They can be made of wool or felt but are usually made of coloured paper or card. There are three simple baskets styles. The first is woven together to form different patterns, the most basic being a check pattern, the second is made by folds and the third by two taco-shaped cutouts.
Below are instructions for the three basic designs which are the easiest to make for little helping hands.
(Complete basket shown above) It is best to make a template first as measurements need to be precise, and then you can use it over and over again. You can make baskets any size; my design is average size when it comes to heart baskets. As above, the main template is a 7cm square with and 3cm high dome. The square is cut at the opposite end from the dome in three equal intervals, and 7cm long. I clip an extra two millimeters out of the long cuts so I can fit a pencil tip in the gap later on. Also draw and cut out the 10cm handle template.
Choose two different types of coloured paper – typically one plain and the other printed. Traditional colours are white and red or blue and white; however, contrasting colours, prints and textures also work well. The pieces of paper need to be big enough when folded in half to fit the stencil.
Fold the first piece of paper in half (if one side is white and the other coloured, as for special crafting paper or Christmas wrapping paper, fold so the white is on the outside) and place the straight edge of the stencil with the cuts to the fold of the paper. Draw around the template including inside the two cuts. Repeat this sequence with the second paper. Cut out the handle in the same way – by placing one end on the fold, drawing around and then cutting out – making a 20cm strip when opened. The crease in the handle helps for hanging and centering when attaching.
After the shapes are cut out, make sure your desired outer colour is on the outside (if using one-sided paper, open it and refold it back on itself so the colour is on the outside).
Put the two shapes perpendicular to each other and weave their leg loops inside/outside each other. The first leg of the first paper goes over the first leg of the second paper. This is done by putting the first leg of the second paper through the leg of the first paper. The second leg of the first paper then goes through the first leg of the second paper. The last leg of the first paper goes on top by having the first leg of the second paper slip through. This pattern is reversed on the next leg – inside, outside, inside, and reversed again on the third – outside, inside, outside.
At the end the two pieces will turn into a heart that is open at the top and closed at the bottom. Extra decoration is not generally needed but I just stuck on some small hearts with double sided tape. Next stick the handle on the inside, each end to each side of the basket.
The second Christmas heart basket is a little easier to make. Again it is best to make a template first – two hearts with two sides, as below. The points of the hearts must touch and there is about a 20 degree, or 2cm separation just before the heart begins to round.
Cut out the template and use it to draw around on a colourful piece of paper – no folds in the paper needed. Shape the heart by folding it in half by the attached side. Then fold the other side around the heart. (The fold can be folded inwards for a neater look.)
Tape the second folded side on the inside of the heart – double sided tape is best.
Make a handle and stick it to the heart from the inside. You can decorate many ways – below I stuck on some half beads with double sided tape. Using star and circle stickers are an easier option.
Hang on the Christmas tree and fill with goodies.
The third heart basket is the easiest to make. Pick two sheets of coloured paper, fold them in half and stack them together with the folds on the same side.
You can draw a stencil first if you like but it is not necessary. So, cut out a taco shape with the folded edge as the base.
Fold the shapes back the other way so the colour is on the outside. Set one inside the other at one end as below.
Use double-sided tape to stick them together.
Add on a handle with tape and it is ready to hang. I find this one is particularly nice to dress Christmas windows. You can also fill this with pepperkaker and give them to the families you visit when caroling (wink).
May you make as many Christmas baskets this season to your little heart’s content.