Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One Yard Adventure: Plein Air Painting Basket Tutorial

Every now and then, I like to take a small portable set of my painting supplies and go outside to paint. I decided to treat myself to a plein air painting outing but need something to hold my painting supplies. Since I still have scraps of the same yardage used in my bathroom, I’m using it for this fun project.

There are 3 parts to this project; I’m taking it one at a time:

  • Carrying Strap
  • Strap Connectors
  • Basket Liner

Plein Air Painting Basket


  • Small basket with lid
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Needle and coordinating thread
  • 53” length of 1”-wide cotton belting or webbing
  • 2 D-rings

Carrying Strap

Step 1: Cut a fabric strip 53¼” by 2½”

Step 2: Turn each short edge under ¼” towards the wrong side of the fabric; press. Then fold each strip in half (wrong sides together) so the long edges meet and press lightly. Open and fold one long edge in ½” and press. Repeat for the other long edge.

Step 3: Open the fabric strap piece and insert the cotton belting or webbing so one edge abuts to one of the folded edges of your fabric but fits under the folded ½” folded piece and the other edge meets near your center crease. Fold up the other side of your fabric strip until the edges meet, pin securely. Sew close to the edge on all four sides.

Step 4: Fold one of the short ends around one of the D-rings, enough that you can sew a box with an "X" in it to secure it. Repeat this step for the other end of your strap and the second D-ring. Set aside for now.

Strap Connectors

Step 1: Cut two pieces of fabric 5” by ¾”.

Step 2: Turn the short edges of one piece under ¼” towards the wrong side of the fabric; press. Then fold each strip in half (wrong sides together) so the long edges meet and press lightly. Open and fold each long edge in ¼” towards the center and press. Pin and sew close to the edge on all four sides. Repeat this for the other strap connector piece.

Step 3: On one side of your basket, weave both ends of your prepared strap connector through the basket from the inside. On the outside of the basket, pin the strap connector ends together to hold it temporarily. Repeat for the other end of your basket.

Step 4: Remove one of the strap connector pins and slip it through one of the D-rings on your completed carrying strap. Pin and hand stitch securely. Repeat for the other end of you basket and strap D-ring, being careful not to get your strap twisted. Turn the two strap connectors so the stitched part is on the inside of your basket. It will be covered with the lining in the next stage of this project. Your strap connectors should now look like that in the following picture.

Basket Liner

Step 1: Measure the inside of your basket, including the front and back panels, both end panels, and the bottom. Add ½” to all measurements. Cut out your fabric accordingly; you should now have a total of 5 fabric panels: 2 for the front and back, 2 side end pieces, and 1 bottom piece.

Step 2: Sew together in this order. Take the back panel piece and place right-side facing up on your worktable. Place one of the end panels right-side facing down on top of the back panel, lining up the right-hand edges, pin, and sew a ¼“ seam. Press seam open.

Step 3: Open the panel piece you just stitched so the right-side of the fabric is facing up and the end panel is now on your right. Now add one end of the front panel piece right-side facing down on top of the right-side of the unstitched side of the section you made in Step 6. Line up the right-hand edges, pin, and sew a ¼“ seam. Press seam open. Repeat this to add the other two side panel sections. You now have a topless and bottomless fabric box.

Step 4: Turn under the top edge ¼” toward the wrong side of your fabric and press. Now turn this under another ¼” and press. Pin and sew close to the edge around your lining top to make a finished top seam.

Step 5: Pin your bottom lining section to the finished sides and stitch a ¼” seam. If you carefully cut a bit of your corners on an angle (without cutting into where you’ll stitch), corners can be easily turned for continuing your sewing.

Step 6: Make sure your finished basket liner is wrong side out and insert it into the basket. Line up the seams with the basket corners. Hand-stitch the liner to the basket by weaving in and out of the basket, catching your fabric as you sew.

Believe it or not, there are still bits of fabric left from my original one yardage. Another project will be posted tomorrow.


Kristie said...

You rock, June. That is so cool!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow June. I'm running out of one-yard-project superlatives. This is TOOO cute!

rohanknitter said...

Now that is adorable! I can't believe there is still more fabric left!

Kristi said...

Love it! Once again.

Just ordered some fabric to make a shower cap and got my vinyl at Joann.

Carol said...

so clever June!

Pat said...

Hi June

That basket is lovely and such a nice container for art supplies.

It's hard to belive you still ahev fabric left!

Hugs, Pat

Storybook Woods said...

Your on a roll girl xoxox Clarice

Mrs. Staggs said...

This has to be one of my favorite projects ever June! It's a wonderful idea. Practical and charming. Now I'm going to be on the lookout for an interesting covered basket. Thank you for sharing your creativity and your kind spirit with all of us.