DIY: Rolled Paper Gift Basket

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Sometimes the best gift is a collection of small things. I love to put together little sets at the store, and I’ve been looking for a awesome little gift basket that would be special enough to keep.

Since it’s the season of unrequested catalogs, I thought I would use this abundant (and colorful) resource as the primary material for my project. I was inspired by photos of a Mark Montano project to roll the pieces and form the basket out of little paper donuts.

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Supplies I used

• Glossy lightweight catalog pages
• A scrap 1/8 inch strip of chipboard (from a cereal box)
• A pen, and a dowel of two different diameters
• Glue – I used Elmer’s Glue-All for the majority of my gluing, but did have to use some E6000 to repair weak spots in my basket at the end.
• A bowl to use as a template shape for my gift basket

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To begin, I cut the catalog pages into 3 inch and 5 inch strips.

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I wrapped each piece of paper around my chipboard strip, starting at the corner.

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Once I had the strip almost completely rolled up, I applied glue to the last corner, and smoothed it down. Then I pulled the chipboard strip out, and flattened the rolled strip with my fingernail.

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I tried to roll each sheet so that as much solid color as possible showed on the final piece. (A fun puzzle.)

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Once I had a nice stack of rolled pieces, I began making my final donut shaped pieces. I started wrapping the strip around a pen, or dowel; applying a drop of glue near the beginning…

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and a drop at the end to secure the donut. I then smoothed down the tail end, held it closed for a few seconds, and gently slid it off of the pen.

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Using a couple of different widths of paper strip, and a couple of different sized dowels/pens meant that after several rounds of donut rolling I had a nice selection of building blocks for my final basket.


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I am going to admit something here. Since I usually jump into projects without sufficient direction, I have a lot of false starts. It took me way too long to figure out that I should work on the inside of a bowl. Live and learn, and let gravity help.

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This bowl turned out to be the perfect size for the small collection of items I wanted to basket.

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Starting from the bottom, I applied small drops of glue to the edges of my donuts, and began laying them in a single layer in the bowl.

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I started with the whiter donuts, working towards more saturated pieces as I went up.

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Does this make anyone else crave Froot Loops?

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I made sure to put enough glue to hold the pieces together once I removed it from the jig. Once all of my pieces were in place, I let the whole thing dry overnight. Once it was dry, I held the bowl upside-down, gently twisted the inside form to loosen it, and let it fall into my other hand.

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The glue did a relatively good job of holding things together, but there were definitely a couple of weak spots that I had to repair with the heavier duty E6000.

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I love the way the basket looks…but….

It is extremely time consuming, with every little piece requiring multiple steps to form. The end product is worth it, but I was inspired to make a much quicker basket out of the same materials. (I’ll share that with you soon.)

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Things to try

• Making Christmas ornaments out of the donuts.
• Try newspaper, tissue paper, and other materials.
• Try painting or dyeing the final basket.

What would you try?

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