Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Tisket, A Tasket...a Handmade Easter Basket

As Easter is coming up, I started to brainstorm Easter basket ideas for my niece and goddaughter Sonya (the inspiration for many of my projects). I found this amazing do-it-yourself Easter basket and had to make it!

The "Recipe" from Moda Bake Shop uses one of their "Jelly Rolls" of fabric, which is basically many strips of coordinating fabrics rolled up like a cinnamon roll. For this project, I used the "Swanky" Jelly Roll which has some great pinks, yellows and other very springy colors which I bought here.

As the "Recipe" recommends, I cut all of the stips in half before I used them so the colors are more spread out. The major change I made to the basket is that I made it much bigger. Moda's basket is about 6.5 inches in diameter, but I made mine with a diameter of about 12" and about 7" high. To do this I still followed the basic steps, but I bought 10 yards of a much thicker cotton cord to make both the basket bottom and handle (I believe it was 24/32...the 2nd largest size that Hobby Lobby sold by the yard). I also made the base 8 rings wide (as opposed to their 7) and then 8 rings tall. The size turned out great and I think is much more practical for an Easter basket to be used as Sonya grows up.

I will say that the bigger cotton cord did make sewing the rings together more challenging and I should have invested in a longer needle. As you stack the rings, I highly advise sewing each ring to the one below from the outside. Sew up and down and criss-cross in order to securely sew the two rings together. If you try hard enough, you can make most of the exposed stitches close to the bottom of the ring so they don't show as much. It's ok to have your stiches show on the top of the ring you're adding b/c the next ring added will cover them up. However, for the top ring, I did try and make the stitches small and less noticable.

For the handle, I only made it two ropes thick (instead of 3) since I used the thicker cord. Be sure and sew the handle on really well!

Other thought: I wrapped the fabric more "cleanly" than the Moda folks....looks less "scrappy" and I think will wear better. To do this I just always left the folded over edge exposed and covered up the cut edge.

I love how the basket turned out (and hopefully Sonya will too!). This project is pretty easy and I did it all without a sewing machine. The sewing machine would make sewing the scraps together faster and easier, of course, but the bulk of time is spent wrapping the fabric and then handsewing the basket together, so a sewing machine isn't as necessary. Overall the basket took about 35-40 hours to make.

I had tons of fun filling it with all sorts of goodies for Sonya. Some highlights: Homemade hair bows (see other post!), bunny ears (a must), Easter books, teething rings, Peeps (not sure if she can eat them...but I know her Daddy will!) and two cute outfits for the warmer weather. Happy Easter!


  1. how adorable!! that is so cute! you make me want to have a child just so he/she can get a bunch of awesome gifts from auntie Melissa!

  2. You have no idea how much joy this brought to baby Sonya or her mama. What a wonderful surprise! This will be a treasure for many coming Easters and a tangible reminder of your love for Sonya. I hope that she will always fill it with treasures. :) I love the colors in the fabric jelly roll you picked out. Truly fabulous. Thank you. Thank you.

  3. Love the idea..trying to make one for my daughter this year and I'm running into some problems! I'm a beginner sewer so I really don't know what I'm doing :) Do you remember what size needle you used, and what type of thread? I'm having trouble with my thread breaking, loosing the needle into the coil, needles breaking from using pliers to pull them through, etc. Any tips you could share would be so appreciated. Thanks!

  4. I couldn't sew the first one I made to save my life, hot glue gun was my bff!!!