Sunday, 13 December 2015

How to Sew a Gift Basket for Christmas

My daughter in law recently had a major declutter prior to putting her house on the market. One of the items she was throwing out was a damaged fabric basket. It was so pretty. It made me think that maybe I could make a festive one using Christmas fabric. 

Christmas gift basket filled with tinsel and baubels

The original had cardboard to stiffen it, I've used interlining so it can be washed.

I've also used the original dimensions and it can be made with 2 fat quarters. The size of the basket would be really easy to adapt. This is a really easy basket to make. It is basically 2 squares and 8 ties, with interfacing to stiffen it.

It would make a lovely gift filled with toiletries or could be filled with Christmas treats. Chocolate, mince pies, shortbread.

Just by changing the fabric it would make a lovely basket to fill for a new baby or a birthday or mothers day. 

The instructions below are for cotton fabric, other types of fabric may need the pattern adapted. I chose 2 complimentary Christmas fabrics.

A dark green fabric with holly leaves and a white fabric with holly leaves

What You Will Need

Basic sewing equipment

Sewing machine
Tape measure
Iron and ironing table
Rotary cutter and cutting mat - optional

2 Fat quarters of fabric (Tip. Small patterned fabric disguises any sewing mistakes!)
Heavy duty iron-on interlining (66cm x 19cm)
4 pieces of A4 paper or equivalent to make template

Instead of making ties you could use ribbon just miss out steps 5 and 7. You would need approx 3m of 10mm wide ribbon. Cut the ribbon into 8 pieces the same length.


1.  From the interlining cut;

2 pieces 19cm x 19cm   (A)
4 pieces 7cm x 18.5cm. (B)

I used a rotary cutter and mat but scissors would be fine.

2.   Make a template that measures 36cm x 36cm. I used A4 paper and stuck the 4 pieces together. This allowed me to use the corners and sides of the paper to make a perfect square.

Square template place on fabric

3.   This is how the pieces will be cut from the fabric. Use the pattern below as a guide.

pattern of how to cut pieces from a fat quarter

4.  Iron the fabric first and using the template cut one square from each piece of fabric. Keep as close to one edge of the fabric as you can as the ties will be cut from what's left.

template place in corner of fabric so no wastage

5.  Cut 8 strips measuring 2.5cm by 40cm using just one of the fabrics.

picture of 8 strips of dark green fabric

6.  On the main pieces of fabric, using a hot iron, fold over each edge about half a centimetre. 

picture of corners of the fabric squares with the edges folded and pressed

7.   For the ties use a hot iron to fold the long edges of the strips towards the centre, about a mm. Then fold the strip in half along its longest length. I found that the ironing board got very hot doing this so I changed the position of each strip to allow the board to cool. Sew along the edge folding one end in to neaten it. 

picture of dark green strip with edges folded in towards the centre

picture of green fabric strip folded in half

picture of 8 strips of green fabric all folded neatly

8.   To centre the interlining on the fabric fold the interlining (A) in half and gently crease each end then fold it the other way and gently crease.

picture of a hand folding the interfacing

picture of a hand folding the interfacing the other way

9.  Fold the fabric in half and iron a small crease at each side. Do the same the other way.

picture of an iron on fabric

10.   Place the interlining on the wrong side of the fabric lining up the crease marks. Iron in place. Do this to both pieces of fabric.

picture of interlining on the white fabric placed in the center
Unfortunately the top and bottom crease marks did not photo so well

11.   Position the 4 other pieces around the centre leaving a small gap between. Iron in place.

picture of all the pieces of the interlining pressed into position

12.   Place the 2 pieces of fabric wrong sides together matching edges and pin. Insert a tie at each end of interlining (B). Make sure you insert the unfinished end!

close up of the correct placement of the ties

close up of the tie held in position with a pin

picture of all the ties in position and pinned

13.   Sew about 1mm from the edge making sure that the ties are not caught up in the seams and removing pins as you go.

close up of a sewing machine foot and the seam 1mm from the edge.

14.  Finish all the loose ends. Make a knot and a bow with the ties. 

close up of a tie knotted and in a bow

The basket is reversible. Fill the gift basket with goodies of your choice.

finished Christmas gift basket dark green inside

finished Christmas gift basket white fabric inside

This is such a pretty basket and I thought I would fill it with nuts or wrapped sweets. It would also make a lovely bread basket or filled with pine cones a lovely centre piece. What would you fill it with?

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