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
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
fringe everywhere, and a chenille Jack O'Lantern to guard
Brown paper shopping bag.
Black crepe paper.
Black chenille rod.
Cardboard (3" square).
Orange and black tempera or acrylic craft paint.
Sea sponge or terry cloth rag.
Clothes pins or paper clips.
Scissors or paper cutter.
Single hole paper punch.
Instructions for Halloween Treat Basket
brown paper shopping bag to open flat. Soak it in water for a few
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
the brown paper into two rectangular pieces, one 6" X 14" and one 2
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.
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.
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).
(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.
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.
off the excess vertical black strips about 1/2" beyond the last orange
the 1/2" ends down over the top strip and glue them to the orange
strip. Let it dry.
Cut 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
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
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
have about 2" excess).
Punch a hole in the center of the
top edges on two opposing sides of the basket.
the fringe-covered handle and bend the ends through the holes to attach
it to the basket.
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.
paper weaving looks simple, but is actually pretty awkward and would be
difficult for young children. Two things that help a lot are
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
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
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
Card, and the Halloween
Pop Up Card.