How to Make an Ombré Basket

4 Materials
3 Hours

If you’re like me, and a lot of other people, you can never have too many baskets.

Especially beautiful? Those ombré baskets. These are exceptionally well-suited to boho decor but really, they can work with any style.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to make an ombré basket with raffia, tea, and an oatmeal container!

Materials and Tools

  • Raffia ribbon
  • Black tea
  • Empty 42 oz. oatmeal container (or any straight-sided container)
  • Glue gun ( this is my favorite budget model)

1. Braid your raffia

Separate your raffia into bundles of 3 strands each, cut to about 30″ long. Tie or tape off the top end of a set of 3 bundles, then braid each set using a standard braiding action (right side over center, left side over center, repeat) until you reach the end. Tie or tape off the tail end.

Repeat this process until you have 20 braided grass ropes. You can always make more if needed, but this is a good start.

Secret Source for Cheap Raffia

If you use a lot of raffia for crafting, I have the best tip! In the summer, stock up on raffia luau skirts from the Dollar Tree. You get a TON of tangle-free natural raffia grass for only $1!

I used a hula skirt to make this seagrass charger that looks just like the ones at Pottery Barn!

2. Tea stain 8 braids of raffia

Brew a strong cup of tea using 8 oz of boiling water and 4 tea bags. Steep tea until cool then remove the tea bags and submerge 4 of the 8 braids in the tea.

Let steep for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, add the remaining 4 braids to the tea and allow all 8 of the raffia braids to steep for another hour.

This means your first 4 braids had 2 hours of steep time, and the second 4 had 1 hour, resulting in two yummy shades of caramel.

Remove the braids from the tea and let dry.

3. Cut an oatmeal container to size

If you’re using a different or non-cardboard container you can skip this step. If you do use the oatmeal canister, you’ll cut the top off to make the basket the size you want.

Take one of the darkest braids and create a loop, with one end starting at the bottom of the oatmeal canister and the other end at the bottom, but 2.5″ to the left. This will create your handle.

Measure from the top of the loop down 2″ and make a pencil mark on the canister. This will be where you cut your container. Draw a pencil mark every couple of inches around the can at this same level, then connect the marks to create a guide to cut along.

Using a serrated knife, cut off the top of the canister using the guide you just drew.

4. Attach your basket handles

Remember how we used the handle loop to measure where to cut the can? Now we’re actually going to attach the handles.

Using hot glue, attach one end of a dark braid to the bottom edge of the container. Attach the other end to the bottom edge 2.5″ to the left.

Taking care to line your second handle up exactly opposite from the first, attach your second handle on the other side of the can.

5. Wrap the canister in the rest of the braids

Separate your medium and dark braids from the braids you didn’t dye. Using one of the dark braids, glue one end to the bottom edge of the container, taking care to line it all the way down to the edge so that no cardboard shows through.

Glue the entire braid around the canister and on top of the handle.

Taking another dark braid, glue another row but this time, run the braid behind the handle.

Continue gluing your braids behind the handle using up first the dark braids, then the medium, and finishing with the light. This color order will create that gorgeous ombré shading.

Clip the braid end where it meets the beginning. If you align these close together you will barely see the seam.

Start and stop all of your rows along this seam. It will be the back of the basket so nobody will even see any minor imperfections.

For a finished look, glue one row of braid on the inside edge of the can. This will create a more authentic rim and prevent that cardboard edge from peeking through.

6. Finish the basket handles

Finally, attach the handle to the sides of the basket with hot glue. Be sure to run a bead of glue up the entire length of the handle to ensure a secure fit with no gapping.

Your ombré basket is complete!

Be honest — you would never guess this cost less than a dollar to make. You could even experiment with adding a fabric lining to completely cover the cardboard! The finished product is surprisingly weighty which makes it feel far more high-end than its humble beginnings.

Want more? Here’s the full collection of Bloom in the Black DIYs. If you’re interested in seeing a future project, shoot me an email and I’ll add it to the list!

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Brianna at Bloom in the Black
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4 of 14 comments
  • Mona Blake Mona Blake on Jul 18, 2022

    Super cute!

  • Toni Toni on Jan 11, 2023

    Love this idea! Thank you for sharing. I know you shared links on what to use but can you tell me what type of raffia you used. Thank you. Toni

    • Toni, you wouldn't even believe what I used for the raffia: a hula skirt from the dollar store!! It's honestly the best raffia to craft with because it stays in untangled, manageable-length strands. I stock up whenever I see them!