Traditionally, baskets are woven from a variety of hardwoods including ash, oak and hickory. Recently, according to Basket Weaving.com, artisans have started using more tropical materials including reeds and cane. Paper, however, can be used when you are creating your own baskets. The paper baskets will not be able to bear much weight, but will look nice and can be used to hold smaller items.
Cut open a brown, paper shopping bag and lay it flat.
Soak the paper in a bowl of water for five seconds. Wad it into a ball and squeeze out the excess water. Lay it flat to dry.
Iron the paper with a steam iron on low. The iron will flatten the paper and leave it textured with wrinkles.
Cut the brown paper into two rectangular pieces, one 6 by 14 inches and one 2-1/4 by 14 inches. Use your measuring tape to make sure you have the correct sizes. Set aside the excess paper.
Paint the rectangles different colors, if you desire, with a sponge or rag and paint. You can choose to completely cover the paper or lightly dab it on the tops of the wrinkles. Allow the paint to dry completely.
Cut the 6-by-14-inch piece of paper into eight strips, 3/4 by 14 inches each. Cut the other sheet of paper into six strips, 3/8 by 14 inches each.
Place four of the 3/4-by-14-inch strips next to each other on a flat surface. Tape the ends of the strips to the surface to hold them in place.
Weave the remaining four strips of the same size through the taped four strips, using an over/under alternating pattern. Start with the taped strip on the left and place one strip over, then under the next taped strip, over the third taped strip and under the fourth. Move the strip through until the woven part is centered within the taped strips. Continue weaving the other three strips, starting the second strip under, the third strip over and the fourth under.
Cut a 3-inch circle out of the center of a paper plate, using scissors. Glue the plate to the center of the woven strips. This will serve as the base for your basket. Allow the glue to dry completely.
Bend the strips that you used to form the base up around the plate base. Grasp one of the 3/8-by-14-inch strips and begin to weave it in and out of the pushed-up strips, alternating placement in front and behind. Once the strip has come completely around the circle, push it down to the base. Tuck the end of the strip inside and secure it with glue to one of the upright strips. Continue the process, weaving the remaining 3/8-by-14 strips through the upright strips. Allow the glue to dry completely.
Cut off the excess vertical strips, leaving 1/2 inch excess. Bend the remaining vertical strip down, into the basket and glue it over the horizontal strips. Allow the glue to dry completely.
Cut the excess paper to create a handle, if you desire. The handle can be as wide and as long as you choose. Attach the handle to the inside of the basket with glue.