Saturday, 23 August 2014

Stacks of Sticks Baskets

This being the tag-end of summer, I got to thinking about summer camp crafty projects, and inevitably, to popsicle-stick/lolly-stick baskets. I always enjoyed constructing them - it was fun to build up the baskets gradually, row by row, changing the shape by tweaking the placement of the sticks. So, I decided to re-invent Stacks of Sticks baskets for the digital age.

With my digital papercutter/plotter (my Silhouette machine), I can make building units in different styles and any colour. Wow. I've only just begun to play.

Here is your file, so you can have a go:
I cut my sticks out of American Crafts Cardstock, in natural colours to give a rustic feel to the project. The card has a nice, pebbly texture, which adds to the campsite ambience. 

Of course, the card is not as thick as a lolly stick/popsicle stick, so you've got to construct a building unit yourself. For each unit, you need two similar stick shapes and four end spacers. Use tacky PVA glue applied with a cocktail stick. Each unit is a sandwich, edges aligned. Two spacers at each end, glued in between the sticks. Make up as many sticks as you think you may need, in the colours of your choice.

Base: I've given you a hexagonal basket base. Cut three, then layer and glue them together with edges aligned.

To construct the basket:
The basket is worked in rounds. The convex-shaped side of each stick faces outwards. 
First round: glue three sticks onto the base, spaced on alternate sides. The outer edges of the sticks are aligned with the edge of the base.
Second round: do the same for the remaining three base spaces, one level up.
For each subsequent round, glue the sticks on in alternate spaces, moving them outwards a smidge (the stick overhangs the edge of the previous round).
When you have moved outwards as far as possible, start building upwards until the desired basket height is reached. 

Note: the base pattern for the square basket is a 5cm (2in) square.

These baskets make excellent desk organizers. Or, pop a napkin inside and fill with party munchies.

Have fun making your Stack of Sticks baskets. I'm hoping to experiment with new stick shapes soon. (It would be nice to mimic a French Wire look...)