Earth Day is around the corner. In honor of that, I thought I’d share a recycled craft project.
Recently, I’ve been trying to use different types of recycled materials to weave baskets. I’ve seen people using plastic bottles to make baskets, but I thought it might be fun to use a soda can because the edges are more flexible and I could the shape the sides of the basket better.
The video tutorial is split into 3 parts. It takes a little time to watch, but once you learn how to do it, with practice you’ll be able to make a soda can basket in under an hour.
- Empty soda (or beer) can
- 2 plastic grocery bags (may need more)
Warning: Working with the soda can metal can be a little sharp. This is a project best for adults and older teens. I haven’t had any problems, but if you are worried about cutting your hands, it might help to wear gloves. When cutting the can, you also might want to wear eye protection.
Prep the soda can and the plastic bags
1. Carefully cut the top of the soda can off.
2. Cut the soda can into 16 equal sized strips. (Instead of measuring, I just estimated. I cut it into 4 equal sized strips. Then I cut each strip in half to make 8 strips. Then I cut each of those in half to get 16 strips.)
Cut off any jagged areas at the top of the strips.
3. Cut the handles and bottom of each grocery bag. Then cut each grocery bag into 1 long strip about 2 inches wide. (You’ll cut a spiral around the bag.)
4. Flare the metal strips out. These will be the “ribs” of your basket.
5. Put 1 plastic strip into a slot between the metal “ribs”. Put the 2nd color plastic strip between the next metal slats.
6. Start weaving by bringing the first plastic strip on the left over the first metal “rib” to the right. Then pass it behind the next metal “rib” and out the next slot.
Grab the next color plastic strip. Bring in front of the metal “rib” to the right. Pass it behind the next metal rib and out the next slot between the “ribs”
Continue doing this. This is how you will weave the rest of the basket. Keep going to the right around the can. When you reach where you started, just keep weaving, and you’ll make the next layer.
Don’t pull too hard on the plastic strips or it will tear. If it does tear, just place the first couple inches of the new plastic strip next to the last couple of inches of the strip hanging off the basket and keep weaving.
7. When you get about 5 layers up, start pushing the metal “ribs” straighter up so that they are more vertical. This will begin to curve the wall of the basket.
8. Weave several more layers.
9. To make the basket narrower at the top, you need to cut the metal strips so they don’t overlap. Cut a narrow diagonal strip off of each one.
Finishing the basket and adding a handle
10. Continue weaving until you are about 1 inch from the top.
11. Cut the leftover plastic strip and weave the ends so they face inside the basket.
12. Fold the metal edges over the plastic. Then slip the edges under the plastic. (Skip the top row and then slide the metal under the other rows.
13. Cut off any loose ends inside the basket.
14. To make the handle, cut 4 strips of plastic about 8 or 9 inches long.
15. On 1 side of the basket, slip them under a couple layers and let about 4 inches hang out.
16. On the opposite side of the basket, do the same thing.
17. Taking another strip of excess plastic , begin wrapping around 1 end. (In the picture, I’m wrapping the yellow with a strip of gray.)
Wrap all the way to the other end. Tie and cut off the excess.
You can leave your finished basket as is, or you can add a little decoration such as a bow. On one of my baskets, I made a little plastic flower using a flower loom. (You can see what a flower loom looks like on amazon.)