    Sizing a simple miniature basket base.
    With a doll laid on quarter inch graph paper, a rough outline of the basket base size is drawn on the paper. Photo © 2013 Lesley Shepherd

    Here's a tutorial on steps to designing your own custom miniature basket projects, including how to choose the correct gauge wire, or size of thread.

  • 11 of 14

    Weave Paper Baskets from Printables and Paper Strips

    Printable paper miniature basket shown with a dolls house doll for scale.
    This multi colored printable miniature basket has been woven as an Easter basket. Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

    These printable miniature paper baskets are woven with techniques similar to those used to make baskets from thin splits of wood. They are easily made as tiny easter basket decorations or baskets for miniature dollouse scenes. The printables with these instructions come in a range of colors allowing you to weave 'natural' colored baskets or brightly colored ones for spring scenes. There is a choice of round or square bases so you can weave a variety of shapes. Once you understand the...MORE technique you can use thin wood veneer to weave even more realistic miniature baskets with the same basic technique.

  • 12 of 14
    A Miniature Dolls House Picnic Basket with a Fitted Lining.
    A Miniature Dolls House Picnic Basket with a Fitted Lining. Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

    This dollhouse scale fitted miniature picnic basket is made from needlepoint canvas. You could however weave two small rectangular baskets using the same methods as are used for the oval easter or shopping basket shown above, and join the sections together to make the outer woven picnic basket if you prefer.

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Weave a Miniature Garden Hat

    Miniature woven garden hat on a dollhouse scale ball joint doll.
    A miniature garden hat for a 1:12 scale doll, woven from raffia. Photo © 2013 Lesley Shepherd

    It might not be a basket, but this miniature woven garden hat uses the same techniques. Here it has been woven from strands of raffia, but you can make a finer weave with thread if you wish.


  • 14 of 14

    Weave an Eight Strand Braid

    Small scale 8 strand flat braids suitable for miniatures made from thread, floss and raffia strands.
    8 strand flat braids or plaits ranging in width from 1/16 to 1/2 inch wide, made from (left to right) sewing thread, fine sections of raffia, embroidery thread, wider strips of dried and preserved raffia, raffia fibers full size. Photo © 2013 Lesley Shepherd

    This woven eight strand flat braid can be used to make miniature rugs  or as a substitute for flat hat braid if you use fine thread or finer straw than the raffia shown here.