Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Bicycle Basket Storage Garland Tutorial

Functional garlands make so much sense - they transform blank wall space into useful storage space and create a festive atmosphere. These twist-topped oblong containers are inspired by bicycle baskets. They are surprisingly sturdy - I make mine out of 160 gsm photocopier card. They are much easier to make than they look. A tutorial shows you how.

Here are your free printable bicycle baskets:
OblongBicycleBasket1of2.pdf
OblongBicycleBasket2of2.pdf

OblongBicycleBasket1of2.svg
OblongBicycleBasket2of2.svg

And here are the how-tos:

Bicycle Basket Stoage Garland Tutorial
1 Here are the pieces cut out and ready to assemble. Score the folds on either side of the side panel and also at the base of the the little tabs on the basket base. I use a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler.

2 Now for the fun part - folding the "corded twist" top. It is really simple - just fold the S-shape tabs and tuck the ends to the back. The tabs hook over the edge of the paper. Tip: for a more realistic cord look, shape the tabs before tucking them. Just gently curve them each tab around your finger.

3 As you can see from the pics above, the last tab of the corded edge extends onto the side flap. What to do? Flip the basket side piece to the wrong side, fold the last tab over as shown. Glue it down. You can glue down the other tab ends with dabs of PVA glue - but it isn't absolutely essential.
Above is a pic of the basket side piece, corded edge complete and d/s tape placed on the side seams. Notice that the righthand edge of the corded edge is angled. The little tab projection on the basket base/back piece fits behind it to make a straight edge.
4 Above, stick the hanging loop reinforcement in place with edges aligned. All that is needed is a piece of tape along opposite straight edges of the reinforcement piece. If you are not going to put heavy stuff in your basket, then you can skip this step!
5 Pic above shows d/s tape applied to all the base tabs. You can use PVA tacky glue instead, but the d/s tape is the easier option by far.
6 Next, stick the end flap of the lefthand of the side piece under the righthand side of the back piece (much less complicated than it sounds!).
7 Peel off the protective tabs from the d/s tape on the base tabs and adhere the basket side panel to the base, working your way around. The piece will miraculously fit exactly. :)
8 When you get to the opposite edge, adhere the basket side to the back piece. Stick the "cover-up" tab behind the last corded twist tab of the basket top.
9 Place d/s tape on the wrong side of the basket back as shown. The strip of tape just above the opening is really important - it prevents the hanging loops from gaping out. 
10 Remove the backing from the tape strips and fold the back piece inside, bottom edge flush with basket base. Note that the fold is a soft fold - uncreased - it looks more a leather strap that way. Use your fingers to coax the oblong basket into shape - a little more definition in the corners is the goal.
11 This step is optional: the brads are decorative, only. If you do want to insert brads in the strap, use the little "positioner tab" with a hole in it to pencil in the brad position on the folded loop. Punch a hole in each strap and insert a brad in a colour to coordinate with the basket.
12 Next, drop in the basket base liner. It fits exactly - no need to glue. I have also supplied you with an optional liner for the basket sides, in case you want extra basket reinforcement. Shape it before you drop it in place.
That's it - the bicycle basket is assembled. All that remains is to thread a ribbon through the hanging loops. Textured ribbon, like grosgrain, or gingham ribbon look great. You can opt for a solo basket or string a garland. Makes a nice gift or fête-make.
Enjoy making your funcitonal garland!