How to Sew a Square or Round Basket Liner

couple carrying picnic basket
Ned Frisk / Getty Images
Project Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $15

Baskets are both a stylish and functional home decor piece. They come in many sizes and shapes, but not all of them feature basket liners. A basket liner will prevent the items you store in the basket from falling out, and it will help to keep your items clean. Plus, the liner can add an attractive personalized touch to your basket. Sewing a fabric basket liner for a square or round basket is a fairly simple process that should only take you a couple hours to complete. You'll create your own pattern based on the size of your basket and then follow a few sewing steps to form the fabric liner.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Needle and matching thread
  • Safety pin or bodkin


  • Basket
  • Fabric (amount depends on the size of your basket)
  • Gift-wrapping tissue (optional)
  • 1/4-inch wide elastic, cut to the distance around the top of the basket


  1. Create the Base Piece

    Measure the base of the basket, and add a 1/2-inch seam allowance to each side of the base piece.

    If you want, you can use gift-wrapping tissue folded into the basket base to create a pattern. Press the tissue around the edges of the base. Then, remove the tissue, and add 1/2 inch on the edge for a seam allowance before cutting the tissue to size for your base pattern piece.

    Then, use your measurements or pattern to cut the base piece out of your fabric.

    Measuring the basket
    Debbie Colgrove
  2. Make the Basket Liner Side Piece

    Measure the distance around the top and the bottom of the basket sides. Using the larger measurement, multiply by 1.5 to get Measurement A.

    Next, measure the height of the sides from the base and over the top edge to the spot where you want the liner to end. Be sure at least to allow enough for the liner to go over the edge. Add 1 1/2 inches for a seam allowance and elastic casing. The result is Measurement B.

    Cut a rectangular fabric piece that is Measurement A by Measurement B. (You can always cut two pieces and seam them together if your fabric isn't wide enough to accommodate the length of your basket sides.)

    Add a seam around the edge of the rectangle you created for the sides of the basket liner, and press it smooth. Then, fold the rectangle in quarters, and gently press or mark the folds. Sew two rows of basting stitches in the 1/2-inch seam allowance at the bottom of the side piece.

    Fabric basket liner sides
    Debbie Colgrove
  3. Gather the Side Piece and Attach It to the Base

    Pull the basting threads on the bottom of the side piece to gather the edge, evenly distributing the gathering so the side piece will fit the base of the basket.

    Then, sew the side piece to the base piece using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Trim the threads and the seam allowance if necessary. Apply a seam finish, and press the seam toward the base piece.

    Gathering the side of the basket liner
    Debbie Colgrove
  4. Create Elastic Casing

    Sew a line of stitching 3/8 inch from the top edge of the side piece. Press under the top edge on the stitching line, and then press under again to enclose the raw edge. Stitch along the inner folded edge, leaving an opening to thread the elastic through.

    Sewing the elastic casing
    Debbie Colgrove
  5. Complete the Liner

    Measure and cut the elastic, so it fits the top edge of the basket, leaving an additional 1/2 inch for the elastic to overlap. Thread the elastic through the sewn casing by attaching a safety pin or bodkin to one end of the elastic and easing it through.

    Overlap the ends of the elastic, and sew the ends securely. Pull the elastic to the inside of the casing, and then finish sewing the casing closed. You can now stretch your liner over the basket edge and press it into the base.

    Finished fabric basket liner
    Debbie Colgrove