By Katja Kromann

Memory lane: I made some willow baskets to decorate around our home

Memory lane: I made some willow baskets to decorate around our home
willow class baskets 8

B commented the other day that he does not remember what the inside of any of our previous homes look like. I can't really blame him. We move a lot and he was little.

So the other day I went through all our pictures (!) from the time he was born until we moved to our current home in 2009 and picked out some interior shots from each of them that I will put on some pages for him here. In that process I came upon this photo from our previous (rented/leased) home.

willow 11

And I was noticing some of my willow baskets that I used to decorate that very wide and tall space over the TV.

That made me think of the first class I took to learn how to make willow baskets in the late 90s, but especially, it made me think of the second class I took with my cousin on a trip to Denmark back in the winter of 2005. I remember that class better because we took pictures :) ha... Did you see that one coming?

Let's take a look.

willow class 8

It was early March of 2005. On the left my view from the train going to class on an early Saturday morning. On the right the view of the bay near my Parent's house a week later - just because that image is so pretty. These pictures were all taken with my old point and shoot Power shot camera.

willow 8

It was a two day class and here we are on the morning of day 1. All the gorgeous willow laid out. My cousin is the fair haired maiden on the left. I am in all black on the right. The other woman on both pictures is the teacher, Ida. She also taught the first class I had taken years earlier.

I wish this was a regular DIY project that I could show you how to make yourself, but the reality is, that in order to make these baskets, you first have to get a bunch of willow (obviously), then soak them completely immersed in water for 8 days or so to make the willows pliable. Then you have about 3 days to work with the willow and then you can't re-use it again. So for people who do not have infinitely space, time and money like myself, the best way to make baskets is to take a class.

willow 8

My cousin is working on her basket here.

willow 8

Here I am adding the "spokes" (there is probably a willow-y term for that, that I forgot) to make the sides of my basket.

willow 8

willow 8

Unlike my cousin, I had to bring my basket home to California, so I had to make them small enough to fit in my suitcase. So I made one basket wide and short and the other one narrow, but tall.

willow 8

willow 8

The big rock in the center is used to weight it down while you make the basket.

willow basket layout with cousin 8

This is a couple of days later when I visited my cousin at her summerhouse where she posed with her new basket. Isn't it just pretty! As you can see, she used two different kinds of willow. The middle of hers is a bit more green, while the edges are bit more red.

I talked to her the other day, and she reports that her basket is still in use as a magazine holder although it has gotten a bit more loose over the years.

willow 12
Click on layout to see it in a larger size.

I later commemorated the occasion with a scrapbooking layout. I exacto-knifed that Willow title. Yes I did!

willow class baskets 8

On the right are the two baskets and some cones for my Christmas tree that I made at that class. I am happy to report they all made it in the suit case on the way home to California.

willow basket layout with cousin 8

Here are some pictures from this morning of all the baskets I have made in those two classes - minus the bigger cones because they are packed away with the Christmas stuff.

My very favorite one is the one I made in the first class with the very tall handle - on the very left. It lives in my kitchen on one of the chunky shelves we built - I will show you that in this Friday's reveal of our kitchen remodel.

willow basket layout with cousin 8

This was the second basket I made after the one with the tall handle. It has a peek-a-boo effect. I lined it with green tissue paper and put some forever ivy and white forever flowers in it for the built-in entertainment center in our previous home. I'll save you the scroll:

willow 11

willow basket layout with cousin 8

Oh and I did have one little cone out. This one I usually always hung in all the kitchens from under one of the cabinet frames.

I have searched high and low for a basket class here in California, but so far I have not been successful in finding one. I don't know if it is too hot for willow to grow here. That could be a reason. I would love to find one. I would take one again in a minute! It's so much fun!

So, tell me: have you ever taken a willow class or made baskets out of willow or any other material? Do they have classes near where you live? (I might come visit you ha ha)


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This article: Memory lane: I made some willow baskets to decorate around our home first appeared on http://ahomefordesign.com.
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Katja Kromann
About Katja Kromann

I am a Danish American decorating life in Seattle. I love all things design and DIY.

I can’t think of anything more fun than coming up with project, making it, photographing it and sharing it with you on my websites.

I am a Graphic Artist and homeschooling mom to a teenager by day.

AHomeForDesign.com AHomeForFood.com AHomeForCrafts.com
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