01 of 10
Weave a Miniature Wicker Pastry Basket in Dolls House Scale
This miniature woven 'wicker' pastry basket (shown here in 1:12 dollhouse scale) is an easy project for learning to weave with a wood base. This basket style can be modified by leaving off the handle section to make simple serving trays, and it can be woven slightly deeper to make drawers for pastry shops or traditional kitchen displays.
I used this opportunity to show how to color the weaving thread to make a basket that resembles those made from twigs. If you prefer you can make white, green, natural or other colored baskets.
To Make a Miniature Pastry Basket or Woven Drawer You Will Need:
Continue to 2 of 10 below.
- Paper Wrapped Wire - I used 26 gauge white cake wire and colored it with Burnt Umber acrylic paint.For a white basket, you can leave the wire white. If you cannot find paper wrapped wire, use regular craft or florist wire and paint it to your base color.
- Craft Wood - For my basket in 1:12 scale I used 1/16 inch thick and 1 inch wide basswood (tilia or limewood). I cut my wood to be 1 inch wide by 1 1/4 inch long. In 1:12 scale this will make the equivalent of a 12 inch by 15 inch basket.
- Acrylic Paint - I used Burnt Umber paint for a dark brown basket. I used the same paint diluted to stain the wood base. If you prefer you leave your basket materials uncolored.
- Clear Acrylic Gloss Coat - To keep the wood from warping it is best to coat the stained or raw wood with a clear sealing coat. Optionally you can add a bit of beeswax polish to the final coat.
- Thread -Quilting Thread, Fine Linen Bookbinding Thread, or Buttonhole Twist thread - for the weavers on the basket sides. I used linen thread, which I run between fingers covered with paint to coat the thread for any particular color. Crochet cotton will also work. It is best if the thread is roughly 1/2 to 1/4 the thickness of your wire. If you are coloring your thread you will need roughly three yards or 3 m. for a 1:12 scale basket.
- Miniature Drill or Pin Vice
- End Cutters - or something (nail clippers?) you can use to trim your wire stakes flush with the wooden base of your basket.
- Bent Nose Tweezers
- Glue - you can use a cyanoacrylate (super glue) or a thick PVA glue like (The Ultimate Glue.
- Sharp Scissors
- Fine Sandpaper
- Razor Saw To cut your wood
02 of 10
Make a Wooden Base for a Miniature Pastry Basket or Dollhouse Scale Drawer
To make the base for a simple rectangular woven basket, pastry basket, or woven drawer, cut a rectangular piece of wood to the size you want for your particular scale. For my 1:12 scale basket I cut a piece of wood 1 inch wide by 1 1/4 inches long (2.5 x 3 cm). I measured in 1/16 inch on all four edges and drew neat lines. Just inside the lines, I marked and drilled holes for the wire stakes for the basket sides. The holes were drilled in all four corners, and at 1/8 inch (3mm) intervals. The holes should be drilled so your wire will fit snugly in the holes. Test drill a hole on some scrap wood and test fit your wire until you find a drill bit which is the correct size.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
03 of 10
Color the Stakes, Base and Weavers for a Miniature Pastry Basket
If you want to have a basket with a different color than the thread or wire you have on hand, roll a bit of thin acrylic paint between your index finger and thumb and rub it onto the wire and thread as you twirl the wire and thread between your fingers to coat them with paint. Set aside to dry. Some of the paint will wear off as you weave your basket, but you can touch up any areas which need it once the basket is finished.
Stain the wooden base of the basket if you wish. I use thinned acrylic paint for stain and wipe it off with a paper towel, rag or cotton bud. When the stain is dry sand it with fine sandpaper to flatten the grain, and apply a coat of clear sealant. If you wish, you can use fine sandpaper on this clear sealer, and apply a final coat of beeswax polish to get a more realistic wood finish.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
04 of 10
Add Upright Stakes to the Base of Your Miniature Pastry Basket
Cut roughly 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch lengths of your wire to use for the stakes on your basket. (3 - 3.5 cm) Dip the ends of your wire into a bit of your glue and set the wires neatly into the holes all around the basket, taking care not to bend the wires. If necessary, you can turn the basket over and fill the holes on the base of the basket with a bit more glue to ensure everything fits neatly. Avoid getting excess glue on the wooden base of the basket near the base of the wires. Set aside to dry thoroughly before you begin to weave your basketContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Use 'Pairing' to Weave the Sides of the Miniature Pastry Basket
One of the easiest methods of weaving is called "Pairing". It involves setting a folded thread around your first woven stake, then taking the ends around each stake in a figure 8 with the front thread always going over the top of the thread that comes through from the back.
To begin the pairing weave on your pastry basket, loop the center of your thread around the stake which is the third from the side on one of the ends (see photo) and neatly take one side of the thread around the front of a wire stake, and the other around the back, bringing the back thread to the front of the next stake and passing the front thread over it to the back of that stake, repeating the reversing process on every stake. You can see more examples of pairing in the photos for the instructions for weaving the simple miniature fruit basket. Continue to weave all around your basket base, pressing the threads gently down to the base in between the stakes and taking care to weave neatly around the corner stakes without bending them.
Keep weaving until you have the sides of the basket up to the height you want to begin your pullout handle (if you want a pullout handle) or until the sides of your basket are the height you wish.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Make Pullout Handles on Your Miniature Pastry Basket or Dollhouse Basket Drawer
If you are weaving a simple serving tray you won't need this style of pullout handle, but if you want to use your pastry baskets as drawers in a kitchen island or other piece of furniture, you may want to weave them with pullout handles. To make the pullout handle, which is basically a lowered side section on one end of the basket, weave enough of a side to fit up to the base of where you want the open handle area to be, weaving around and around your basket. Work out where the center of your basket is so you can leave an equal number of stakes free of weaving on either side of the basket center at the end where you want your handle. Weave up to the edge of where you want your handle to begin (the stake before the space your handle should occupy) and then reverse the direction of your weaving, turning your weaving back on itself so you don't weave across the handle area at the end of your basket as you did before. Make sure you loop your woven end around the final wire before the turn, then continue paring on the next wire after the turn and weave along the basket side until you reach the other side of the basket at the opposite side of the handle space, where you will turn again and work back without weaving across the stakes that are centered for the handle. (see photo) This will leave one section at the end of your basket without weaving, except for the first rows up to the base of the open handle area.
Continue to weave back and forth until you have your basket roughly 1/32 inch lower than you want its final height to be. Finish the weaving in the center back of the basket on the side opposite the handle, leaving the weaving threads on the inside of the basket. Do not trim them to their final length but leave a roughly 1 inch end on both weaving threads on the inside edge of your basketContinue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Weaving a 'Trac' Edge on Your Miniature Pastry Basket
To finish the edge of your pastry basket you can weave a simple 'Trac' edging over single stakes on the top of the basket, or you can trim the wires flush with the top of the basket and glue on a braided edge, similar to the one used for the miniature flower basket
The 'Trac' edging will give your basket a stronger finish and help to keep it square. To weave this simple traditional basket edging, start with the first stake on the right side of your basket pullout handle. Use tweezers to bend the wire stake neatly at right angles just at the top of the woven sides (see photo). Pull the wires beside the bent wire in and out so you can weave the bent wire behind the first stake, in front of the next stake, behind the next stake and in front of the fourth stake from the one you bent. Bend the horizontal wire in around to the inside of the basket. Turn the next wire to the right of the one you started the edging with and weave it around behind the wire beside it, in front of the next wire, behind the third wire and in front of the fourth wire again, finishing with the horizontal wire pointing into the center of the basket. Continue to weave all the wires around the basket edge (see next photo). Keeping the wires tightly together and using tweezers, or a pair of needle nose pliers, to keep the sides of the basket square and true.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Finish and Touch Up the Edge of the Miniature Pastry Basket
Keep weaving the 'trac' edge (or glue down the braided edge) on your miniature pastry basket. Some paper wrapped wires will separate as you bend the wire stakes, this is normal and to be expected. Take care to keep the 'trac' edge band square with the base of your basket, using your tweezers or a pair of needle nose pliers to neaten the bends.
Continue to work the trac edge all around the basket, except for the stakes which are in the center of your basket handle (if you wove one). Make sure you keep the corners neatly square as you weave the edge. Leave the last two (or three) stakes for the handle alone until the next step.
Once the edge of the basket is finished, use a pin to realign any weaving threads which were pushed out of alignment when making the edge. Trim the ends of the wires which protrude from the outer edge of the basket flush with the basket inside, leaving the handle stakes alone for now. Trim off the excess thread on the inside of the basket with sharp scissors.
Use a stiff bristled paint brush and the same paint you used to color the wire to touch up any ends of thread or wire, or bits of white paper which show. Set aside to dry.
Note: Occassionally while you are weaving a edge using your stakes, one of the stakes may pull free of your wooden base. Don't panic! Use a darning needle or the end of a set of fine pointed tweezers, or an awl, to open up the weaving space where the wire stake should be, then reinsert the stake, pushing through the bottom of the basket, and adding glue to the wire, then gently pulling it back into the basket base. Don't try to add glue to the wire stake before you insert it back through the weaving threads!Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Finish the Pullout Handle of the Miniature Pastry Basket or Drawer
To finish the handle area of the pastry basket, trim the upright stakes in the handle section so they are roughly 1/4 inch above the basket edge. Using your tweezers, turn them at right angles to the top of the woven section of the handle, and then bend them neatly back down into the woven sides to hide the cut edge of the wire.
Touch up any areas with paint if necessary and leave to dry.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Finish The Base of the Miniature Pastry Basket
To finish the base of the miniature pastry basket, turn it over after you have completed all the weaving and touch ups. Use end cutters to snip off any wires that protrude from the base and apply glue to fill the holes, (you can mix it with sawdust if you wish to fill holes that are too large)or use a file to sand any wire edges flush with the base. . If you wish, you can add small beads for feet, or use a length of colored thread or thin craft wood to cover the line of holes.
If you will be using the woven baskets as drawers, the wooden edge of the basket base at the sides can act as a drawer support along a rabbet cut into the sides of your furniture, or you can build a drawer support into your piece, similar to the one used for the simple night table or end table and rest the drawer in that space.
Have fun, and see how many different styles of basket you can make from these instructions!