Garden Crafts: Grapevine Baskets

I’ve been on a bit of a basket kick recently. I’ve been picking up all sorts of baskets from St. Vinney’s and Goodwill to organize our storage in the house. When my sister offered me some grapevines from her yard, I decided to try my hand at weaving a grapevine basket. It ended up a little wonky and a bit transparent, but I like the result. It reminds me of an egg basket and makes me think I should add a few chickens to the yard.

To make a grapevine basket, you are going to need a LOT of grapevines. This one took 6, 6′ long vines to form the base plus 15-20 shorter vines to weave the basket. As you can see, it is still pretty sparse and could use more (or thicker) vines to make it more solid.

  1. Choose 6, 6′ vines that are all straightish and of about the same thickness. These will be your base.
  2. Imagine a hashtag (#) made up of 3 lines on each side instead of 2. Weave the 6 base vines together to make this pattern at the center of the vines. When you are done, the hashtag pattern will be at the middle, and each vine will have just under half of its length sticking out on each side of the hashtag.
  3. Find a nice long vine and begin weaving it in a circle around the hashtag pattern. This is the start of your basket. When you are satisfied that the base of the basket is the side you want, you can begin creating the sides of the basket by pulling the weft vines upward as you to. I actually found that it helped to gather all of the weft vines together above the basket base and temporarily tie them together at the top. This made it easer to work the basket upwards.
  4. Continue weaving until you are content with the height of the sides. It is ok if the basket is a little uneven and open at this point. You can go back in later and add more vines to fill it in (or leave it open like I ended up doing).
  5. Once you’ve gotten to the top, weave or braid the remaining weft vines into a rim for the basket. If you want a handle,. you can bend both sides of one of the vines over to form a handle and wrap it with an additional vine.
  6. Turn the basket over and weave vines into the hashtag at the base to form the bottom of the basket.
  7. Use any additional vines you have to fill in the gaps.
  8. Remember that the vines have a mind of their own and will help choose the shape for you. Enjoy your new basket in whatever form it chose to take.

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