If you are looking for an easy and fast red, white and blue craft for Independence Day that you could whip up for holiday entertaining or even get your children to help you make, then you should try making this patriotic mesh basket. In no time at all, you will have a fantastically festive basket you can use to serve snacks, hold napkins and flatware at a July 4 picnic buffet, or fill with treats for your guests to take home.
Start with an inexpensive vinyl-covered mesh basket in blue or red–you can find these in many shapes and sizes in dollar or discount stores. Make certain that the mesh weave is large enough to guide the wired star garland through.
Then you will need a roll of wired star garland that is nine feet long or longer (depending on the size of your basket or how tightly you weave the garland through the mesh). I used about 12 feet of a 25-foot roll on my basket because I wrapped the garland somewhat loosely and went around the rim twice for a fuller look. A 25-foot roll of garland is available from most craft vendors for less than $3.
This kind of star garland is available in red, white and blue, red, silver and blue or sold colors. Choose the best colors for the color of the basket you found. Lengths of it can be cut with a pair of scissors. You will probably want to cut lengths of about 15 inches for your weaving. When you finish weaving each length through the rim mesh, you can bend the wire over the rim and start weaving the next piece overlapping the first.
When you are weaving the lengths of wired garland through every or every other hole in your basket’s mesh, be gentle so the mylar stars would come off the wire. Some will come off, but the more careful you are, the fewer you will lose. I did not pull my garland tight as I wove so there would be a fluffier look to the stars. I then went around the rim of my basket two times to give a fullness to the look of the decoration.
You will also need a package of Wilton Patriotic Foil Fun Pix–there are twelve 3.2-inch picks in a package that costs less than $3. These are available in crafts stores and from online vendors. They are intended to be cupcake toppers, but they are also ideal for this project. I bought several packages of these last year on an after-season clearance–I must have sensed that I would find the perfect use for them on this project!
I was so pleased with the look of my basket after I did the double wrapping of the basket rim with the star garland that I was tempted to stop there. But as soon I stuck the first fun pick into the rim, I knew they were the perfect final touch! In fact, I got so excited about putting them in, I forgot to take a photo of the basket with just the star garland.
You can use a pair of scissors to shorten the wooden pick so it can be glued into the rim of the basket. I used a glue gun to attach my decorative picks, but if children are helping you, you might want to use a craft glue. You can also push the pick into the wired garland and let the wire hold it in place.
I positioned a pick at four opposite points, and then I added four more picks between the first four. Since there would be only four picks left over from the package if you use eight, you might want to go on and use all 12 in your basket. It all depends on the size of your basket and your preference.
Your basket now looks like a patriotic fireworks show–the fun picks are like little burst of fireworks popping up from the rim of stars. It just makes you want to celebrate!
Now, a beautiful basket still needs to be useful, so I decided to fill mine with the most American treat I could think of–popcorn! But patriotic M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls, or mini candy bars in red, white and blue wrappers would be equally delicious treats in your basket. Whatever you put in your basket for your Independence Day gathering, I hope you and your guests will have a true all-American time together! Enjoy!