It seems that lately my husband and I have been really finding and refining our decor style. We're drawn to a mix of elements - gorgeous antique cabinets, quirky wood and wrought-iron dining chairs, fun clear lucite lamps and shiny chrome pieces all have their place in our home. We've discovered that bringing all those elements together is a fun challenge, made easier when you introduce simple pieces that make a complementary statement and draw the whole together. This is one such simple piece ready to make a statement.
The idea for this DIY leather basket has been buzzing around my brain for ages, well at least the last month or two. I've been (and still am) really inspired by leather lately and different ways it can be incorporated into decor. Leather can make such a bold statement, catching your attention and drawing you in. The lattice-like construction of this basket seemed like a beautiful and simple way to showcase a great fabric, plus it's really easy to do!
I'm sure you'll find endless uses for your new basket. It's small enough to make a fun statement adorning a coffee or dining table, perhaps filled with crisp apples or sweetly-perfumed flowers, but not so small that you can't fill it with a few select treats and take your love for an impromptu picnic date.
You will need:
- leather (or leather-look vinyl) - choose something with rigidity
- scissors and/or a craft knife
- heavy denim needle
- heavy cotton thread
- tailors chalk
Step 1. Measure and draw out the pieces required for your bowl on the back of your leather. You will need to measure out:
- one circular piece measuring 22cm diameter (and 70cm circumference),
- four rectangular strips measuring 72cm x 2cm,
- six rectangular strips measuring 20cm x 2cm, and
- two rectangular strips measuring 35cm x 2cm.
Cut out the pieces with your craft knife.
Step 2. On the back of your circular piece, make 8 evenly spaced marks around the edge of the circle. These marks will help to make sure the spokes for your bowl are evenly spaced.
Step 3. Attach the 8 spokes (the six 20cm long strips and the two 35cm long strips) to the edge of the circle making sure that the two longer strips are placed at opposite points on the circle. To attach the strips, place one short end of each strip on the edge of the circle allowing the strip to overlap the outer edge of the circle by about 1cm (see the photo below). Then thread your needle and stitch the strip in place. You'll now have a base for your basket that looks a little like a star (well a Christmas-ornament-style star, anyway)
TIP: Attach the strips to the circle with the wrong sides facing one another. This will allow the right sides of the strips to face out and the right side of the circle to face up when the basket is completed .
Step 4. Take your remaining longer strips and for each one carefully overlap the short ends so that you form four loops that are the same circumference (70cm) as the circle piece you cut out earlier. Stitch the overlapped ends in place. You'll now have four loops ready to attach to your basket.
Step 5. Place the basket base on a work surface so that the right side of the centre circle is facing up (and the wrong sides of the spokes are facing up too). Take the first loop and place it on the circle, lining up the edge of the circle with the outside of the loop. Fold up each of the spokes and stitch the spokes to the loop.
TIP: If you have difficulty folding the spokes up to stitch them in place, then try lightly scoring the wrong side of the leather at the point you would like it to bend to help the process.
Step 6. Once all the spokes are attached to the first loop you can begin to attach the second loop. Position the lower edge of the second loop 2cm above the top edge of the first loop, creating a lattice-like effect. Stitch the second loop in place. Repeat for the third and fourth loops, each time spacing the new loop 2cm above the previous loop.
Step 7. Once all the loops are in place you should have two spokes that have super long tails left, and the rest of the spokes should have shorter tails left. Taking one of the super-long tails, fold it down sideways so that it touches the top of the shorter spoke next to it. Overlap these spokes and stitch in place. Do the same for the spoke on the opposite side of the basket.
Trim the remaining shorter tails so that they are in line with the top edge of the upper-most loop.
Now all that's left is to find a place for your leather basket to get to work weaving it's simple-statement magic.