after falling in love with a baby changing basket that's no longer available, i decided to just make my own version! using a clothesline and this method, i whipped this guy together in an afternoon. though i'm sure bear will grow out of it eventually, i'm so happy to use it in these early months. it's soft and cozy and fits him perfectly!
- clothesline (i used 200 feet for this basket)
- sewing machine
- colored polyester thread
- 2" foam for 'mattress' (available at craft stores)
- soft wool for cover (i used one of my husband's old sweaters!)
- organic sherpa for linings (optional)
begin by sewing two sides of clothesline rope together with a zig zag stitch into a long oval shape. this defines the entire shape of your basket (i.e. if you were making a round bowl, you'd start this in an exact circle).
continue sewing around and around (and around and around) adding one layer of rope as you go.
the most important part of this step is to try to keep the bottom of your basket laying flat as you sew it together. this gets harder and harder the larger it gets, but is an essential step in order to keep you basket laying flat.
once you've made the entire flat bottom and you're ready to turn up the edges to make the sides, take the entire piece of flat bottom you've created and tilt it upwards as you sew. (head on over to this post to see a good picture of this, i'm sorry i couldn't manage to take one the project was so huge!). continue to sew until you've run out of rope, then back stitch thoroughly to secure the end.
next, simply lay a piece of tissue paper inside the basket and make yourself a 'pattern' for the mattress pad. trace it onto the foam and cut around it. here, i've used one of my husband's old wool sweaters to make a cover for it, but you could also use any fabric or wool to make the cover using the same pattern you used to cut out the foam pad. if you like, leave an envelope closure on the back for easy washing.
though this is completely optional, i also made a few mattress liners out of organic sherpa fleece. using the same pattern you made for the mattress, cut out two ovals and serge around the edges.
and voila! the perfect little nest for your wee one. of course, you can also use this same method for non-baby related items, like large baskets, small bowls, coasters, trivets and more!