Erickson: Make a twig basket for spring plants

A twig basket can be used to hold an indoor plant or fresh fruit.

It’s spring! Here’s a fun family craft that gets you outside, with your eye on nature’s beauty for collecting and crafting a simple twig basket.

Head out into a park — or your own block or backyard — with your kids on a windy day or after a rainstorm and collect the sticks and twigs you find here and there on the ground. You might think of this activity as nature’s game of “pick-up sticks.”

When you get home with your preschoolers and school-age kids, sort through the collection, and turn the straightest sticks that are a quarter-inch or so wide into a lovely, earthy basket that will hold an indoor plant or succulent in a 4-inch pot. The attractive natural container also might be handy to hold fresh fruit on your kitchen counter or table.

Here’s the stuff you need for a twig basket:

  • 33 sticks, 7 inches long, about 1/4 inch thick, to cut sticks into equal lengths, score with scissors, then snap off excess; trim any pointy ends with pruning shears
  • 1 18-inch-long thin, pliable stick for the handle
  • Twine
  • Nontoxic wood glue or a low-temp glue gun

Here’s the fun:

  • Construct the base. Arrange four sticks into a square on a newspaper-covered table or counter, with a 1-inch overlap at each corner. Dab nontoxic wood glue or glue from a glue gun at each corner. Tie each corner with a 4-foot piece of twine. Knot it in the middle and let the long ends dangle. To make the bottom of the basket, glue three twigs in a row 1 inch apart to the square base. Secure each twig to the base with a 1-foot twine piece. Trim excess.
  • Make the sides. Dab glue on the twine at each corner. Lay four sticks in a square, log-cabin style, then tie corners as before. Continue layering and tying until you’ve used all of the 7-inch sticks.
  • Make the handle. Bend the 18-inch stick to make a handle. Secure at opposite corners with glue and twine. Tie excess twine into a small bow. Set your favorite growing plant inside.

To find more of Donna Erickson’s creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com. © 2019 Donna Erickson distributed by King Features Synd.

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