Make a Rag Basket
For a 5½″ basket, you’ll need:
· 20 1″ x 36″ fabric strips (approx.)
· 12′ ½″-diameter upholstery piping
· plastic large-eye children’s needle
Note: You will not pin your coil to a work surface; we did this for demonstration purposes only. Also, keep your spiral pulled tight in all steps; we’ve loosened ours in some of the photos so you can see the steps more clearly. This process is simply about wrapping fabric strips around piping and tying knots about every 1½″, adding new strips as you run out. Pull and tighten the wrapped piping as you go. Find additional photos in the magazine section of our website, and a how-to instructional video at www.maryjanesfarm.tv in the magazine section.
- Holding piping in your right hand with the end trailing off to the left, wrap fabric strip around piping toward top and away from you, overlapping about half the width of the strip. (This is the process for wrapping you will use in all the steps.) Wrap about 5″ of piping.
- Roll wrapped piping into a coil. (This will be the inside bottom center of your basket.)
- Thread needle with the tail of the fabric and pull it through the center of the coil from bottom to top.
- (a) Hold coil tightly with thumb and index finger and make a knot, pulling the needle over the coil toward the left and under the last wrap on the piping. (b) Remove needle and finish knot by pulling tightly. Continue to wrap fabric strip around piping until you need another knot. (You will make knots about every 1½″ along your coil. This is the process for making knots that you will use in all the steps, but after the second row of the coil, pull your needle through the last row of piping you made rather than through the center of the coil.)
- When you run out of fabric strip, introduce a new strip by wrapping it toward the top and away from you, but overlap strips completely and wrap around twice tightly. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to make a knot.
- Continue wrapping and tying knots until the bottom is about 5½″ wide.
- Form the sides of your basket by pulling up on the piping as you wrap and knot, overlapping the coil.
- Continue wrapping and tying knots on the sides of your basket.
- You will start to form the handle halfway around the fifth row. At that point, make a knot, then make another knot directly on top of it to secure the handle. Wrap the piping until you can form a handle over the basket to the opposite side in an “S” shape; make a double knot to secure the second side of the handle. Continuing the “S” shape, finish the rim by wrapping and knotting until you reach the first side of the handle.
- To finish your basket and blend in the tail, knot again at the first side of the handle. If you have extra piping, cut it off, leaving about 3″ beyond the handle to blend in. Wrap piping until 1″ from end.
- Thread needle with end of fabric strip and wrap fabric around piping and the cord behind it a few times to cover piping and secure it to the basket. Tuck tail under one or more of the wrapped fabric strips to secure it.