Thursday, October 20, 2011

Making handles

As I mentioned in my last post, here is a tutorial to make a simple push in handle using round reed.
(I made the mini loaf 2007 in Halloween colors)
Things you'll need:

Round reed (size will depend on the size of the basket you are making but I say you'll need at lease #6 or bigger. I used no 8 round reed for these handles.

Sharp knife
twine or large Zipties
band aid (just in case)
pan or bucket of water
tape measure

first you'll need to make your basket and stop before putting the rims on.
measure the basket to size your handle.

Here I decided to make them 8-1/2  inches long, 4-1/2 inches long from notch to notch.  You'll need to guesstimate how long you want to make them, and cut it to length.   First soak the round reed for several minutes then find the half way point of the reed, bend it half way point to figure out how tall you want the handles to be.

mark them with a pencil on both side (they should be even) then depending on size of your rim, mark on the other side of the round reed towards the ends and cut less them half way through the reed.  If you go more they will be too weak so make sure you only go about 1/3 of the way.  try to see if your rim reed will fin in the slot you made.  Make sure to cut the same on the other side making sure the round reed do not roll or twist.

Shave the ends bellow the notches you made like the picture, on the both side.   (shave more off the other side of the notch like the picture) Soak it in a bucket of water for several minutes again then tie it with a twine or use a large ziptie and shape the handle.  You would want to make it smaller then you want them to be because once its dried and you undo the twine it will naturally expand a bit.  I would wait until its completely dried before attaching to your basket because when its wet it will expand.  I have never tried it but I'm sure you can blow dry it to shorten the waiting time (I would use cool air).

Attach your  dried handle like you would normally attach a closed notched handle rim and lash.  (I do love my lash buddy)

*****I think I made the handle too tall for this basket, If you make a handle for this basket (mini loaf basket 2007 pattern link on my last posting) I would cut it at 8" long and mark them 4" notch to notch, so find the half point mark 2" on each side of the center line and mark 3/8" on the other side.

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