21 December 2012
Jane Harrop shows us how to weave a miniature dolls house basket using the stake and strand method with paper covered wire and waxed linen thread. ...
I have chosen to make a shopping basket which is an ideal project to practise this technique on, and once mastered designs can be altered and other threads, such as crochet thread may be used as an alternative. I prefer using waxed thread, as opposed to other threads, as it tends to hold position as its being woven. If you find it difficult to get hold of waxed thread, try using button thread and pulling it along a block of beeswax to make your own. It is a little bit fiddly and time consuming, but an ideal substitute.
You will need:
From 26-guage white paper covered wire:
- Nine 4-1/2” (114mm) lengths for stakes
- 1-3/4” (44mm) lengths for handle
- 10 metres of brown or cream coloured waxed linen thread
- Wood stain similar in colour to the waxed thread
- Tacky glue
Stain all of the paper-covered wire stakes with wood stain and leave to dry. Place four of the stakes, centrally on top of the remaining five stakes as shown.
Take the waxed thread and fold over a 5in (127mm) length to form a loop. Place around one lot of the stakes.
Take the thread that is under the first group of stakes, over the top of the second group of stakes. The thread that is over the first group of stakes should be brought under the second group of stakes.
Continue this over and under pattern neatly and evenly around the groups of stakes in three full circles. It is important to keep the stakes flat as you secure them together with the weaving thread.
Knot the threads neatly and trim the short excess length of weaving thread. Begin to open out the stakes and trim one off with wire cutters to leave an uneven number, which in this case is seventeen.
Begin to weave between the stakes, even out the gaps between them as you do so.
Ensure the stakes remain evenly spaced during the weaving and the weaving thread is kept tight and even. Continue weaving until the base measures 1” (25mm) diameter.
Bend the stakes upwards, keeping the woven base as flat as possible as you do so.
Continue weaving until the woven basket is approximately 5/8” (16mm) high. Set the basket aside. If you come to the end of the thread whilst weaving, join a new length behind a stake on the inside of the basket.
Make a border for the top of the basket by plaiting together three 9” (225mm) lengths of thread.
Trim stakes to the height of the weaving using wire cutters. Trim the excess weaving thread and dab a tiny amount of tacky glue to the end to hold it in place inside the basket. Run a small line of tacky glue along the top edge of the basket.
Take the plaited border, trim each end and neatly secure on top of the basket to hide the ends of the wire stakes.
If at this stage you find the bottom of the basket is not flat, once the glue has dried, turn the basket over and gently tap the base down flat with a small hammer.
Take the wire handle and neatly wind around the waxed thread, leaving a 1/4" (6mm) gap at each end of the wire. Use tacky glue to secure the thread at each end.
Bend the handle into shape and position and glue the end of each wire through the border and between the weaving,
Here are some other baskets Jane has made using paper covered wire and waxed linen thread.
This shopping basket was woven using an Ecru coloured waxed linen thread. Brown and ecru waxed linen thread has been wound round the handle and a band of brown thread has been woven in towards the top of the basket.
This shopping basket has been given a different style of border that was simply made by twisting three lengths of threads together.
This log basket has a wide plaited border, made by plaiting three double lengths of thread together. Slightly angling the stakes outwards after weaving the base, will allow you to alter the shape of the basket. My book ‘Finishing Touches’ guides you through the steps to make this basket.
The basket in this project was manoeuvred in to shape after it had been woven. My book ‘Thirties and Forties Miniatures in 1/12th scale’ shows you how to make this shopping trolley.
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