Coiled-Rag Baskets

How to make coiled-rag baskets. This project is a great way to use up leftover fabric scraps and makes a decorative basket that's also useful.
sides of rag basket take shape with coils on coils

sides of rag basket take shape with coils on coils

As the sides take shape, wind the coil on the top of the previous coiled row

Baskets have had many uses over the ages. Native Americans wove them so tightly they could hold water.

Materials and Tools:

fabric scraps torn in strips
Rag Works 1" craft coiling
large-eye plastic yarn needle
masking tape
hot-glue gun and glue


1. Tear fabric into strips approximately 1 1/2" to 2" wide. An easy way to tear the strips is to fold a piece of fabric and mark off strips of the desired width across the folded edge. Use scissors to start the strips, cutting about 2" from the folded edge into the fabric. Flip every other tab to one side, alternating tabs to the opposite side. Grasp the tabs on one side, and have a friend grasp the tabs on the other side. Pull. You'll each end up holding torn fabric strips.

2. Thread one end of a fabric strip through the eye of a large plastic yarn needle. Start wrapping the fabric strip around the craft coil, overlapping the strips slightly.

3. When you've wrapped several inches, start forming the bottom of the basket by coiling the fabric-covered craft coil into a tight circle. Continue spiraling the craft coil, keeping the coils tight next to the previous row.

4. To hold the coils together, bring the plastic needle from the bottom to the top between the coiling on the previous row. Thread the needle, fabric strip down, on the left side of the fabric strip you just wound, between the previous and current coils. Bring the needle around the fabric strip to the right, and pull it up from the bottom toward you, making a "stitch." Continue wrapping the coil. Make a "stitch" every so often to hold the current coil to the previous coil.

5. Make the bottom of the basket as large as you like. Start forming the basket's sides by winding the coil upward slightly on top of the previous coil. As the sides take shape, wind the coil on the top of the previous coiled row.

6. Make the basket any shape or height you desire. If it's necessary to join pieces of coil, cut off the end piece at an angle and cut the new piece at the same angle in the opposite direction so the two pieces fit together. Secure the joint by wrapping with masking tape, and continue wrapping the fabric strips.

7. Join strips together by wrapping the next strip over the top of the previous strip or by applying a little hot glue.

8. If you wish to add a contrasting twisted-rope top to the basket, wrap two 1/4" craft coils separately with contrasting fabric strips. Twist the coils together, and hot-glue them to the top of the basket.

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