Lately, I’ve been on a bit of an organizing kick. The never-ending task of trying to give things “homes” has been a battle I’ve never won. However, being stuck at home for nearly a year now has really changed how I think about storage. Quarantine has definitely caused me to reevaluate what I keep and what I donate and a lot of if comes down to if it looks cluttered or not.
Unfortunately, early into quarantine last year, we went on a donating spree and a ton of my craft supplies made their way to Goodwill. They took up so much space in my closet that I thought it would be a good idea to just get rid of them. However, a few months later, quarantine still going strong, I really began to regret getting rid of so many things. I’ve ended up buying a lot of supplies all over again as we are still stuck at home.
Now, I have the chore of finding ways to organize them so they don’t begin to clutter my closet. As it turns out, one of the biggest keys to organizing is not only placing like things together, but placing those items into a box or bin rather than just stacking them on a shelf. The stack looks cluttered but when tucked into a box, it looks clean.
One of the things I’ve been needing and unable to find is a basket for my notebooks, planners, and iPad that I keep by desk. They often end up being stacked on my desk or leaning against the side. They are always in the way while I’m working. So rather than purchasing a bin that just wouldn’t fit everything or was way too large, I decided to make my own basket.
First, get your supplies. I ordered my cane webbing and reed from an Etsy shop. I’ll list what I ordered, though you will have material left over. The rest of the supplies, I already had.
- Cane Webbing, 1/2 fine, 48″ wide
- 1/2″ flat reed – 1 pound
- Glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- laser cut base and top ring
- wood filler
- light ivory paint
- clothespins or clamps
- paint brush
I started by designing the base and top in Illustrator. I knew I wanted an oval shaped basket that was 12″ long and 6″ wide. So I drew it out, then, using my Glowforge Pro, cut out my base and top ring from MDF.
Next, I used my hot glue gun to attach 1/2″ reed around the side of my base. I trimmed it so the ends would not overlap.
I measured out the cane webbing and clipped it together where it overlapped. Then, using tape, I made a straight line on the webbing as a guide for trimming.
I made sure to leave just enough of an overlap so that I could attach the two edges together. Using the hot glue gun, I added a bead of glue to the base reed and pressed on the bottom of the cane webbing until it was secure. I used a clothespin to do this so I did not burn my fingers.
Once the bottom was glued down, I added a small amount of glue to the edge of the cane webbing vertically to secure the overlap making sure to keep it lined up by using a clothespin at the top to hold it in place.
Next, I added another bead of hot glue and attached a reed to the outside to cover the bottom edge of the cane webbing. Then I trimmed off the excess webbing and hot glue with an x-acto knife to get a straight edge.
Be sure to wait until the glue is completely dry before trimming. It’s very important to have a sharp new blade as well.
Then, I began working on the top of the basket. Using clothespins, I clamped the ring to the inside of my basket making sure everything lined up and it was a snug fit.
I removed it and glued a reed to the outside of the ring just as I had done for the base.
I used clothespins to hold it in place and allow the glue to cool before replacing inside of the basket.
Once it was inside the basket, I clipped it where I wanted it be and hot glued it into place. Then I added another reed to the outside . I repeated this until I had a double layer of reeds and stacked them two high. You could easily use a larger size reed instead, but I only had 1/2″ and wanted the top to be a bit larger. I also used an extra reed sandwiched inside (sitting on top of the ring as filler).
Once the glue was dry, I took wood filler and filled in the gaps between the reeds on the sides and on top to get a smooth finish. I used Elmer’s ProBond Stainable wood filler because it’s what I already had. However, I knew I wanted to paint this, so it wasn’t necessary to use a stainable filler. If you want to stain yours, be sure to test a small piece of reed with stainable filler to make sure you like the finish.
When the wood filler dried, I sanded the excess off until I got a smooth finish. This also helped remove the little splinters from the reeds.
Next, I painted the top ring of the basket. I used a light ivory which was just a shade lighter than the reeds to make it stand out more. Delta Ceramcoat is one of my favorite craft acrylics. I usually purchase it at JoAnn but even Target sells it.
I used a small foam brush and two coats to get the finish I wanted. I let it dry overnight.
It was an easy project to do and I love how it turned out. I have extra materials left, so I think I’ll make some small matching baskets for the other items I still need to organize.
It didn’t turn our perfect but I learned a lot while doing it and I think the next one will be even better! Not too bad for a first time working with new materials!
I’d love to know what you think and if you’ve worked with cane webbing before, share your tips!