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Hobbies are a great thing to have. They occupy your time in a usually interesting way. They keep you busy and are often a great distraction from stress and other emotional negativity. And, unless your hobby is watching movies, they can help to keep screen time to a minimum.

One downside to some hobbies is that they require money and they create ‘stuff’. If you enjoy creating useful things made from recycled and upcycled materials, then basket-making might be for you.

There are endless ways of making cool, practical, and useful baskets out of materials that you can find in nature or have lying around the house.

Baskets make great storage and can even be used as waste-free wrapping for presents. Heck, the basket itself could be a wonderful part of that present.

Check out these fun and creative ways of making baskets from upcycled and recycled materials.

1. Folded Paper Basket

Source: Ventuno Art/YouTube

These baskets make use of old magazines or even used printer paper. All you need is some paper that you will cut into 5 x 12.5 cm pieces that are folded in half for strength.

These baskets would be great for serving sweets, holding craft materials, or using them to present a gift. They aren’t waterproof or super strong so don’t expect too much from them other than their decorative properties.

2. Rolled Paper Baskets

Source: VeronicaFlavor/YouTube

To make this basket, you will need a bunch of newspapers. Cut strips of newspaper. Take one a roll it at a diagonal around a dowel or skewer. The goal is to make a strong tube. Glue the end of the paper to secure it before removing the paper tube from the dowel.

You will need a whole bunch of these! You will make the uprights of the basket from these tubes, and you will be weaving with them, too.

You will also need some sturdy cardboard that you can cut a base from. A cereal or tissue box will do the trick. These make pretty sturdy, though not waterproof, baskets that could work on an office desk to hold stationery.

3. Braided Fabric Baskets

Source: Megan Nielsen/YouTube

These baskets are cool and make for high-end, if not boho-looking, home decor. All they require to make is the ability to braid and sew and some strips of fabric.

This fabric can come from old and worn-out clothes or tea towels, or be leftovers from other crafts such as quilting or clothes making.

You will have to make a long length of braid to make a substantial basket. This could be done with hand sewing, but if you are a dab-hand with a machine, you will churn out baskets much more quickly.

4. Crochet Baskets

Source: MelodyCrochet/YouTube

Even if you just know a simple single crochet stitch, you could start making crochet baskets. They are surprisingly sturdy and make great gifts in themselves.

They are a wonderful way to use up rogue bits of yarn and can be made in any color you wish. There are lots of tutorials online to help you get started with crochet basket making, but once you have the basics down, you will be able to make baskets of all shapes and sizes.

Even if you have never crocheted before, take a quick lesson with one of many YouTube channels such as this one.

5. Plastic Shopping Bag Basket

Source: Austin Parks and Recreation/YouTube

If you still have a bunch of single-use shopping bags at home that you can’t bear to throw out, use them to make a cool, waterproof, and pretty sturdy basket.

To make a decent-sized basket you will need between 10 and 20 shopping bags, some rope, a large sewing needle, and some scissors. You will also need a tiny bit of tape to secure the ends.

First of all, you will have to learn to make plarn. Plarn is yarn made from plastic carrier bags that are then upcycled into other useful stuff.

6. Natural Vine Baskets

Source: Tim Rosanelli/YouTube

If you are in a position to be able to safely harvest vines from nature, then you have an amazing resource for making 100% compostable baskets. Be sure that you know what you are picking and be aware of your surroundings when foraging for vines.

Some of the best vines to use for basket making are wisteria, grape, bittersweet, kudzu, honeysuckle, and Virginia creeper. The best time to harvest vines is in the winter when much of the foliage has gone and you can better see what you are taking.

Take these vines and follow any number of traditional basket weaving tutorials online. You will be surprised at the quality of baskets that you can produce from the quite rustic to the quite exquisite.

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