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GreenEville Basket Guild
Weaving Tips and Tricks

When shopping at a local grocery store (not supercenter) request that your groceries be bagged in paper bags. I use these bags when staining my baskets. I put the freshly stained baskets on the folded bags to dry. The bags can be reused if the next baskets stained are the same color as the 1st basket stained. I would not place a basket with a clear stain on a bag where a maple stained basket had been so no pigment would transfer to the 2nd basket. This is a great way to recycle too! Submitted by Sharon Seneker, 1-30-08.

Inexpensive Stain Recipes
Collected over the years by Charmie Bible
and submitted by Linda Lantz, 2-14-08

Black Walnut Stain
Gather black walnuts, approximately 24, place in a panty hose leg, tie off the opened end and cut off any extra material.  Place in a bucket, add 2 quarts of clear ammonia, or more if nuts are not totally covered.  I leave mine sit for at least 2 months before I use it.  Crushed dried black walnut hulls can also be purchased by the pound.

Acorn Stain
Gather acorns, approximately 1 quart, place in panty hose leg, tie off the opened end and cut off any extra material.  Place in a bucket, add 2 quarts or more of clear ammonia, the nuts should be covered, let stand for a month before using.

Tobacco/ Coffee Stain
Buy 2 pouches of the cheapest chewing tobacco you can find.  Put into the leg of a panty hose and tie off the end and cut off the excess material.  Place in a bucket.  Add in 6 tablespoons of instant coffee and 2 quarts of ammonia.  Let stand for at least 2 weeks before using.

HINTS:  The longer these stains sit the darker they will become.  You can lighten them by adding more ammonia to them.  Sometimes it will get little things in it, you can just strain them out.

If you like a sheen on your baskets, after you stain them, let it dry completely and then spray with Scott's Liquid Gold, makes a very pretty basket.  Additionally, you can ask at any of your local grocery stores/ with a bakery, if they will sell you a frosting bucket.  They work great for making homemade stains.

Submitted by Darlene “Honey” McCleish
August 26, 2008

Put drop or two of lavender essential oil in your weaving water.  It will help you relax while weaving.  I do not think it scents the basket.  I smell is too light or faint to lastvery long.

I keep a basket hanger, made of metal, hanging on my porch to dry baskets.  I leave them out there, but not in direct sunlight, for up to a week, if I have the time to wait.

Try not to soak reed very long.  Most will gain enough moisture with just a quick dip of about 10 seconds in water.  This helps to keep the reed from becoming too “hairy.”   Round reed is the exception.  It can be left in the water a much longer amount of time.

Mold on a basket can be removed by placing the basket in the freezer for 48 hrs.  Use a toothbrush to then rub it off.
Submitted by Brenda Hensley, 2-11-09.

Basket Tips by “Honey”:  Submitted June 2009

Now that I am retired I seem to have a harder time finding clear time to weave so here are my tips:

1.    Turn off the phone!!

 2.    Limit breaks as if you were in class and had to get back at it!!

 3.    Set a day of the week for weaving.

 4.    Promise to show someone the finished basket at a certain time/ day.

 5.    No cooking on that day.  Order out or premake meals!!  Or send the family out!!

Here's a basket tip for you.........from Brenda!!
How to tell if your reed is long enough to lash all around your basket:  If it will wrap 2 and 1/2 times around the rim then it's long enough.  Sometimes more is needed for twills or Nantuckets.  Submitted 2-2010

Send your ideas to Phyllis Williams: