Monday, 23 September 2019

Decorative Gift Basket - Free Crochet and Sewing Pattern

Make a Decorative Gift Basket For Someone Special. A pattern/tutorial which includes a crochet pattern, help with pattern cutting, and sewing tips.


This is an explanation of how to make decorative 'gift' baskets, using a plain basket and adding crochet sides and a padded cotton cushion and bolster to complement the gift you put inside.

I think these baskets will make great presents that you can make yourself and add your own individual touches to.

I made mine to hold a teddy bear (measuring 20cms x 19cms when seated), but they would make a unique gift container for many different toys, jewellery, or a collection of small (and medium-sized) gifts.

The baskets I used for the base to measure 11cms inside depth by 71 cms circumference.
And my completed baskets measure 12.5cms depth by 72cms circumference.

My crochet pattern uses those measurements to make the basket outer cover.

But you can make these to fit any circular basket as follows:

  • For smaller baskets, just finish the base bit early and then carry on with the side rows until it is high enough to reach just part the top of the base basket.
  • For larger baskets, just keep adding to the base until it is large enough to fit your basket (you can see my previous post on making circles if you are unsure how to increase as you go). And then add a few rows to the side until your basket cover is just a bit higher than the base basket.

Why use a base basket?


I used a base basket to cover, because I was making a largish basket, and the bigger the basket, the more difficult it is to keep its shape (unless you make it with something like heavy rope, rather than cotton yarn...).
But for smaller baskets, you don't actually need a base basket to cover. If crocheted tight it should stand well on its own.
A light spraying of spray starch should ensure that a smaller basket keeps its shape.

Materials Required:


  • Circular basket (buy these in ornaments or storage sections of local stores/supermarkets - ones with openwork sides are best for fitting the cover)
  • Yarn of your choice in one or more colours.
  • Crochet Hook (size depends on yarn used, but should be a smaller size than normally used for double thickness of the particular yarn you are using). This is to get the stiffness and tightness of stitches required to make a firm basket. 
  • Darning/large eye needle for weaving in yarn ends.
  • Fabric for the cushion and bolster.
  • Polyester Fibre filling - flame retardent.
  • Sewing thread.
  • Tape measure.
  • Pins.
  • Sewing needle (or sewing machine if preferred).
  • Lace, ribbon, or other material (if you want to add extra decoration).
  • And a gift or gifts to put in your gift basket.

Yarn Required:


Yarn of your choice.
I've found that cotton yarn works best for me, but it's not essential.
With worsted, dk, or lighter weight yarn, you will need to work with 2 strands at once.

I used Drops Muskat, which is a DK 100% cotton yarn (50 grams/100m per skein).
Used holding 2 strands together throughout.
With a 5mm hook (US = H/8)
Amount of yarn used to make each one of my baskets was approximately 440 meters.

But your usage may vary according to yarn used and size of basket made.

You can make your basket stripey or plain (or add a trim to it, like I have added a small flower trim to my turquoise shades basket).
As my baskets were stripey, the pattern reflects that with colour changes.
So, just ignore them if you are using one yarn (which will then be Yarn A throughout).

For reference, in my red, white and green basket, the Colours go as follows:
Yarn A = Red,
Yarn B = White,
Yarn C = Green.

Note on Decoration:
Row 20 is a dc row (between 2 hdc rows of the same colour).
This gives you a thicker centre row where you can add lace, or thread through a contrasting chain, or add other decorations, if you choose.


Stitch Terminology:

Pattern is written in US terms.
  • MR = Magic ring (or magic circle - see YouTube for examles of making a magic ring/circle if you are not sure).
  • Ch = chain.
  • st = stitch.
  • sts = stitches.
  • sl st = slip stitch.
  • sk = skip (examples: sk1 = skip next st; sk2 = skip next 2 stitches).
  • sc = single crochet.
  • hdc = half double crochet.
  • dc = double crochet.
  • BLO = Back loop only (make the stitch into the back loop of the stitch, rather than through/under both loops of the st as is usual).
  • Around = complete the row to the end (unless the next instruction changes this slightly. eg: "continue with *to* around until last 2 sts; hdc in last 2 sts").
  • From * to * = Repeat the sequence of stitches between the * *.

Basket Cover Crochet Pattern:


Note for stitch counts:
Ch2 counts as 1 hdc throughout.
Ch3 counts as 1 dc throughout.

With Yarn A:
Holding 2 strands of yarn together, make a magic ring (MR)

Row 1: Ch 2, hdc 7 sts into ring. Sl st into top of ch2 to join. (8 sts).
Gently pull yarn ends of MR to close.

Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in same st; 2hdc into each of remaining sts. Sl st into top of ch2 to join. (16 sts).

Now tighten MR and work ends into back of work, neatly threading yarn ends forward, back, forward to secure.

Row 3: Ch 2, 2hdc in next st; *hdc in next st, 2hdc in next st*; follow * to * around to end. Sl st into top of ch2 to join (24 sts).

Row 4: Ch 2, hdc in same st; *hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next*; follow * to * around to end, omitting final 2hdc. Sl st into top of ch2 to join (32 sts).

Row 5: Ch 2, hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next st; *hdc in next 3 sts, 2hdc in next*; follow * to * around to end of row. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (40 sts).

Row 6: Ch 2, 2hdc in next st; *hdc in next 4 sts, 2hdc in next*; follow * to * around to final 3 sts, hdc in final 3 sts. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (48 sts).

Row 7: Ch 2, hdc in next 3 sts, 2hdc in next st; *hdc in next 5 sts, 2hdc in next*; follow * to * around until final st, hdc in final st. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (56 sts).

Row 8: Ch 2, 2hdc in next st; *hdc in next 6 sts, 2hdc in next*; follow * to * around to last 5 sts. Hdc in each of final 5 sts. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (64 sts).

Row 9: Ch 2, hdc in same st, *hdc in next 7 sts, 2hdc in next*; follow * to * around, omitting final 2hdc. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (72 sts).

Row 10: Ch 2, hdc in next 4 sts, 2hdc in next st; *hdc in next 8 sts, 2hdc in next*; follow * to * around until final 3 sts, hdc in each of final 3 sts. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

The base of your basket cover is now completed.

The following rows will build the sides:

Row 11: Ch 2, hdc BLO in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).
(BLO sts are to make an 'edge' for the base - in this pattern they are only used in Row 11).

Row 12: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

If you are making a 'stripey' basket like mine, it is now time to change yarns (if not, just carry on with your original yarn).

Cut yarn A, leaving an end to weave in.

Change to Yarn B.

Row 13: With Yarn B:
Join new yarn with a sl st, then ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

Row 14: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join. (80 sts).
Cut yarn B, leaving an end to weave in.

Change to Yarn C.

Row 15: With Yarn C:
Join new yarn with a sl st, then ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

Row 16: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join. (80 sts).
cut yarn C, leaving an end to weave in.

Change to Yarn B.

Row 17: With Yarn B:
Join new yarn with a sl st, then ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

Row 18: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join. (80 sts).
cut yarn B, leaving an end to weave in.

Change to Yarn A.

Row 19: With Yarn A:
Join new yarn with a sl st, then ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

New St (double crochet) for the following row:)

Row 20: Ch 3, dc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch3 to join. (80 sts)

(Back to original (hdc) st again:)

Row 21: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join. (80 sts).
cut yarn A, leaving an end to weave in.

Change to Yarn B.

Row 22: With Yarn B:
Join new yarn with a sl st, then ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

Row 23: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join. (80 sts).
cut yarn B, leaving an end to weave in.

Change to Yarn C.

Row 24: With Yarn C:
Join new yarn with a sl st, then ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

Row 25: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join. (80 sts).
cut yarn C, leaving an end to weave in.

Change to Yarn B.

Row 26: With Yarn B:
Join new yarn with a sl st, then ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join (80 sts).

Row 27: Ch 2, hdc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to top of ch2 to join. (80 sts).
DO NOT CUT YARN

Turn your work.
The final row will be done on the Wrong Side.

Shell edging:

Row 28: Still with Yarn B:
Ch 3, dc 4 times into same st; sk 1 st, sc in next st, sk 1 st; *dc 5 times into next st, sk 1 st, sc in next st, sk 1 st*;
Repeat from * to * around. Sl st to top of ch3 to join.
Cut yarn, leaving an end to weave in.

Weave in all yarn ends.

Finished Basket cover showing final row turned back as shell edging.
 And the crochet part of your basket has been completed!

Do not fix the crochet cover to the base basket yet, because you need to use the base basket to make your fabric pattern.

Making the Cushion and Bolster for inside the basket:


Measuring for fabric to be used:


The Cushion:
Take a piece of paper large enough to place the basket on.
Place the basket on the paper and draw around the base - you should then have a paper circle the same size as the base.
This is your cushion pattern, without seam allowance or 'bulking' allowance (when the padding is put inside, this will make the cushion 'bulk' and the original measurements will be a little short).
You will need to cut 2 shapes of material from the cushion pattern, but when you cut them out, you will need to add around 1cm extra for the seam + 2cm extra for 'bulking' (see picture if you're not sure what to do here).

The Bolster:
Measure the basket you will be covering as follows:.
Measure the circumference (around the outside of the basket). This will be the length of the bolster.
Measure the depth of the basket. This will be the width of the bolster.

The Bolster will be made from a rectangle of fabric which measures:
Length: Circumference + seam allowance (about 1 cm) + allowance for 'bulking' (about 1-2 cms)
(Becomes Circumference plus about 3cms).

Width: Depth x 2 + seam allowance (about 1 cm) + allowance for 'bulking' (about 2cms).
(Becomes Depth plus about 3cms).

The fabric you choose will need to be a piece which is large enough to make the 2 cushion pieces and the bolster piece.

Cutting out your fabric:


Bolster:
Fold your fabric lengthwise if possible.
With fabric folded, begin at one side edge and measure down from the fold to a point which is the depth + about 3cms.
Place a pin at this point.

Then, measure along the fold to make the length of the bolster (circumference + around 3cms).
Place a pin at this point.

Then, with your tape measure, go along the length of the bolster, measuring down from the fold to the depth + 3cms and place pins at several points, placing your last pin down from the pin you placed to note the length required (this gives you a straight line to cut).

Then, carefully cut along your pin lines for the length and up from your last pin at 'depth level' to the pin placed at the fold.
And that's your bolster cut out.

NOTE:
If you have a piece of fabric which has cut outs or similar and is therefore unable to be folded to get a full length for the bolster:
If you still have room on your fabric, you can instead cut 2 pieces on unfolded fabric.
But if you do this, you will need to add an extra 2cms for the seam allowance at the top.

Cushion:
On your folded fabric pin your cushion shape.
Then carefully cut around the circular shape, but not at the edge - allow an extra 3cms all around and cut there.
This will give you 2 cushion shapes of fabric.

NOTE:
If you are unable to cut your cushion shape on folded fabric, just place the cushion pattern on your fabric twice and cut around as above.

Sewing the Cushion and Bolster:


Bolster:
Turn the fabric and fold it so that the wrong sides are facing outwards.
Pin both side edges along the seam line (around 1-2cms in).
Pin the bottom edge (using the same seam line), but leave an unpinned section of about 15cms in the middle (this will be the gap where we put the filling in).
Machine or hand sew down the edges and along the bottom on the pin marks, removing pins as you go.
BUT DON'T FORGET to leave the opening in the bottom middle.

Cut and fasten off your sewing thread.

Turn the bolster to the right side (you do this by pushing it through the opening you have left at the bottom).

Get your polyester filling material. Take smallish pieces at a time and push them gently into the bolster.
Don't over-stuff the bolster. It is supposed to be 'comfy' and 'squishy' - not too firm.
When you have enough filling in the bolster it's time to sew up the gap.

You can hand sew the gap together if you like:
Fold down the seams either side of the gap and then pin them together.
Hand sew together by carefully catching a thread from the folded-down seam either side of the gap and sewing them together.
Do this all along the gap. Cut and fasten off your thread.
This is the neatest way and shouldn't really show the join.

Or, you can maching sew the gap together:
Fold down the seams either side of the gap and then pin them together.
Then carefully machine sew along the seam you have just made - but sew AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE TO THE EDGE (making sure that you catch both pieces as you do so).
This looks nearly as neat as hand sewn, so it's up to you 😉

Cushion:
Take your 2 cushion pieces.
Place them with right sides together (so that you are working with the wrong side facing you).
Pin them together.
Pin around the circle about 1-2cms in from the edge.
Leave a gap of about 8cms for turning and filling.
Machine or hand sew around the seam line, removing pins as you go.
DON'T FORGET to leave the 8cm gap.

Cut your thread and tie it off.
Then, turn the cushion to the right side (by pushing it through the gap).
Take your polyester filling material.
Break off fairly small parts and push into the gap.
Fill cushion with enough filling to be comfy and a bit 'bouncy', but not too hard.
It needs to look and feel 'squashy' rather than balloon like 😀.
Now it's time to sew up the gap in the cushion fabric.
Follow directions for pinning and sewing the gap in the bolster.
And then the cushion's done!

Bolster and Cushion completed ready to place in basket


Final bits....

Take your crochet basket cover and fit it around the base basket.

I like to raise the edge slightly above the edge of the base basket.
Then fold the shell edging back so that it hangs down (in white it looks like snow on a roof 🌨 ).
Once the basket cover is fitted correctly you can fix it in place:

Fixing the Crochet Cover to the Base Basket:
Take a needle with a long thread of yarn - use a colour that you have used a lot in the crochet pattern.
From the INSIDE of the base basket, gently push threaded needle through a gap in the basket that corresponds with a crochet section on the outside which is the same colour as the thread used.
Leave a length of thread on the inside which is about 8cms long.
Take the needle and thread back through to the inside, making sure that you are still on the same colour as the thread and that you are threading through a different part of the inner basket (but one that is less than a 0.5cm away).
Cut the thread, leaving an end of about 8cms.
Tie a tight knot with the two edges of thread left, then cut thread close to the knot.

Do this in several places around the basket.
Your crochet basket cover will then be secure.

And then...

Place the cushion in the bottom of the basket.
Take the bolster and place it in the basket, on top of the cushion, so that the bolster fits around the inner edge.
(If you are placing a soft toy in the basket, the bolster can be wrapped around them, to make a comfy 'seating area' :)
If you like, you can 'fluff up' the bolster a little, so that it's above the edge of the basket.

Put your toy or gift inside (as you can see, soft toys look very comfy in the basket :) ).

And you have a lovely and very unique gift to give to someone special.
I'm sure they will love it!



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You can find a Free PDF version of this pattern/tutorial on Ravelry here:
Decorative Gift Basket by Silvi Veale
As well as this pattern, it also contains many more pictures with explanations which you may find useful.

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This pattern/tutorial has been written by me - Silvi Veale.
I hope you enjoy using it.

I've tried to explain everything as much as possible.
But if you have any questions, you can contact me either:

In the comments on this blog post at Elephant Sun Dog.
Or on Ravelry - my Ravelry username is Silvi3

You can use this pattern to make items to give as gifts or to sell at markets and fairs.

However, please do not copy this post/pattern and say it is yours.
And please do not share the pictures I have used in this post as if they are yours.

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Thank you so much for reading this pattern - it's a long one :)

And I hope you enjoy using it to make some lovely decorative baskets.

~ Silvi

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