No-Sew Yarn Basket: Reuse What You Have!

I skipped through the yard and back toward my grandparents' house, feeling more like a character out of Little House on the Prairie than like an adult.  I clung to the handle of a basket, humming to myself.

This basket was to be my prize, my joy, and, of course, my next green diy project.

I was going to make a yarn basket.

I have this problem with using yarn.  I spend more time chasing the yarn after I drop it than I do actually crocheting.  I'm horribly clumsy.  Well, either that, or the yarn is sentient and takes great joy in leaping from my hands... or lap... or table.  I need something to keep it contained as I crochet, so that my projects are actually spent crocheting, rather than sprinting after my supplies.

You're probably wondering what the heck is so green about a yarn basket, and I don't blame you.  The resulting creation isn't any more green than anything else, but the way I went about it was what made the difference.

It was time to reuse things, yet again.

The basket itself was obviously an environmentally responsible choice:  It was removed from my grandfather's workshop, where it would otherwise sit around taking up space until eventually it being thrown in a landfill, unused and without purpose.  It would be a rather sad end, I think.

The other item that I would be reusing was an old shirt that I haven't worn for a few years.  It was black cotton with pink fringes.  Unfortunately, age had caught up with it, and I began finding tiny holes in the fabric.  It ended up in the bottom of my dresser drawer, unused and forgotten.

I wanted to do this project using as few supplies as possible.  This being said, I elected to take the minimalist approach - only using what was absolutely necessary.  No pretty embellishments.  Absolutely utilitarian in design.

Also, I'm absolutely terrible at that whole sewing thing.  I needed a way to create a yarn basket without using a needle and thread.  Fortunately, it's quite easy to meld my two needs together.

First, I grabbed my supplies.

What you're looking at is the basket, a small pair of pliers (2 pairs would be easier), 2 rubber bands, 2 safety pins, and my old shirt.  Simple supplies, right?

I used the pliers to pry the handles apart where they connect to the basket, then removed the handles altogether.

I set the handle aside.

Next, I pulled out the old shirt I was using, and turned it inside out.

I grabbed the two rubber bands (which came off of some asparagus I bought at the grocery store) and used wrapped each of them around the bases of the shirt sleeves, in order to close off the openings.

**The sleeves on this shirt were very short.  If the sleeves on your shirt are longer, however, an alternate approach would be to leave the shirt right-side out and wrap the rubber bands at the base of the sleeve in order to create pockets for scrap yarn or needles.  Simply turn it inside out after you've completed this step.**

The next step for this yarn basket is to use the safety pins to close off the neck hole.  

It doesn't have to be a perfect closure.  This simply keeps the neck from widening over time as yarn is pulled from the basket.

Now that the safety pin step is completed, it's time to place the shirt inside the basket.

Keep it inside out.  You've basically turned it into a bag by now.  A funny-looking bag, granted, but a bag, nonetheless.  Place it inside the basket, neck side down, and fold the open side over the rim.

Now we need to put the handle back on.

Find the metal loops that the handle was originally hanging from.  Pull the end of one side of the handle through the loop while the shirt's cloth is still covering it.  Poke the handle through.  I found that rubbing the pliers over the cloth helped make this part easier.

The hole was very tiny, and unnoticeable.  I used the pliers to close off the handle, then went about doing the same thing on the other side.

I then smoothed the cloth inside of the basket until it was properly molded in the desired shape, and went around the outside of the rim, taking care that the fringes were "pretty", for lack of a better term.

Finally, I filled it with my yarn.

I'm still trying to decide whether I want to create a hinged lid for the yarn basket, or if making a light 'tabletop'  to cover it would be kinda nifty.  If I mad the second choice, I'd have to worry about the weight of anything placed on top, but the idea is rather appealing.

What do you think?

Now, a wicker basket like mine doesn't necessarily have to be used.

Any material would suffice, as long as long as it has a bowl or tub-like shape to it.  I chose the wicker material because it was readily available, it provides the cloth with something to grasp onto, due to its texture, and it just looks nice.

A dab of glue will probably need to be used if you chose a plastic basket or bin, but it's still a workable idea.  The cloth is just very likely to slip around if glue (or more safety pins) isn't used.

The choice of materials is entirely up to you.  The only barrier is your own imagination.  Reuse what you have, and create a yarn basket that costs you nothing but time.

How awesome is that?!