Gather the family together for a Thanksgiving dinner. Dress your table in its finest and decorate it with a hand woven cornucopia. This harvest basket can be made from round reed or gathered vines. The cone shaped basket shown here filled with red potatoes is a relatively easy shape to make using twining for the body. The rim can be done in several variations of border patterns. The example in the photo is braided.
Primary Spokes - 4 pieces of #4 Smoked Round Reed 50-60" long Secondary Spokes - 8 pieces of #4 Smoked Round Reed 32" longWeavers - #3 Smoked Round Reed (# depends on finished size of basket)
Procedure - Step #1 Set Up Spokes
Cut your spokes to length. If you intend to use a complex border be sure to allow extra length in your spokes. Soak all your spokes and several weavers until flexible. In groups of two spokes each, make a cross with four of the spokes with the mid point of the spoke at the center.
Pinch using your needle nosed pliers near the center of the first weaver. This will allow the reed to bend without breaking. Wrap the fold around two of the spokes to prepare to twine the basket body.
Procedure - Start The Twining
Begin twining using both of the ends of your round reed weaver. Twine over two spokes at a time.
Be certain to cross your weavers the same way each time.
Pack each row tightly using your awl.
Procedure - Start the Point
Begin almost immediately to shape the point of the cornucopia by pulling the twining tightly and shaping the spokes into a point. Twine tightly so that a crisp point is formed for the end of your horn of plenty.
Keep the spokes in groups of two woven as one until you complete about twelve rows.
Each time you come to the end of a weaver, splice in a new one to continue weaving
Weave The Basket Body
Procedure - Shape The Point
Once there is enough space between spokes to do so, separate the paired spokes and twine over each one separately. Procedure - Shape The Point
The basket will begin to flare out. As additional rows of twining are completed, the space between each spoke will increase. You can widen the shape of the cone by urging the spokes outward as you weave. You should think about whether you want your cornucopia to be long and narrow or flare out more rapidly giving it a more pudgy appearance. Procedure - Add Secondary Spokes
When the spokes become spaced again add one secondary spoke to one side of each original spoke. Use a scissors to make a slanted cut at one end of the spoke and slide it down into the weaving right along side of the original spoke. Procedure - Weave The Body
Twine around each of the spokes individually. Be careful to keep the spokes well spaced. Continue twining the body of the cornucopia until the shape is as long and as full as you would like it to be.
Add Rim And Finishing Details
Procedure - Rim A variety of rim treatments are possible for this type of basket. I chose a braided rim, but many other treatments would work as well.
Soak the spoke ends until flexible.
Pinch each spoke with your needle nosed pliers close to the weaving when the spoke is turned down.
Use a hairpin shaped marker to maintain the space necessary for inserting the finishing steps of the rim.
Procedure - Braided Rim
The rim is done in a traditional braid technique. Clip off each spoke end after completing the rim braid.
Take time to trim off or singe any stray fibers from the reed.
Procedure - Feet
Make two twisted loops for feet. Start by making a small ring with the reed and loop the end through the ring numerous times. Attach the rings to the base of the cornucopia by stitching them to the weaving with a short piece of flexible reed.
The feet allow the cornucopia to stand on a table surface without rolling.
Fit a piece of floral foam into the opening of the basket. Fill your cornucopia with Fall vegetables or flowers. Set your Thanksgiving table with this cornucopia as the centerpiece of your family holiday celebration. Additional ResourcesAdditional rim treatments can be found in the following books.