Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rose Basket Tutorial

Here is the 'cheat' basket tutorial I promised. The basket is made out of needlepoint canvas. For this project I have used 18 count canvas because that is what I had to hand but 22 count is preferable as there is less seepage of glue through the holes. It is a great project for using up little scraps of canvas you have cut off from the edge of your needlework projects.

I am just going to give you a tutorial on the rose basket but I will show you a few other examples of things you can make with a similar technique at the end of the tutorial. There is no right or wrong way of making this or a right or wrong size. Do what works for you. I am just giving you a starting point to experiment with.

It is one of those projects where, if you are making one, you might as well make others at the same time to put aside for when you might need a basket.

Start by thinking about whether your basket is to be round or oval and what size you require the base to be. For the rose basket I chose an oval base that measures 1 inch across. I have some oval and circle stencils I use but if you don't have those just find something roughly the size you want and trace around it. I use 2mm thick cardboard. You want the cardboard to be reasonably deep to give strength to the basket.

I find when cutting small ovals or circles from thick cardboard it helps to cut into the shape with your cutting knife before cutting around it with sharp scissors.

Then cut a strip of canvas. For this basket I have cut a strip 1 inch deep. 

Wrap the canvas around the base you have just cut out and cut the canvas allowing for a small overlap of about 3mm.

If you want a handle on your basket also cut a further small strip of canvas. For this basket I cut a strip 6 cm x 1 cm. You will cut the handle down to size later.

Paint your pieces with an acrylic paint and set them aside to dry. Be quite generous with your paint and paint both sides. It doesn't matter if the holes in the canvas fill up a bit.

While your paint is drying you can have a go at making your roses.

I am using fimo for my roses because that is what I have to hand but you could also use air drying clay, thick handmade paper, cold porcelain, small dried flowers, in fact any type of flower or greenery would look great in the baskets - the possibilities are endless.

Again, if you are going to make some roses for one basket you may as well make some extras for future projects. I am just doing a quick and simple stylised rose. The technique is roll, squash and roll!

Roll a thin snake of fimo.

Squash it down very thin and then cut one edge straight which will be the bottom of the rose.

A length of 3.5cm will make a decent sized rose. To make the rose just roll the fimo between your fingers trying to keep it reasonably loose at the top edge. Just roll until you think the rose is big enough.

It is hard to explain but if you try a few you will start getting the feel for it. It looks good if you curl out some of the upper outside edge. Make sure you vary the sizes a bit and make some smaller roses and little buds as well. To make the buds just use a very short length of fimo.

You might also want to touch up the top edge with a brush of blush, eye shadow or chalk pastel powder to give a hint of another colour.

Now while you are waiting for your roses to bake and then cool down you can proceed with the next step of your basket.

Take the painted canvas for the basket. I like to make a small fold top and bottom and glue it down to both give a tidy edge and to strengthen the basket. I also take the canvas for the handle and fold it in half lengthwise and glue it together.

Then put glue around the outside edge of your cardboard base and glue the canvas to it gluing the overlap at the back.

Once that has dried cut a piece of foam or whatever you have to hand to fill the basket to a certain level ready to glue the roses on. In previous baskets I have used polystyrene painted the same colour as the basket. Today I have used a bit of black foam.

Add a layer of glue to the top of the foam.

Then with tweezers place your roses on the foam filling in as many gaps as you can.

Trim the handle to the thickness you would like it to be and glue the ends inside the basket.

Where there are little gaps I like to tuck in some paper leaves (I just cut shapes from green paper) or other greenery. It looks good having one or two leaves hanging over the outside of the basket too.

I haven't done that step tonight and it is not the best for photography because of the light so below is a photo of a couple of baskets I made for Christmas swaps.

I think one of these baskets would make a great little doorstop in a miniature house.

Of course you can use this technique for a number of things, e.g. a wood basket (excuse the match sticks - it is too dark and cold to go outside and look for twigs), a basket for a plant, a dog basket, a little tray and so many more things. These were all quickly thrown together tonight so they are not 100% and I will probably give them a touch up with some paint and a thin braid around the tray with a decorative paper base.

Just another idea . You can weave some embroidery thread along some of the rows in a different colour. I would do this after the paint has dried but before you put the basket together.

I think the next little basket I will do will be an Easter basket.

Well that is the rose basket tutorial. If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to ask.

Tomorrow I am hoping to make some little pinwheels for Timeless Toys.

Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. that looks great to do..just what i needed!!! :) thanks a lot for sharing!! :)

  2. I have been doing those baskets for years. They are great. Easy and fast. I usually make them natural. Thanks for the idea of painting them.

    1. Yes they have been around for a long time. I remember making baskets like this back in the 1990s when I first dabbled in miniatures. After nearly a couple of decades away from miniatures these were one of the first things that popped back into my mind.

  3. Thank you for this great tutorial, Sharee! I have to try these. :-) I love your ideas of weaving in embroidery thread. The roses are beautiful as well.

  4. Thanks for sharing great tutorial ;-)

  5. Your baskets are so lovely!! A big hug

  6. Wow your baskets are wonderful. Thank you very much for the great tutorial. I love your little roses.
    Hugs Maria

  7. A fantastic tutorial! Your rose baskets look so wonderful! The puppy has a nice bed to snuggle in also ;P
    hugs js

  8. Thanks for the tutorial. I like your baskets.

  9. Lindo tutorial, para não deixar dúvidas,ainda não comecei no mundo das miniaturas por falta de coragem, tenho receio de fazer mal,por isso vou-me deliciando com o seu blog.

  10. Thanks for this lovely tutorial. I´m looking forward to see you easter basket

  11. Han quedado fabulosas.
    Un abrazo.
    Villa Pulgarcito.

  12. Nice tutorial, Sharee! Thank you so much for all of the great ideas! I look forward to seeing your Easter basket. xo Jennifer

  13. Gracias por este tutorial tan fantástico.

  14. thanks for the tutorial :)


  15. Hi Sharee,

    Thanks for the basket tutorial and the additional ideas!


  16. Grazie per il tutorial!
    un abbraccio.Manu

  17. Thanks for a great show! Great for basket of roses are beautiful!