Sunday, October 31, 2021

Tutorial - Mini Pom Pom and Tassel Baskets

Love those storage baskets with pom-poms and tassels on them.  I made these for the playroom of my big dollhouse and filled them with toys. Here is a tutorial to make some for your dollhouse from simple supplies.  

You will need:

  • Basket forms (see left side of photo above). I used a clear plastic 35mm film container (yeah...remember those - from before we all had cameras on our phones???), a rubber chair leg cover and a clear cap from a spray bottle.
  • Fabric with a basket weave design - such as upholstery fabric
  • fabric glue or thick craft glue - such as Crafter's Pick fabric glue
  • Tiny pom-poms (3mm?)
  • Embroidery floss to make a tassel
  • 7mm Silk Ribbon, about 12 inches or so
  • fine tip glue applicator (good for attaching the pom-poms) 
  • small, sharp scissors

1. For fabrics I used some upholstery fabric scraps.  One fabric was just a loose weave linen type fabric. 

2. Cut the fabric about 1 inch taller than the basket form and wide enough to wrap around to the back.

3. cover a section of your form with fabric glue (after first making sure it won't seep through).  If it seems to seep then let it dry a little on the form before laying the fabric on the glue.

If you are using a tapered form, like the example with the tassel, you might need to cut it even taller than 1 inch (trial fit before cutting).  Center the fabric on the front first so the front will look straight.  As you wrap to the back, the weave of the threads will angle down.

4. Lay the fabric on the glue allowing about 1/2 inch above the upper ridge of the form and 1/2 inch extending below the bottom.  This will be clipped and folded down into the inside later.

5. Cover the remaining sides of the form with the fabric (not the bottom or inside yet).  When wrapped to the back try to neatly cut a seam straight down the back.  With the chunkier fabric I had to individually glue down each group of threads and flatten the seam with my fingernail to make it look neat.  (takes practice - the first one might not be so neat).  

6. For the top edge I used three different techniques:

-on the large basket (with bow) I first threaded 7mm wide silk ribbon all around the top using a crewel needle.  I brought the ends to the front and twisted the ends tightly then glued a bow on the twist.  I sealed the top inside edge of the fabric with glue then trimmed it off.  I didn't fold this one down to the inside of the basket.

- on the medium (tapered, tassel) basket, I left it longer on the top and folded the fabric to the inside above the edge of the rubber and glued it. I wanted this basket to be taller than the form but I liked the rounded bottom of this form. 

- on the small (pom-pom) basket I clipped the fabric in a couple of areas and folded and glued it down covering the rim.  It's not as neat as I would like but when the basket is filled you can't see the clips . 

7. Covering the bottom - again practice makes this neater.  The one with the more rounded bottom (tassel one) was a little harder to hide the seams.  Clip the fabric that extends below the bottom with sharp scissors just up to the bottom of the form.  Fold the fabric to the bottom and remove some of the bulk trimming the tabs to an angled shape.  Use the small glue syringe to get glue under any stray threads or thick er seams and try to smash them down with your fingernail.  I really focused mostly on any areas that would show instead of the very bottom.  But you might need to eliminate some bulk on the bottom so the basket will sit flat. 

8. For the tassel, I made one full tassel then glued two more bunches of thread behind the first tassel so it looked like a three-layered tassel.  I found that trying to glue three tassels together was too bulky.

Hope you enjoy these little storage baskets!  The colored blocks in the smaller basket (meant to look like large Legos or Duplos) are enamel beads from Michaels (clearance).