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Finding Materials to Create Recycled Fabric Baskets

Updated: Mar 23

To create gorgeous functional and decorative baskets you need to find some materials to create them with.

This isn’t that difficult but I remember when I first started I had to go on a bit of a hunt to find certain things. Some materials I wanted because of the aesthetics which to me was as important as recycling; I like things to look good and truly believe we can have both. When I talk about “materials” I’m talking about anything you can put into your baskets.

So here’s a bit about how I go about finding resources to use.

Raid Your Wardrobe

Look at what you already have in your wardrobe; worn out clothes, things you haven’t worn for a while, jeans that are too small, too big or the wrong style. Our old clothes are always good to recycle. However if you think these item are too good for cutting up - give them to someone who’d like them or the thrift shop.

Seek Assistance from Family and Friends

Check with family and friends and see if they have any clothing they’re disposing of - let them know what you’re using them for so request things that are worn out rather than good quality clothes.

Explore your Craft Stash

Have you heard this acronym? SABLE - Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy.

When I first heard it, it so resonated with me and I think most crafters have this issue! 🤭

Look for bundles of threads - you know that tangled mess of stuff you keep meaning to sort out. Scraps of fabric - these can be larger pieces or those tiny scraps. If you’re like me you save the tiniest bits that are so gorgeous that you just cannot throw away. The remainder of balls of wool from the projects you’ve done over the years. Buttons, ribbon and all those little accessories. It can certainly be a challenge to reduce your SABLE.

UFOs - Unfinished Objects (Projects half done)

Look through those half finished projects and see what is half done and think about whether you are really going to finish them? It might inspire you to complete a few; other-wise you might be able to incorporate the materials into a basket.

The Garage

Old rope or electrical cables - check it’s not been earmarked for another project.

The Pantry

Onion and vegetable mesh bags and even plastic bags can be turned into rope.

Baling Twine

This is wrapped around hay bales and is a real environmental issue being plastic and generally not recycled.  However, it is great to use as the core of a coiled basket. Colours usually come in blue, pink and yellow.

Charity, Opportunity or Thrift Shops

If you can’t find things at home take a visit to the Charity Shop. My favourite thing to scan are the men's shirts. They come in so many colours. I will often find an extra large shirt that I can turn into a dress - but that’s another story!

If you chat to the manager, you might find they that have a throw out bin where clothes don’t make it into the shop because they have a stain or a rip and can’t sold. I have managed  to obtain these for nothing when I explain what I’m doing with the clothes - that’s an added bonus.

I’m sure you can think of more materials that can be recycled. Keep your eyes peeled - look for things that might be useful.  Let me know what you find.

If you want to know more about recycling and making lovely coiled baskets we have an Online Workshop - Recycled Fabric Baskets.

The workshop includes:

  1. Wrapped cord to create a coiled basket

  2. Scrappy Basket using fabric scraps

  3. Twisted fabric rope

  4. Blanket Stitched fabric basket

  5. Spiral stitched basket

All using recycled fabrics!

Subscribe to our mailing list to find out more on how you can craft with purpose.


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