IT'S ALL ABOUT THAT BASE: how to weave up your next one.

Jill Choate  | Jill Choate Basketry | Handmade Baskets

How to get that slotted base woven up for your next basket.

What you need:

  1. A slotted wooden base
  2. 1/4 oval/oval stakes (32 in this case)
  3. Water - in a bucket and a spray bottle (warm is always best)
  4. Flat Nosed plyers AND round nosed plyers
  5. #2 RR (weaver)
  6. Knife or exacto

Jill Choate  | Jill Choate Basketry | handmade Baskets

This particular base is used for the Indian Blanket  but the same technique is used for the Double Dog, and African Tower baskets.  

Starting out:

  • When using 1/4" oval/oval stakes cut them to the size you want (in this case about 32") and the run them through some warm water to get them to relax some.  This being said DON'T get the ends that are going into the slot wet.  
  • Take each stake and using the round nosed plyers flatten them out.  You'll find each one has it's own thickness some are easier than others to flatten out.  That's where your knife comes in.  If it's a little to thick to insert into the slot after flattening, thin it a bit with your knife.
  • Insert each stake around the wooden base evenly spaced as far in as possible.

Jill Choate  | Jill Choate Basketry | Handmade Baskets

Expand on a good thing:

  • If you want your stakes to hold well while your weaving them take the time to spray them with some WARM water from your spray bottle.  This makes them expand and hold tight through the weaving process. 
  • Take a long #2RR weaver that has been soaked in warm water and find the center mark. Make a loop at approximate half way mark and loop over one of the stakes, that is now #1.  
  • Single twine around the base for about 5 rows or until you reach the desired size for the bottom of the basket (in this case about 5").

Heading up:

  • Using your round nosed plyers apply pressure on each of the stakes right next to the weave.  This puts a crease in your stake making it easier to upset.
  • Change to triple twine and continue weaving up the sides of the basket.


You got it!  Your base is now woven up and ready for you to experiment with color and design. 




Jill Choate
Jill Choate


3 Responses


May 24, 2017

This looks great. Is there somewhere I can get slotted bases and oval reeds?


May 24, 2017

Very good instructions. Works well. Thanks

Susan Waite
Susan Waite

May 23, 2017

Thanks for posting this. I was trying to make it WAY harder than it needed to be!

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