Turn Your Newspaper Into a Basket

Months into the pandemic, you’ve most likely spent more time decluttering — and assessing the amount of joy sparked by forgotten discoveries — than you’d ever expected. Now you’re on to organizing, and baskets are a great way to collect all of those little things floating around your home. You can transform your newspaper into a receptacle to keep things tidy that’s also a woven work of art. Here’s how.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Cut a full page of the newspaper into thirds lengthwise.

Working with one piece at a time, fold over the paper one-third of the way widthwise and crease firmly. Run the glue stick down the entire right side of the paper (which isn’t folded at all yet) and fold it over again, pressing down well. Your strip should now be one-third its original width.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Now, run the glue stick along what has become the right side of the strip and fold it in half again, pressing down and creasing well. The strip should now be one-sixth the width of its original size.

Repeat the whole process so you have 18 long, thin pieces of newspaper.

Place six of the strips vertically on a table next to each other. Using six more strips, weave each through horizontally one by one, going over and under the vertical strips, starting in the middle. Each new strip should follow the opposite path of the one above it.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

When 12 of the strips are woven together, creating a small square, pull on the ends of each individual strip, making sure the edges are neatly aligned.

Once you’re happy with the placement, glue each of the four corners of the square together between the paper to help keep the base secure.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Take a new strip. Leaving about a half-inch tab of newspaper sticking out at one edge, take your paper clip and affix the strip underneath one of the corners, which holds it in place while you weave around the basket.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Weave the strip over and under each of the six strips on one side, bending every other one upward.

Continue weaving until you’ve gone all the way around, turning and creasing at the corners to help make the box’s shape. To secure the strip, put a small amount of glue on the tab that you created at the start and press where your strip meets the corner to finish the square.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Full disclosure: The first round is the hardest. (Also, don’t worry about the extra length hanging off the side; you’ll take care of that later.)

Take another strip and, this time, paper clip it to the inside of the basket in order to hold it in place. Then, weave it around the square using the same over-under technique, but opposite the row beneath, pulling up the remaining strips on the table as you go.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Continue this until you’ve used the rest of your premade newspaper strips.

Cut off any excess length that’s left over from weaving the sides of the basket.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

To neaten the top, crease the strips at top of the basket, fold over to the other side and tuck into a lower layer. Trim any excess paper.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

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