Woven Cardboard  Basket

Does your kid ever get an idea stuck in their brain?  My kids do.  They got the idea that they wanted to weave something last spring and I knew that if we began something too tedious it would never get finished.  So along came the idea of using the cardboard shims that can be found at hardware stores for a project.  Along with some glue and paint you can make yourself a sturdy little storage basket, (we used ours for Easter baskets).  These came out well, especially considering may kids worked on them too. ;)  


I began by folding a shim into four equal parts, those parts would determine how wide the basket would be because the length of the shims would wrap completely around the perimeter of the basket.  So 1/4 length of the shim became the size of the base, (I knew I needed the square base to be the same length as the sides). To start the base of the basket we marked the shims at their mid-way points so that the lengths wouldn't run out before we got to what would become the top of the basket (wherever we'd decide that would be>>>later).  As you can see in the pic (below left) we hadn't yet figured out what sort of gaps to leave between shims.  Also we were sure to make the base a perfect square and we also dry fit the first outer band on before gluing anything together.  We found that with shims that were 36" a gap of 3/8" worked well for a 12" size basket.


Once you have the bottom of your basket done with the shims spaced and positioned into a square (with each side the same length as 1/4 of a shim), you can begin weaving the shims up to make the sides of the basket. 


First, fold up the remaining ends that make up the base of your basket (try to bend them perfectly vertical>>not leaning one way or other).  As you weave the shims on (they should be folded into 1/4 sections lengthwise), fit them first to be sure they align with the square base and also be sure the starting end will match up to the other end.  Then you can hot-glue behind each band onto the perpendicular and adjacent band/shims (always make sure the ends of the band meet at the corner).  I tried not to use too much glue or it would ooze out and look messy.


When we had the height we wanted for the basket, we placed (what would later be) the rim over ends and eyeballed where it should go, and marked the shim ends where they would need to be cut off.  We cut them off before gluing the last rim piece on or it would've been very hard to do later.


Keeping all the shims square before gluing is the hard part about making these.  Also any accidental bends you make will show too.  When we were all done I painted them white and even sanded between coats to get a smoother finish.  There, all done!  I hope reading these directions wasn't as tedious as writing them......Anyways, this got weaving off the kid's brain for the time being and we have a couple handy little storage baskets to show for our trouble.  Thanks for stopping by!!