Saturday, January 17, 2015


One of the things that happens around our house after the holidays (besides letting our breath out and patting ourselves on the back for "doing it again.") is that we go to our project list and see what is to be done that we either stopped or put on the back burner once we became engrossed in the holiday preparation, etc. This project was not hard to find because it was under my feet, under my work table calling, "line me, fill me, take me out to a picnic."
Meet my picnic basket - if it were human it would be a grandmother!  A few things about this basket, it is approximately 14x9x8, made in USA and I think made out of hickory and it has been used a lot and is still perfect. We like to picnic and when we lived in Monument, CO our spot was Garden of the Gods - so easy to get to, so beautiful, so peaceful.  We have not found our spot here in Idaho but are determined to do so this spring. I was tired of lining the basket with napkins or small cloths that had to be laundered so I decided to line the basket and in the process make it easy to wipe out when necessary to clean and to protect the basket.
This is actually a pretty fast and easy project and you can sew the lining by hand or use a machine.  I chose a flannel backed plastic as opposed to a genuine oil cloth as this flannel backed plastic is very easy to work with and easy to sew with. I will try and make this simple.......1) Set the basket on a piece of the fabric and draw (I used dashes see below) around the bottom of the basket leaving a 1" seam allowance.
I have had this flannel backed plastic for a very long time and it was a little wrinkled - you can iron, using a low setting on the flannel side to get the winkles out of the fabric.

2) measure two lengths of the flannel backed plastic fabric for the sides and top, once again a 1" seam allowance and on the top leave and extra 5-6" so that you can turn the top over and it will have enough flannel backed plastic fabric to lay over the top, no seams are necessary. You can always trim the fabric if you think it is too long when you turn it over the top of the basket.

3) put your hands inside and pull the fabric so that the seams are in the middle both front and back 4) taking a needle and a very long piece of thread weave in and out all around the fabric and then you gather the fabric until it is the right size to fit on the bottom piece. 5) pin the bottom to the sides and either by hand or machine stitch the bottom to the sides and you are done with the exception of fitting the handles.

 Put the liner into the basket and turn the top over (you do not want to glue this in because you want to be able to take it out to wash and have the ability to get into all the creases in the sides of the basket, or at least I do). 
All you have to do to fit the handles is to make a mark on the fabric with a felt pin where the handle will be and make a cut and pull the fabric around it it will lay flat. I cut some lengths of 1.5" seam binding for the bows - just wanted to add a little something.
The silverware is from a long ago Target trip but with the exception of the bento box the rest of the containers are from the Dollar Tree, including the cupcake/muffin containers and the red and white table cloth. Container sizes for sandwiches, veggies, pickles, etc.  

The bento box is great because it will store flat but when needed for chunks of fruit or a potato salad, etc. it will open to the larger size (see photo above) and be great.
 Is it perfect? No, but it fits snugly in the basket and the sides are long enough to fold over and it is now lined and will protect the basket and be easy to clean. I'm happy!
Basket is filled with containers and there is still room for plates, a bottle of wine or thermos of hot drinks or soup.  I always toss in a zip lock with napkins, wipes, mosquito wipes, salt and pepper, etc. I prefer an open basket as we have had those English types with the fitted items and the closed lids but this works much better for our type of impromptu picnics.


Basket, use one you have on hand or find a really sturdy (preferably made in USA) basket.
Liner fabric, Hobby Lobby (very reasonable) or other craft stores.
Seam binding, sewing and craft stores
ECO one Bento Box, Gourmet and specialty stores.
Betty Crocker storage containers, Dollar Tree, grocery store

Thank you for stopping by.