DIY Hand Stitched Basket

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By Home Decor Contributor Alyssa

Upcycle an old basket with colorful yarn

I blame my boyfriend’s adorable mother for my new found obsession with bird feeders. This will be my first spring in our new apartment, which is in a very pretty tree-covered area. Apparently, birds live in trees. Who knew. Our last apartment was on the beach and five stories up, so although I had bird feeders, the feeders rarely saw any friends. Sad. Except for the time a HUGE crow decided to land on my super tiny suet feeder and lost balance and flapped around frantically, probably trying to steal the entire thing, and causing my cat to nearly poo himself. It was quite the scene. But now, since we are on the bottom floor and have a balcony above our patio, there’s prime real estate for bird feeder hanging. Many trees, lots of hooks. Enter hundreds of DIY bird feeder ideas that I am dying to try out.

Well, I started accumulating supplies for these DIY bird feeders, and a bunch of seed…and other bird feeders…and humming bird food…and books about birds…before I had enough hooks/feeders to actually put everything to use. Staple issue of mine. I get too excited. But this gave me the opportunity to DIY something else and temporarily relax a little in the bird feeder department. I remembered seeing this adorable woven basket on a website with pretty yarn stitched in the side and thought it would make the perfect storage solution for my rapidly growing collection of bird related crap.

What you will need:

Here’s the basket I used before I added stitches. Cute, but could use a little sumpin’.


To start, measure the length of your basket and decide how many stitches you want going across. Because the basket I bought had very prominent woven sections, I was able to just count how many “weaves” I wanted between each stitch and use that as my measurement. I wanted the surface to be pretty evenly covered in stitches, but you can do as many or as few as you would like. My boyfriend pointed out that it would be really cute to do a solid line of stitches and I love that idea with possibly a black basket and cream colored yarn, maybe with an “x” pattern.


Like I said, after these measurements I realized I could just count the diamond weaves between each stitch and use that as my guide, which worked perfectly.

Next, choose your yarn colors. I wanted lots, and we all know how much leftover yarn I have. After digging to the deepest, most abandoned parts of my huge yarn basket (and discovering that a spider had decided to make its home down there, and needed to be destroyed) I picked out this mixture:


I ended up trading the periwinkle for yellow, to give the group of colors a little more lightness and a more consistent texture. Next, if the eye of your needle is big enough, thread the end of your yarn through the eye. If not, just tape the end up nice and tight and push that through.


Leave your working yarn attached to the ball. I wanted to make little plus signs out of my yarn. To do this, I sewed first from the outside of the basket through to the inside. Pull as much through the first stitch as you think you will need to create the entire plus sign. I’d say I pulled about two feet of yarn through, just to be safe


I then sewed back from the inside to the outside, pulling the yarn through where the middle of the plus sign would be. I sewed back through where I had sewn in the first time, making my first line on the outside of the basket. Repeat for the other side of the plus sign, sewing through from the inside of the basket to the outside, then back through the middle, to make the full horizontal line of the plus sign.


Do the same for the vertical line. I wanted to make my plus signs a little thicker, so I went over every line but the first one I made twice. We’ll double over that one in a minute. Once all three lines are doubled and you’ve sewn back through the middle to the inside of the basket, pull your needle off the yarn so you have a loose piece dangling from the middle of the plus sign on the inside of the basket.

To double over the first line you created, cut the tail of the yarn from the ball and thread the tail through the eye of the needle. Sew that through the center to the inside of the basket.


You should have two tails hanging from the center of the plus sign inside the basket. Tie them and cut the yarn so it’s very short.


You’re done with your first stitch! Hooray. Isn’t it cute. Of course, you could create any pattern you want, but I love how trendy the plus signs make the basket look, and how incredibly easy and intuitive they are to create.

Keep creating your stitches in any pattern you want.


Mine ended up looking like this once I was finished with the first side:


Continue around the entirety of the basket until you’re satisfied. Fill with pretty things (or bird seed) and you’re done! Chic, expensive-and-handmade-looking basket for around ten bucks, if you’re a smart shopper and have an endless supply of scrap yarn.

DIY Colorful Stitched Basket

Use up your yarn stash and upcycle a basket!

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This entry was posted in Crafts, Holidays & Seasons, Home Decor, Spring and tagged , , on by .

About Alyssa

Hello! My name is Alyssa. I am a, as they say, “real girl” crafter. I make stuff for my home that virtually anyone can make, no matter their crafting experience or expertise. I love practical, beautiful home décor that often does double-duty, and include the crafting mistakes I make so you can avoid making them in the future. We all mess up, so embrace it! I find inspiration in things with hefty price tags, usually followed by the famous last words, “I could make that.” I love the outdoors, live music, my sisters, and admiring strangers’ dogs from afar. Although I currently reside in Seattle, I’m a small-town girl at heart who can often be found daydreaming in front of my office computer or on the couch with my overbearingly affectionate cat, Kristoff, who, if he’s lucky, will receive a very weird-looking, hand-crafted kitten sweater sometime in the future.

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