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Monday, March 25, 2013

Tutorial: DIY Felt Easter Baskets

Felt Easter Baskets

Can you believe it?  I have an actual tutorial for you, and it only took me a week and a half to put it together.  Oh, what has happened to me?  

I started thinking about Easter a couple of weeks ago, and realized that we don't have Easter baskets.  Clark's first Easter I filled a mixing bowl full of Easter grass.  I'm cheap.  This year I was thinking of running to the dollar store and buying some cheap-o baskets.  The boys would have been perfectly content, but then I realized that I could make some much cuter baskets using the materials that I had on hand.  $0 out of pocket is better than $2 out of pocket.  We are on our way to being rich here.  Little by little.

These baskets are inexpensive, even if you have to go and purchase the materials.  Clip your Joann's coupons, and go grab some felt by the yard, you'll only need 1/3 of a yard for each. Don't forget to save a coupon to buy a bit of peltex interfacing.


-1/3 yard of felt (the color is all your choice)
-1/3 yard of peltex (you'll find it in the interfacing section).  If you don't want to spend the money, you could always add an extra layer of felt to every part of the basket.
-Matching and Contrasting thread
-Embroidery thread
-*Buttons for eyes

Printed Template

The printed template will provide the measurements that I used to create my baskets.  I'll share them here as well, along with some formulas that you can use to make any size basket you'd like.

First, you'll need to decide how big you want the base of the basket.  I decided to do a circle that was 7.75" in diameter. I found a plate, traced it, and subtracted 2(seam allowance) {8.25 (plate size)-[2(.25)]=7.75}.  Then I needed to figure the dimensions for the basket sides.  I ended up doing a 5" deep basket.  I only needed one seam allowance, so my final height of the fabric was 5.25".  To figure the length I had to go back to basic geometry.  You will need to multiply pi (3.14) by the diameter of your circle (7.75).  Note that the diameter of the circle is prior to adding your seam allowances. So {3.14 (7.75)=24.335} Now add 2(seam allowance) to your basket circumference=24.835. 

So, My basket base was 8.25" diameter circle (with seam allowances included).  The base of my basket ended up being 24.835"x5.25" 

Cut out  felt pieces:

2 felt rectangles for basket sides: 5.25"x24.835"
2 8.25" circles for base of basket
2 felt strips: 1.5"x21.5"
2 bunny ears facing opposite directions
2 birdie wings facing opposite directions
1 felt rectangle/square large enough to fit both ears/wings.

*If you aren't using peltex, and want a stiffer basket, cut additional side, base, and handle (strip) for rigidity.

Cut out Peltex

Cut 1 strip of peltex 1"x21.5"
Cut one circle base 7.7", or slightly smaller than basket base
Cut one rectangle 4.75"x24.5"

Now that you have your piece cut, it is construction time.  Start by positioning the ears/wings on the square/rectangle of extra felt.  Stitch them around the perimeter of the shape.  Using contrasting thread, stitch the inner ear/wing.  You can transfer the shape of the inner ear/wing to the felt as a guide, or eye ball it.  If your felt has a difficult time passing under the presser foot, consider reducing the presser foot tension.

When you have your pieces sewn, cut out the individual shapes.

Close up of the stitching.

Sandwich the strip of peltex between the two strips of felt.  Leave 1/4" on each side.  Stitch down the two sides of the strip to secure peltex.

Sew a few stitching lines down the handle to secure the peltex. You can use contrasting threads if you'd like.

Take your large rectangle of fabric.  Fold  in half, short ends meeting, and stitch along the seam allowance.  This will create a round for the basket. Repeat with the remaining rectangle.

Take the base of your basket, and pin it to your newly formed basket sides.  Stitch using determined seam allowance (.25"). Repeat with remaining circle/side. You now have a basket outer piece, and a lining.

Clip or notch the edge of the basket inside the seam allowance.  Be careful not to clip through the seam.  You should really notch the seam  allowance, but what can I say, I was lazy.

Take one of your basket pieces, and transfer the face  to the center front of the basket.  

Using embroidery thread, or buttons, create the face.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

Now attach the wings/ears.  I found the quarter points on the basket, and then attached the widest part of the wing a couple of inches toward the face, from the quarter point. 

I didn't sew around the entire wing, but instead sewed a semi-circle around the fullest part of the wing.  

For the bunny, the ears are attached just outside the eyes.  You can position the ears so that the turn inward or outward.  My ears are floppy, so I positioned them inward, liking the way they hung down. It's all up to you though.

Once your faces and body parts are attached, it's time to start the basket construction.  Slip the peltex base into the basket.  You could secure it with glue, but I didn't.

Then side the basket lining inside the basket.  You will want the seams to face each other here.  Once you have your lining in place, you can sandwich your peltex rectangle between the two layers.  Pin at the seam.

If you'd like your handles secured inside the basket (as in my birdie basket), then find the quarter points on your basket, and slide them down between the layers of the basket.  Pin in place.  Stitch around the entire basket opening, stitching through all layers.  Trim felt/peltex as needed after stitching.

With the bunny basket, I attached the handle to the outside, after stitching around the top.  It is just a different look.  I added a row of stitching along the top stitching line, an inch or so below it, and then a couple stitching lines at the base of the basket.

And that's it.  A finished felt Easter basket.  Not too difficult, and pretty cute and inexpensive.

If you try out the pattern/tutorial, I'd love to see finished baskets.  You can post a link on my facebook page, or shoot me an email.  Which ever you prefer.  The icons are at the top of the sidebar.

Thanks for reading.  Happy Easter!


Kandice said...

Holy cuteness! Your boys are so stinking lucky! I always have these grand plans for homeade stuff like this, then when it doesn't work out they get something hacked out at the last minute. :P Love these! Felt is super durable too, so it will last as long as the Easter Bunny does!

Unknown said...

Hands down the cutest thing I've seen for Easter! If you haven't shared already, don't forget to Link up to the Give Me The Goods Party over on my blog! 1 link party 5 blogs!