DIY Tobacco Basket at a Fraction of the Cost

It seems that all of a sudden tobacco baskets are The Thing to have if you love farmhouse/country decor. And when I saw one on the cover of a recent Country Living edition, I jumped on the bandwagon and started looking for one at local antique markets and auctions. But apparently they aren't to be found in this part of country, despite the fact that I living in an area known for it's tobacco farms. And if I was to find one, it would be expensive!!
I was recently lamenting to a (very talented) friend that I couldn't find one and he thought he could replicate it out of wood veneer. The other day, he showed up with my gorgeous tobacco basket!
Using 1/16" wood, he soaked it overnight and then clamped it to a frame he also made.
It took a lot of clamps and a couple days of drying before the outside frame was complete.
Then he cut veneer in 1" and 1/2" strips and wove and glued them together to form the classic tobacco basket pattern.
He even used copper nails to finish the edges! He said that was authentic and I believe him never having actually seen a vintage tobacco basket.
The veer is stained a gorgeous walnut - perfect for my neutral living room.
It looks amazing on the mantel with some other rustic touches like an old tomato jar filled with cotton branches and some birch accessories. I would never have been able to figure out how to make this myself. It's good to have talented friends!

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Heather (New House New Home)

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Sindalaa
    on Feb 8, 2016

    Where did you get the cotton branches?

  • Terri
    on Feb 9, 2016

    How did he attach the webbing to the frame? Were there two pieces to form the frame so the webbing would go in between ?

    • Terri
      on Feb 9, 2016

      I too, made one after seeing it on Country Livings cover. But yours turned out better. I also sliced my finger open with an X acto knife and had to get stitches. Ugh

  • Carmen Lisek
    Carmen Lisek
    on Apr 11, 2018

    Will your friend sell frames for others to make tobacco baskets?

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