Baskets Of Joy - Basketry and Seat Weaving Supplies Since 1982 Small Candle BasketSummer Fun Basket
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I . . .
. . . Get started in Basketmaking?
Welcome to the world of Basketmaking! We?ve put together some basic tools and information to get you started in basketmaking in our Basketmaker?s Starter Kit. The kit includes a beginner?s basketmaking book, basketry shears, awl, clips, reed gauge, and lots of helpful information. Then, pick out the beginner kit of your choice from our variety of Original Basket Kits, and get ready to weave! Remember, you join folks from across the nation and around the world in discovering the craft and the art of basketmaking. Here at Baskets Of Joy we are basketmakers, teachers and designers, and we want you to know that we are available by phone and email ? even in person! ? to assist you with all your basketmaking projects. We are sure you will love basketmaking as much as we do, and encourage you to find fellow basketmakers in your area with whom you can learn, weave and, best of all, make new friends. We wish you the best of luck, and look forward to hearing from you!
. . . Search for an item or pattern?
Use the search box at the top of the page, typing in key words or an author's name. Then click on GO.
. . . Know what materials I need to order to weave a pattern I wish to purchase at the same time?
Every pattern features a button under the description which will take you to More Info and Supply List. Just click that button and you'll see the supplies you need on the new page--you can even order them right there!

. . . Dye reed and stain my baskets?
A. How to dye reed using Rit Powder Dyes, available from Baskets Of Joy:
  1. Fill a dishpan with hot water as instructed on the dye package (Rit instructions are always printed on the inside of the box).
  2. Add cup clear vinegar and 3 TBS salt. Stir until salt and dye are completely dissolved.
  3. Place reed in dye bath, loosely coiled. Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes or until desired color is achieved. Remember, reed will dry a shade lighter than it appears when wet.
  4. Remove reed from dye bath. If you have the time, let the reed dry completely. Then, rinse with cool water until water runs clear. Let reed dry again before using. This is the best method to prevent the dye color from bleeding while you weave. If you cannot let the reed dry before rinsing, skip to rinsing step.
HINT: When weaving with dyed reed, be sure to use a separate bucket of water than you are using to soak your natural weavers. We only get the reed JUST wet enough to use?be sure not to leave it soaking in the water too long. Just before using the dyed reed, run the piece through a dry paper towel to remove excess water and dye.
Be sure to ask us to include your free Rit Dye Chart when you order Rit dyes!
B. How to make your own Walnut Stain using crushed walnut hulls from Baskets Of Joy:
  1. Place a coffee filter in the filter basket of your drip coffeemaker. Add ground walnut hulls. Use a bit less of the hulls than you would coffee grounds for a pot of coffee (the hulls expand somewhat). You can prevent your filter basket from overflowing by using less hulls and a fewer number of pots of water.
  2. Brew a total of 4-5 pots of stain through the same filter of grounds. Exactly how many you brew will affect the shade of your stain. More water = light stain, less water = dark stain.
  3. Continue process until stain is desired amount and shade (when testing with a piece of scrap reed, remember that it will dry lighter than it appears on the wet reed). Repeat this process (steps 1 & 2) until your container is filled to the desired depth.
  4. Store stain in a covered container, such as a rubbermaid-type tub. Stain may be run through cheesecloth periodically to remove sediment.
  5. To stain your basket, either brush stain on with a foam brush OR dip entire basket into tub of stain. Hang basket to dry (with newspapers or a dropcloth underneath if indoors).
  6. Store stain for as long as you like. If it develops mildew or an odor, you can strain the stain through cheesecloth and clean the tub with soap and water; rinse thoroughly before replacing stain. No odor will be present on dried, stained baskets.
  7. Stain may condense a bit with time (as water evaporates) and become darker. Just add some hot tap water to it until desired shade is reached.
Your natural walnut hull stain is safer than commercial stains, practically odorless in the container and completely odorless when dry, and will last months at a time. It is not necessary to heat the stain to use it once you have brewed the appropriate amount. If you have any questions about using your stain, please email us at and one of our experienced basketmakers will respond promptly. Walnut stain is not a food product.


Baskets of Joy
81 Old Bath Road Brunswick, Maine 04011
Phone: (207) 725-5899 | Toll Free: (800)377-6097

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