How to Make a Plastic Canvas Easter Basket
Imaginative Crafts, Do-It-Yourself Projects and Video Tutorials by Robert Mahar, robert-mahar.com
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Plastic canvas needle, 16-size (online source: http://bit.ly/1aKIRnR)
1) Count and cut a piece of plastic canvas measuring 4 holes wide by 48 holes long to form the handle of the basket.
2) Measure and cut 5 1/2 feet of twine and thread it onto your 16-size plastic needle.
3) Leave the first row of holes on the short ends of the handle blank – these will be used to attach the handle to the basket later.
Starting in the second row from one short end, count three holes over from the left and bring your needle up through that hole from the back. Pull the twine all the way through leaving a 1-inch tail on the backside of the canvas and hold this in place. Then put your needle back through the canvas one row up and one hole to the right to create a diagonal stitch. Next bring your needle back through the canvas in the second row, second hole from the left and re-enter two rows up and two holes to the right to create your second diagonal stitch. And then you bring your needle through the canvas in the second row first hole on the left and reenter three rows up and three holes to the right to create your third diagonal stitch.
With each of these initial stitches you are stitching around the tail on the backside of the canvas to hide it from site. Continue creating these side-by-side diagonal stitches all the way down the handle until you get to the second row from the end and then again create those two smaller stitches we started with. To finish off this piece of twine weave your needle under several stitches on the backside of the canvas, pull it taught and then snip the twine close to the stitches.
4) To finish the two long sides of the handle, we’re going to whipstitch along the edges. Cut a piece of twine that is 4 1/2 feet long and thread your needle. Starting in the second row from one short end, bring your needle up through the hole closest to the right edge. Pull your twine all the way through, again leaving a tail on the backside that is about 1 inch long and hold it in place. Stitch around the side of the canvas come up through the next hole along the edge. Continue stitching in this manner along the entire long side.
And remember with each of these initial stitches to stitch around the tail on the backside of the canvas hiding it from site.
When you get to the second row from the end, stitch over to the other long edge and whipstitch along its entire length. When you are finished, again weave the needle under several stitches on the backside, pull the twine taught and snip it close to the stitches.
5) Next count and cut a piece of plastic canvas for the basket wall measuring 10 holes high by 64 holes long. Also measure and cut 4 1/2 feet of twine and thread your needle again. We’re going to stitch three parallel sets of diagonal stitches along the basket walls that are identical to the stitches we used along the length of the handle. Again leave the first row of holes along the short end of this piece blank – to be used later to connect the ends of the basket wall.
After the two shorter stitches to get the row started, it is sometimes helpful to remember that these stitches are four rows high and stitched across four diagonal holes.
You will start to run out of twine when your row is a little bit more than halfway finished. While you still have about 8 inches of twine left weave your needle under several stitches on the backside, pull it taught and snip it close to the stitches. Then thread another 4 1/2 foot length of twine on your needle and begin where you left off.
When you finish your first line of stitches you will move up to create your second or middle row of stitches along the basket wall. The only difference this time is that you are going to create the stitches in the opposite direction to create a chevron or herringbone pattern. Your stitches will still be four rows high, but this time they will share one row of holes with the previous line of stitches. When you get to your third and final line of stitches remember to again change direction, continuing the herringbone pattern.
6) Next bend the canvas around overlapping those two empty rows on the short ends. To connect the two ends create a series of side-by-side straight stitches that are three holes across. Stitch all the way along the overlapping short sides to create a seam, leaving you with what looks like a bracelet. When you reach the end weave your needle under several stitches on the inside of the basket wall, pull it taught and snip it close to the stitches.
7) Next add a bottom side to the basket using a 3-inch plastic canvas circle. Rather than take the time to stitch a design into this bottom panel we’re going to leave it blank. Connect the plastic canvas circle to either side of the basket wall using a whipstitch. It is the same stitch we used along the edges of the handle, the only difference is that this time we’re stitching through both the edge of the basket wall and the edge of the plastic canvas circle. Begin stitching as we’ve done before leaving a 1-inch tail on the inside and disguising it with your first few initial stitches. Once you’ve worked your way around the entire edge end again by weaving your needle underneath a few stitches on the inside of the basket wall, pull it taught and snip the twine close to the stitches.
8) Finally attach the handle to the open end of the basket. Position the basket with the seam facing away from you and decide where you’d like to place the handle. Begin with one end of the handle, being mindful to place the empty row of stitches inside the basket, and whipstitch it to the top row of the basket wall. And then take a couple of straight pins and pin the opposite end of the handle into place so you’ll you remember where it goes. Continue all around, securing the second end of the handle in place and stitching until upper edge is completely covered.