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Weave a Halloween treat basket from a plain brown paper bag! This vintage-look craft is the perfect table favor for your Halloween feast - or doorknob gift from the office Holiday Fairy. 

Halloween treat basket photo(click here for a larger Halloween Treat Basket image)
The Victorians loved paper crafts, especially when they could embellish cut paper with even more cut paper. Crepe paper was a standard material - stretched, fringed, or honeycombed. We designed this personal-size Halloween treat basket to echo those highly-ornamented paper decorations of yesterday. And, we topped it off with a grinning Jack O'Lantern chenille figure!

The antique, handmade paper effect was achieved by soaking a plain brown paper bag in water, drying it in all its wrinkled glory, and dry-sponging on some painted highlights. Add a handle and black crepe paper fringe everywhere, and a chenille Jack O'Lantern to guard the candy!


  1. Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Brown paper shopping bag.
  2. Black crepe paper.
  3. Black chenille rod.
  4. Cardboard (3" square).
  5. Orange and black tempera or acrylic craft paint.
  6. Sea sponge or terry cloth rag.
  7. Transparent tape.
  8. Clothes pins or paper clips.
  9. Scissors or paper cutter.
  10. Single hole paper punch.

Instructions for Halloween Treat Basket

  1. Halloween treat basket, step 1Cut a brown paper shopping bag to open flat. Soak it in water for a few seconds, wad it into a ball to squeeze out the water, and lay it out flat to dry. When it is dry, iron gently with a steam iron until flat with textured wrinkles.

  2. Halloween treat basket, step 2Cut the brown paper into two rectangular pieces, one 6" X 14" and one 2 1/4" X 14". With a sponge or rag, lightly skim black paint over the surface of the 6" X 14" piece, and orange paint over the surface of the 2 1/4" X 14" piece, applying paint only to the high points of the wrinkles. Let it dry completely.
  3. Cut the 6" X 14" black-painted paper into eight 3/4" X 14" strips. Cut the 2 1/4" X 14" orange-painted paper into three 3/4" X 14" strips.
  4. Halloween treat basket, step 3Place four black strips side by side and tape the ends to a flat surface to hold them in place. Weave the remaining four black strips in the center of the taped strips, alternating the "over and under" pattern, to create a 3"-square woven grid (as shown in the photo).

  5. Halloween treat basket, step 4Glue (or staple) the intersections of the outside strips and let the glue dry.  The 3" square of woven black strips is the outside bottom of your basket.

  6. Halloween treat basket, step 5Place the woven square bottom, painted side down, on a flat surface. Place a 3" square of cardboard in the bottom of the basket and bend the ends of the strips up. Weave an orange strip through all of the upright black strips and push it down tight against the bottom of the basket. Tuck the ends of the orange strips inside and secure them with glue clamped with a clothes pin or paper clip. Let it dry (see Tips). Weave a second orange strip through the alternate black strips, push it tight against the first orange strip, and glue the ends inside as before.  Repeat with a third orange strip.

  7. Halloween treat basket, step 6Cut off the excess vertical black strips about 1/2" beyond the last orange strip. 

  8. Halloween treat basket, step 7Fold the 1/2" ends down over the top strip and glue them to the orange strip.  Let it dry.

  9. Halloween treat basket, step 85Cut a 3" X 14" strip of black crepe paper (the 14" length is parallel to the stretchy grain of the paper). Fold the crepe paper lengthwise, lining up the long edges, and snip 1/4"-deep fringe through both edges down the entire length. Open it flat and gently stretch and twist the fringe on both edges. Apply a thin bead of glue off-center down the strip and refold the crepe paper lengthwise.  Fold the strip over the top edge of the basket with the double fringe on the outside, and glue in place.
  10. Halloween treat basket, step 9Cut a 1/2" X 14" strip of black crepe paper (the 14" length is parallel to the stretchy grain of the paper). Snip 1/4"-deep fringe along one edge down the entire length. Glue one end of the paper to one end of the chenille rod and let dry (we used a green chenille rod in this photo to make it visible against the black crepe paper). Wrap the crepe paper tightly around the chenille rod, leading with the solid edge.  Glue the other end to the rod and trim the excess rod (you should have about 2" excess).
  11. Punch a hole in the center of the top edges on two opposing sides of the basket.  Curve the fringe-covered handle and bend the ends through the holes to attach it to the basket.
  12. Attach the Halloween chenille figure of your choice to the handle with a 2"l twist of chenille rod around his waist.  Fill the Halloween treat basket with candy (or cookies, or gold bricks) and deliver with pride!


  • Standard chenille rods are 12" long.  One rod should provide a 10" handle and a 2" scrap to attach your chenille figure to the basket.
  • Halloween treat basket, with chenille figure embellishmentThis paper weaving looks simple, but is actually pretty awkward and would be difficult for young children. Two things that help a lot are glue and several clothes pins, which can hold your strips in place while you weave. Also, the 3" cardboard square inside the bottom of the basket is just there for stability while you fold and weave.  You can remove it after you weave your first row of orange paper.
  • This Halloween treat basket looks terrific with a Halloween Chenille Figure attached to the handle. If you don't want to make the chenille figure for the handle, decorate your basket with other vintage scraps such as pumpkins, bats, witches, pickles or black cats.  Did we say pickles? Sorry, just hungry.
The black and orange basket-weave embellished with funereal black fringe is very Victorian in design. This Halloween treat bnasket is pretty easy for kids with good cutting and gluing skills, and weaving dexterity. You might also try our Halloween card crafts, like the Padded Pumpkin Card, the 3-D Halloween Card, and the Halloween Pop Up Card.

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