Newspaper is one of the most readily available and easy to use resources that be transformed into just about anything. It is also one of the few materials that you can convert from old paper to new paper. I have seen this type of basket online before so decided to have a go myself.
I get a free local paper so I just used that, the size of the paper helped determine the size of this first experiement but I wouldn’t go out and buy a larger paper just to make a larger basket.
Materials and Supplies
1. Fold the Newspaper in strips that are approximately 4-5cm wide. For the paper I had this meant that I cut the pages in half length ways and then folded in half and then half again, tucking the cut edges inside.
2. Start Weaving! The strength of this storage basket comes from the weaving of the different strips of Newspaper, weaving has been used as a construction method for many centuries, used to make cloth, baskets and many other items within our lives.
To start with the easiest shape is to start with is a square base, this means that all of your pieces can be the same length. Once you have your finished base it is best to fix each of the corner pieces to each other, if you want you can fix together all of the pieces around the edge but I found that the corners were all I needed.
This can either be done using a stapler/Sellotape, or it can be done with glue/Pritt-stick. Both ways have positives and negatives: Stapler/Sellotape is quick but leaves visible evidence, while Glue is invisible but takes time to dry.
Make sure that the strips of paper are pressed close together before fixing, start at one corner and move around in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.
3. Folding up the sides.
All of the creases need to be in the right location around the edge and a crisp fold, this might be a bit harder than expected with all the layers but the back of a spoon of knife can help make the folds crisp.
4. Weaving the sides. For the side you need to join together two or more strips of paper depending on how big the base is. Start in the middle of one side, weaving the longer piece in an upright position, an extra pair of hands can help at this point to help hold everything in place, especially as you turn the first corner.
5. I decided to make my basket only two strips tall so once both strips were woven in place, I folded all of the uprights over the top piece, this meant that some folded inside and some outside alternatively. These were then fastened in place to fix the basket sides in place.
6. The final Basket
Paper – Any waste paper can be used as long as it is long enough, brown paper is a popular replacement and often comes in long lengths along with purchases
To help strengthen your basket, you can sew it. I know it sounds a bit silly to sew paper but a running stitch is a good way to strengthen paper. Once the individual strips have been sewn the basket is woven as normal and then sewn again around the edge of the base and again around the top of the uprights.
Finish – Printing and painting can be done on either the strips of paper or the finished item to make it a unique finished item.