Make a pinched Coiled Basket from Scraps

By Patti Pasteur

This little basket turned out to be a happy accident when I couldn’t remember how to shape the sides of a basket. I ended up gathering the sides with clips and spraying fabric stiffener all over and letting it dry to form a scalloped edge. Spraying Distress™ ink on it gave it an aged look. It was one of those nice mistakes that produced a cute little basket using up my old scraps.

To make a basket 2” x 7 ½”


  • Leftover scraps of cotton fabric totaling 1/2 yard
  • Cotton cord, ¼” diameter such as clothesline (soft, not stiff), about 12 yards
  • Scissors, rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler
  • Sewing machine with a zigzag stitch
  • Heavy-duty sewing machine needles
  • Matching thread
  • Fabric glue
  • 6 clips or clothespins or a needle with strong thread
  • Tape or water-soluble chalk
  • Fabric stiffener
  • Beads, leftover novelty yarns


  1. Cut ¾” strips from cotton remnants. Many of my fabric pieces were oddly shaped, so I stitched the strips together in 30”-42” inch lengths.

    Tip: Avoid using heavyweight fabric.

  2. Dab a little fabric glue at the tip of the cord and a little dab on the end of the cotton strip.

  3. Holding the cord in your left hand, place the end of the fabric strip at an angle. With your right hand, hold the tip of the cord while wrapping the strip around the cord with your left hand. Continue to tightly wrap at an angle so that the fabric covers the edge and part of the previous wrapped cord. When you come to the end of the strip, place a little glue on the fabric and press into the cord. Take the next strip and continue to wrap.

    Tip: I discovered while wrapping the strip around the cord I tended to twist the cord with my right hand at the same time I was wrapping the strip with my left hand.  The already wrapped strip would get loose from the cord as a result.  To prevent this from happening I placed a clip about 6-8 inches from where I was wrapping the cloth strip.

  4. When you have enough cord wrapped, make a tight round coil about an inch in diameter.  Machine stitch a “star” across the coil to hold in place.

  5. You are ready to make the base or bottom of the basket. Place the coil under the presser foot so that the tail end is right of the sewing needle. Zigzag stitch in-between the rows holding down the coil in your left hand and pushing the loose cord up against the coil with your right. After sewing a couple of rows, stop at this point and place a tape or mark with a water soluble pencil to indicate the area where rows are started and finished.

  6. Sew until it measures about 11” in diameter.

  7. Stop about 2”-3” from the marked spot. Unwrap some of the fabric from the cord and very carefully taper off the cord with scissors. Rewrap the cord and glue the end of the strip to the cord. Zigzag in place and stop at the marked spot.

  8. Gather up about 2” and pinch together with a clip or stitch a couple of quick stitches with a needle. Do this 5 more times. This forms a scalloped edge. The bottom of the base should measure about 7” in diameter. Brush or spray fabric stiffener all over. Let dry for about 10 hours.

  9. Glue beads and novelty yarns at the top of each pinched corner



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