In the midst of babies crying, toddlers whining, and dogs barking, I hear a beautiful sound…the doorbell. Normally, I curse this sound because it makes my baby cry, wakes up my toddler, and makes my dog bark. But that was already happening, so I welcomed the distraction. But when I peered out the window, no one was there. Now, this has happened to us before during various holiday seasons with a candy version of Ding Dong Ditch. But this time, when I opened the door instead of candy….BOXES! Pampered Chef and Thirty One boxes to be exact!
So as exciting as opening all those boxes was (and no, it wasn’t all for me….I’ll have to redistribute to all the lovely ladies who bought all that stuff and allowed me to get all of my stuff for FREE!!), the packaging in these things was ridiculous!
And since I made a pledge to my good friend The Lorax, to speak for the trees, I thought maybe I’d find a way to upcycle some of this packaging. A long time ago (before the days of Pinterest unfortunately!), I had seen a cute use of recycling newspaper…..cutting into strips and weaving it into a basket! Reminded me of Girl Scouting….
So, I decided to try it with some of the brown paper from my Pampered Chef boxes. It was in pretty rough condition, but I found some good strips, and cut those into approximately one inch strips. Then, I folded each of those strips in half and used white thread to sew down each side with 1/8″ seam allowance. I figured that would make the brown paper look fabric-like when the basket was finished.
Basket weaving the bottom was the easy part. Just make sure you are adding strips equally on all sides to keep you basket even. I started with strips that were about 4 feet long, having no idea how big the basket would end up being.
About halfway through making the bottom, I realized that I only needed the strips to be about half that big (I wanted my basket to be about a foot squared, to hold my fabric scraps). So I slid everything over and cut about two feet off the end of each of my strips.
When I decided that the bottom of my basket was big enough, I started on the sides. I bent all the strips upwards, and then took a new strip and weaved it around the side (under, over, under, over….just like the bottom). I used a little piece of tape to hold the end of the strip to make it easier to weave. Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.
I thought about quitting. The strips were everywhere except for cooperating. But I used tape liberally for those first couple of strips around the sides. (I did take the tape off later, so just use it to tack).
But after about the third layer of weaving around the sides, everything kind of fell into place and starting looking like a basket!
With every layer I added, I was able to adjust the lower layers and make everything a little tighter and neater. I was also able to take off the tape, as the other layers helped hold the ends in too. I just tucked the ends into the weave. When I decided the sides were high enough, I stopped adding strips around the sides, and just tucked the ends of the basket into the weave. You can see some of the places where I did that in this picture.
It ended up being the perfect size to hold all of my fabric scraps!
What do you do with your old newspaper or paper bags?