Modern and Traditional Basket Weaving

Basketry is the art or process of making baskets. Our basketry site features all types of useful information on this craft.

Click the link for over 40 free basket patterns and projects.

I’ve always been drawn to the art of basket weaving, though I’m sorry to say that I’ve only completed two baskets; one was at a summer camp when I was in elementary school and the other as a frugal college student who decided to make Christmas gifts one year.

My grandfather caned chair seats, and he taught me that skill. I did cane many chairs, always on the hunt for antique chairs sold at a low price because the caned seat was broken or missing.

The weaving of the reeds made for caning reminded me of Native American basket weaving, and I found the act meditative.

Fast forward to motherhood.  With two daughters who enjoyed crafting camps and art classes, I was able to witness their basket making skills. 

A little wobbly and crooked, but lovely to me nonetheless!  Neither of them took up the art after their first baskets either.

One day I’m going to jump in and make another basket as an adult, especially after all of the information and research for this page!

There is so much to share with you about basket weaving. 

Start by reading this page to learn about traditional basket weaving, including Native American basket weaving, and then check out everything we’ve put together just for you.

From beginner to intermediate weavers, there is sure to be something that you will all find interesting and helpful as you enjoy the ancient art.

We even have links to basketry supplies and basket makers’ catalogs! 

The Wicker Woman site is a great place to learn more too.


It is very difficult to say just how old the art of basket weaving is.  The natural materials that would have been used quickly decay. 

It appears that when trying to determine the history of basket making, it is mostly speculation. However, when looking at any ancient civilization, basket making is one of the widest spread crafts.

The oldest baskets that have been revealed are carbon dated between 10,000 to 12,000 year old. That is even earlier than excavated pottery.  These baskets were discovered in upper Egypt.

There have been signs of basketry in many regions, by evidence of the baskets imprinted on pieces of clay pots, where the pots were formed by packing clay on the woven baskets and then fired.

We surely don’t need to go into all of the history of basket making, but suffice it to say that evidence has been found in the Middle East, South Asia (bamboo), East Asia (bamboo, hemp palm), Southeast Asia (bamboo, grass, banana, reeds, and trees), Polynesia (coconut fiber, hibiscus fiber, New Zealand flax), and Australia (sedge grasses). 

Basketry evidence was also found in Native American Arctic and subarctic regions (sea grasses, whale bone and walrus ivory), and the Native American regions below:

Northeastern (swamp ash, sweet grass, and birch bark), Native American Southeastern (split river cane), Northwestern (spruce root, cedar bark, and swamp grass), Californian and Great Basin (sumac, yucca, willow, and basket rush), Southwestern and Mexico (limberbush plant).

 Basketry was passed down from generation to generation; however, with the industrial revolution came items that replaced the baskets, such as bags. Basket making was no longer a necessity.

Today, basket weaving is a high interest hobby that is enjoyed for both home decor and personal gift giving.

Tools Needed

Basket weaving is an ancient craft that uses natural materials and some basic tools.

There are only a few simple tools needed in basket weaving:

  • Strong scissors and a sharp knife for cutting and pointing the osiers (young willow shoots)
  • Side cutters are helpful for chipping off the ends
  • Round-nosed pliers are very helpful for kinking the stakes before you bend them
  • Bodkin, which is a pointed metal tool with a wooden handle, to make space between the weaving and pushing rods in place

Some other items that you might find helpful are clothes pins to hold your work in place, a measuring tape, and perhaps a waterproof table covering, as you will need to keep the reeds wet. 

Your Natural Art

“Nature is a constant source of inspiration”, writes Begot in the book, Basket Weaving for Beginners.

This ancient craft has used materials that are found growing in nature. There is something so special to me about using natural elements in my crafting.

I once enjoyed the art of wreath making, collecting my grape vines from the woods behind my parents’ house.  Look at a video on making a basket out of grape vines!

Keep in mind though, that most craft stores do carry synthetic cane which can be used instead of the natural cane. 

This material does not need to be kept wet in order for it to stay pliable, which for some might be a big plus.

Please enjoy your time looking through this page; we have basket making books, links to catalogs of supplies, and of course some wonderful tutorials on basket weaving.

I just know your results will be stunning!!!

We also have a directory of basket weaving guilds and organizations.  Scroll to the end of the page for the link.

Modern and Traditional Basket Weaving

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 Basket Essentials: Rib Basket Weaving

Basket Essentials: Rib Basket Weaving #ad

Techniques and projects for DIY Reed baskets. 15 classic folk basket patterns including egg, melon, and Appalachian baskets. by Lora S. Irish - Paperback - Published 2020 Affiliate Link to Amazon

 Basket Weaving

Basket Weaving #ad

Making a simple basket weaving of your own. by April Teague - Paperback - Published 2020 Affiliate Link to Amazon

 Creative Basket Weaving

Creative Basket Weaving #ad

Step-by-Step Instructions for Gathering and Drying, Braiding, Weaving, and Projects. by Sylvie Begot - Paperback - Published 2020 Affiliate Link to Amazon

 Willow Projects

Willow Projects #ad

5 Beautiful Designs for the Home: Exciting and innovative designs for those with just a little basket making experience. by Wendy Thorner - Paperback - Published 2020 Affiliate Link to Amazon

Basic Beginner's Guide to Basket Weaving

Basket weaving is a great hobby that can add charm to your house. This link outlines the basic things you need to get started. Felt Magnet

Basket Construction Tips

Learn some useful basket weaving and construction tips. Basket Weavers

Basket Embellishment - Paper Star

Learn how to make a six stand star with paper to add as a lovely embellishment on your basket. Prairie Wood Basketry

Basket Runners

How to add basket runners to the bottom of your basket. Basket Makers Catalog

Basket Square Base

How to square the base of a basket. Prairie Wood Basketry

Basket Supply Calculator

Use the Basket Supply Calculator to make your own list of Basketry Supplies for a particular basket. The Basket Maker's Catalog

Basket Weaving Terminology

Some basic basket weaving terminology with definitions. Basket Master Weavings

Basket Weaving Terms and Techniques

Text and diagrams of basic weaving terms and techniques. Just Patterns

Basketry Tip

The more clothespins you use on the first rows of your basket, the better your basket will turn out. Just Patterns

Basketry Tip

If your dyed reed has bled onto natural reed, you can touch up your basket by carefully using some bleach on a cotton swab. Just Patterns

Basketry Tip

Caring for your baskets: Your baskets should have a shower once a year at least. The best time to do this is during the summer months. Hold the basket under the shower to rinse off the dust, dirt, etc. that has collected , then hang the basket outside to dry. Sandy Atkinson

Basketry Tip

After you have stained your basket, turn the spray can upside down and spray a couple of spurts to keep the nozzle from clogging. Tennessee Basketry Association

Basketry Tip

Always watch the spacing between your stakes. If they get too close, the basket will be small and tight. If they are too far apart, the basket will be big and loose. Tennessee Basketry Association

Beginner's Guide to Basket Weaving

There are lots of different basket weaving styles, traditions and techniques. In This Beginners Guide to Basket Weaving, we will explore a general overview of basket weaving covering many of the world's basket styles. Textile Indie

Broom Making

Instructions for making a broom.

Catalog - Frank's Cane and Rush Supply

On-line catalog of supplies for chair caning, wicker repair, basketry and more. Frank's Cane and Rush Supply

Cattail Leaves Gathering

Here’s an article and a video that takes you step-by-step on your journey to gathering cattail leaves for seat weaving or basket making projects. Wicker Woman

Cattail Leaves Processing

Follow these steps to prepare and process cattail leaves for weaving chair seats and baskets. Wicker Woman

Chair Caning 101

Learn a little bit about the history of Chair Caning, the art and craft of this weaving technique and even how to identify and repair. The Wicker Woman

Clip and Tuck Tutorial

After the sides of the basket are complete, it is time to clip and tuck the horizontal and vertical stakes. Learn how with this tutorial. Joanna's Collection

Coil Basket

How to start a coil basket. By Jennifer Rickenback at Guides

Coil Basket

Learn how to make a basic coil basket. Jon Bush Craft

Corn Husk Basket Weaving Part 1

Corn Husk Basket Weaving Part 1

Preparing the spokes for a corn husk basket. Tim Rosanelli YouTube Channel

Corn Husk Basket Weaving Part 2

Corn Husk Basket Weaving Part 2

Pair weaving the base when making a corn husk basket. Tim Rosanelli YouTube Channel

Corn Husk Basket Weaving Part 3

Corn Husk Basket Weaving Part 3

Finishing the sides of a corn husk basket. Tim Rosanelli YouTube Channel

Double X Basket Lashing

This tutorial shows how to lash with waxed linen and how to do a double X lash. Prairie Wood Basketry

Double-Lashing Tutorial

A photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions for finishing a basket with a double lashing. Joanna's Collection

Dyeing Reed

Want to add color to our basket? Learn how to dye reed with a liquid dye. By zowi420 at Instructables

EZ Lash Saver

How to lash your basket the easy way, with EZ Lash lash saver. East Troy Basketry

Four Stand Braid Weaving

Learn how to weave a four-strand braid. Prairie Wood Basketry

Handle - Wire and Bale Handles

Learn how to attach a wire and bale handle to your basket. Joanna's Collection

Just Patterns - Free Sample

Download a free sample of "Just Patterns" the Idea Magazine for Basketmakers. Just Patterns

Lashing - Double Lashing

A tutorial on how to lash the rim of a basket using the double lashing method. Basket Makers Catalog

Lashing Antler

How to Lash the Antler on your basket in 5 easy steps. Jill Choate Basketry

Lashing Length

How to determine the length of the lashing needed for a project. Prairie Wood Basketry

Native American Basket Facts

Native American Indian baskets range from very simple to elaborate and colorful works of art that took great skill to make. Brief description of Native American baskets. Native American Indian Facts

Native American Basket Weaving

Native American basket weaving was practiced by many different tribes for various uses. They can be used for food gathering, processing hides, cooking, water containers, sifting seeds and more. Learn more here. Wilderness College

Native American Basket Weaving Info

Learn the history and techniques of Native American Basketry. Study

Native American Basketry Art

The Art of Native American Basketry!

Baskets are among the finest examples of the Native American artistic legacy. Whether using techniques of coiling, plating or twining, almost every tribe produced some form of basketry.
Antiques and the Arts

Native American Baskets

Different Native American's used different materials, weaving techniques, basket shapes, and characteristic patterns. Want to know more? Look here. Native Languages

Pine Needle Basket

With this tutorial learn how to weave a pine needle basket. Felt Magnet

Pine Needle Basket Tutorial

Here’s a DIY project that’s creative and relaxing—make your own pine needle basket. by Susan Topham at Guideposts

Scarf Joint

How to make the perfect scarf joint for the rim of a basket. Basket Makers Catalog

Single-Lashing Tutorial

Learn how to finish the rim of the basket with the single-lashing method. Joanna's Collection

Spiral Weave Basket Tutorial

A demonstration, in step-by-step detail, on how to create a spiral weave basket done with a 3-rod wale. All the techniques in this basket are very basic for making round baskets. National Basketry

Supplies - Atkinson's Country House

Buy basket supplies here. Atkinson's Country House

V Lashing

A tutorial on lashing a basket using a v-lashing with waxed linen. Prairie Wood Basketry

Weaving Basket Sides

After finishing the bottom of the basket, it is time to proceed up the sides. This photo and step-by-step tutorial explains how to do it. Joanna's Collection

Willow Basket

How to weave a willow basket. Jon's Bush Craft

Wooden Base Tutorial

This tutorial shows how to add a wooden base to a basket. Joanna's Collection

X Lashing Tutorial

How to do cross-stitch or X lashing on basket rim. Textile Indie

More Categories Below

Click the links below to find more projects in those categories.

Basketry Guilds and Organizations

Free listing of regional, state, national and international basket weaving guilds and associations. Also find links to the basics of basket weaving and free projects here.

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