If you’re ready for the most epic alternative to traditional plastic Easter baskets ever, or just want to create a cute catch-all for your favorite things, I’m happy to introduce these crocheted fabric scrap baskets!
I have an unreasonable amount of fabric scraps from refashioning clothes, sewing from scratch, and from previously owning textile repair and alterations business.
Needless to say, I’m always on the hunt for a good scrap buster. Fabric scraps are such an issue in my life that I’ve actually spent hours researching what to do with them. Most people, I imagine, just throw them away. I used to do that too, but when I realized how much waste I was generating, I started saving them.
Frustratingly, it’s hard to find fabric scrap projects that don’t require a ton of sewing and cutting or that use an entire scrap in one go. And what does one do with scraps of lining?
The answer to all of this I’ve discovered is to make crocheted fabric scrap baskets. I started seeing tutorials for crochet baskets on Pinterest a couple months ago and thought that it looked easy enough. Most of these baskets were made with jute rope, but I immediately knew that I wanted to use my fabric scraps because it would be more sustainable to use what I already had around. Plus, I imagined multi-colored baskets.
I’m currently in the process of making my studio more eco-friendly and I recently went through my ENTIRE fabric scrap pile, previously an overflowing wastebasket and a few paper bags, and separated the scraps out by size. I thought this project would take days but I was conveniently surprised that it only took about 2 hours. Leave it to me to make everything more dramatic than it needs to be.
I used my larger scraps for this project, crocheting them into baskets using cotton string, the kind you can get in the kitchen section of your grocery store. Usually, once I finish making a DIY tutorial for you, I’m pretty much happy to move on to the next project, but this technique of weaving fabric into crochet loops has me captivated. In theory, you could use it to make rugs, purses, planters, larger baskets, trivets (hot pads), and coasters. It’s really easy to get creative with the scraps.
Helpful Tips When Making Baskets
I knew how to crochet going into this project, which definitely gave me an advantage. If you don’t know how to crochet, check out this great video. I originally learned off of YouTube (circa 2008!), so it’s totally possible to teach yourself.
You may need to cut your fabric scraps into long strips. I found that a good scrap was long and actually only a few inches wide. Scraps that are totally jagged, cut into, and just a mess can be used to. You can tuck the random edges in as you go with a crochet hook.
The thicker your fabric scrap, the faster you will make your basket, BUT the thicker the fabric scrap the harder it will be to conceal the ends and get a tight weave.
How To Make Crocheted Fabric Scrap Baskets
1 crochet hook, size 5-6mm
1 ball of cotton string or yarn of your choice
Lots of long fabric scraps
1. Create a chain of 5 and connect the first loop to the last by crocheting a single stitch into it, making a circle. Then, crochet two stitches into each stitch for one round. You now have a little base to work with.
2. This part can be a little tricky to get started. Place your fabric scrap over your string. Begin the first part of your next stitch like normal, inserting your hook into the top of the first stitch in your round and drawing your loop through. When you go to wrap your string over your hook, do so over the scrap, and finish the stitch so the scrap is encased by your string. This is the technique you will use throughout the rest of the basket.
I found this tricky at first, but really got the hang of it.
3. Encapsulating your scrap, work two stitches into every stitch for the first round. For the next rounds in your basket base crochet two every other sitch. You’ll create a flat circle doing this.
4. When you get to the end of your scrap, overlap your next piece over the first about an inch and then work it into your stitches. You may want to fold over the edge of your scrap if it’s really long and pointy, like I did in the pictures.
5. You can make your base as large or small as you want. When you want to start moving your basket upwards, continue crocheting around the base, 1 stitch to each loop, as you would normally crochet. Continue to work in scraps and crochet upwards until you have a basket the size you desire.
6. To tie off your stitches, cut your string, pull it through the last loop, and weave it into your basket.
Ta-da! You have a basket! What will you use your’s for?