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Fabric Gift Baskets in Six Sizes and Styles

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From presents under the tree to neighborhood get togethers to Secret Santas at work... holiday gift giving can creep up on you. When I'm at a loss, a charming fabric basket is my go-to solution. With such a pretty outside, you can put almost anything inside to create a fast and fabulous, personalized gift guaranteed to generate rave reviews. Some inexpensive kitchen tools plus your own favorite recipes and you have a cook's delight. Hot toddy ingredients in a basket made from cozy flannels would be a toasty, fireside treat. Or take a quick dash through the gourmet aisle of your local grocery store, and you could put together a mouth-watering epicurean masterpiece. Today's pair includes both a large basket, measuring 10" wide x 8" tall x 6" deep as well as a small companion that finishes at 8" wide x 7" tall x 5" deep. The two nest perfectly together. 

If you love making today's structured fabric basket, you'll also enjoy these other basket tutorials. 

Left to right: Jumbo Task BasketCoin CatcherGoody BasketBucket Style BeautyBasket with V-point Handle Accents

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Our fabric cut recommendations are generous to allow for fussy cutting.

Large Basket

  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the basket exterior: we used Divine Damask in Black by Michael Miller Fabrics
  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the basket lining and top of handles: we used Ta Dot in Apple by Michael Miller Fabrics
  • ¼ yard of 44-45" wide fabric or scrap for back of handles: we used Ta Dot in Black by Michael Miller Fabrics
  • ¾ yard of heavyweight fusible OR sew-in interfacing, such as Fast2fuse Craft Interfacing or Thermoweb's Heat'n Bond or Pellon's Sew-in Extra Heavyweight Interfacing  
    NOTE: These type of products are normally only 18"-20" wide. We found and bought our interfacing off the bolt at our local fabric store so getting ¾ yard wasn't a problem. If you have to by packaged interfacing, carefully check the amount; you may need more than one package.
  • ½ yard of 44-45" lightweight batting: we used Poly-Fil Cotton Classic Batting by Fairfield 
  • 1 yard of wide coordinating rick rack; we used 1" in black
  • 1 yard of wide velvet ribbon; we used 2" in black 

Small Basket

Both Baskets

  • All purpose thread in colors to best match both rick rack and fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

Large Basket

  1. From the fabric for the basket exterior (Black Divine Damask in our sample), fussy cut TWO 12" high x 17" wide panels.
  2. From the fabric for the basket lining and handle tops (Apple Ta Dot in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 12" high x 17" wide panels
    TWO 2½" x 10" strips
  3. From the back handle accent fabric (Black Ta Dot in our sample), cut TWO 2½" x 10" strips.
  4. From the batting, cut TWO 12" x 17" panels and TWO 2½" x 10" strips.
  5. From the heavyweight interfacing, cut TWO 12" x 17" panels.

Small Basket

  1. From the fabric for the basket exterior (Black Dressforms in our sample), fussy cut TWO 10½" high x 14" wide panels.
  2. From the fabric for the basket lining and handle tops (Apple Ta Dot in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 10½" high x 14" wide panels
    TWO 2½" x 10" strips
  3. From the back handle accent fabric (Black Ta Dot in our sample), cut TWO 2½" x 10" strips.
  4. From the batting, cut TWO 10½" high x 14" wide panels and TWO 2½" x 10" strips.
  5. From the heavyweight interfacing, cut TWO 10½" high x 14" wide panels.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

The steps below show the large basket. The steps for the smaller basket are the same.

Layering the panels

  1. Place a piece of interfacing against the wrong side of each exterior panel.
  2. Align the two layers on all four sides, being very careful to make sure both pieces are super flat. Pin in place.
  3. Machine baste the two layers together around all four sides, staying about ¼" from the raw edges. We used a Janome Walking foot to deal with the layers of different thicknesses and types.
    NOTE: If you've chosen fusible interfacing, follow your manufacturer's directions to adhere the interfacing to the fabric rather than stitching as we did.
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  4. Press well. If need be, once everything is sewn, pressed and flat, trim the interfacing so it is completely flush with the fabric.
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  5. Repeat to stitch a batting panel to the wrong side of each lining panel.
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Seam panels and box the bottom corners

  1. Place the two exterior panels right sides together. If you are using a directional print as we did, make sure both panels are lined up top-to-top.
  2. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. We're still using our Janome Walking foot.
  4. With the basket still wrong side out, the next step is to box the bottom corners. Be aware the heavyweight interfacing will make this technique a little harder to do than with plain fabric, but it is still pliable... you can do it!
  5. Using both hands, pinch and pull apart one bottom corner.
  6. As you keep pulling, the fabric will begin to make a little peak with the corner point at the top and a seam line running down the middle of both sides. Fold one seam allowance to the right and the other seam allowance to the left.
  7. Precisely match the two seams front to back. Work first from the wrong side, then look down inside the basket to see if your seams are lining up. Below is a photo looking straight down into the basket, lining up the side and bottom seams.
    Click to Enlarge
  8. Our bag is sized for 6" sides and base. To create this width, you need to figure your boxed corner seam at half the finished width. Therefore, in our sample, we measured 3" from the tip of the corner peak and drew a horizontal line.
    NOTE: For the small basket, the sides and base are 5", so your corners should be measured at 2½".
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  9. Pin your folded and measured 'peak' and stitch along the drawn line. With most boxed corners, we recommend stitching and then backstitching to reinforce. However, since this project is so thick and stiff, I recommend stitching straight across, locking at the beginning and end, removing the project, then replacing it under the needle, and stitching straight across again.
  10. Trim away the peak on each side to about ¼" from the seam line.
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  11. Repeat these steps on the opposite corner.
  12. Turn the basket right side out and push out to form the boxed corners.
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  13. Repeat ALL the steps (1-12) to create a matching lining box.
    NOTE: These steps are quite detailed, but if you are brand new to creating box corners, we have a full tutorial on How To Box Corners.
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  14. Fold down and press the top raw edge of both the basket exterior and the lining ½" all around, creating a nice finished edge. Pin in place.  
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  15. Pin the rick rack to the wrong side of the top folded edge of the lining. Start at a side seam and 'dip' the curve of the rick rack down to hide the raw edge. The middle of the rick rack should be aligned with the top fold of the lining so the half of the rick rack's 'wave' sticks up from the top.
    Click to Enlarge
  16. Machine baste the rick rack in place, staying close to the folded edge, which should be right through the middle of the rick rack. We used thread to match the lining fabric in the top and thread to match the rick rack in the bobbin.
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  17. Slip the lining inside the basket exterior so the two layers are wrong sides together. Push the lining down into place so the side seams and bottom corners match up and the top folded edges are flush.
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  1. Collect the SIX 2½" x 10" strips: two top fabric strips, two bottom fabric strips and two batting strips.
  2. Make two three-part layers: batting, back fabric right side up, top fabric right side down. Align all raw edges. Pin in place.
    Click to Enlarge
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance stitch both sides through all layers. Leave both ends raw and open. Trim the seam allowance back to approximately ¼".
  4. Turn each handle right side out and press.
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  5. Topstitch along both sides close to the edge. As with the rick rack, we made sure the top and bobbin threads matched each fabric: in our sample that meant green in the top and black in the bobbin.
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  6. Insert each handle between the layers, positioning them over the side seams. Each inside edge of the handle should be 1" from the side seam and each raw end should be 1½" down from the top folded edge. Pin in place.
    NOTE: We pinned from the inside to hold things in place while measuring, then transferred the pins to the outside before final stitching. Otherwise, the pins will be trapped between the layers.
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  7. Realign the the lining and the exterior basket, sandwiching the ends of the handles between the layers. Make sure the top folded edges are flush with one another, the side seams and bottom corners match, and the rick rack is sticking up.
  8. Topstitch all around the top of the basket through all the layers, keeping your seam line ⅜" from the top folded edges. Again, we're still using the Janome Walking foot!
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  9. Then go back around with a second line of topstitching ⅛" from the first line of topstitching.
    NOTE: We switched back to black thread as both the top and bobbin thread because we liked the look of the accent lines of topstitching inside and out. If you'd prefer a more subtle look, stay with a color to match the exterior as your top thread and a color to match your lining in the bobbin.


You are sewing through a LOT of layers. Be prepared! Our Janome machines power through tough jobs like these, but even we were extra cautious and hand-cranked over the thickest part: the side seams. By 'hand-crank,' we mean to take your foot off the pedal and use the handwheel on the side of the machine to walk the machine stitch-by-stitch across the super thick layers of the side seams. Once you clear this area, put the pedal to the metal again. Not all machines are up to the task. Test your machine with a multiple layer mock-up first, such as a stack of folded scraps.

As a final touch, we tied a pretty velvet bow around one of the handles.

Click to Enlarge


Project Design: Alicia Thommas

Sample Creation: Liz Johnson


Comments (7)

wmpdd3 said:
wmpdd3's picture

Worked out perfectly on shelves in baby room, I put weights between the lining and main fabric to keep them on the shelf when full. 

ShihTzuMama said:
ShihTzuMama's picture

Heading to the sewing room now to make 3 of these!!  Love the colors, too.

hanrerysandw said:
hanrerysandw's picture

Magnificent!! I cherished its a debt of gratitude is in order regarding posting this heavenly write I pick up bunches of thoughts about gift baskets from this.Excellent Ideas for Xmas.

Lori Michel said:
Lori Michel's picture

Love the baskets, I am not using the handles, but the basket sizes are just great for a new baby for those much needed supplies in rooms other than babies.......

Adrianne said:
Adrianne's picture

These are so CUTE! Great for 'anytime' gift-giving. Especially Baby or Bride!