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21 DIY Picnic Basket Plans

Picnic baskets are a convenient way to pack all your supplies when you’re eating outdoors. And some of the fancier ones will include a foldable table, built-in dishes, and even forks and knives, so it’s an all-in-one package. They’re expensive though, so you may want to save some money by going DIY. Let’s learn how to make a picnic basket that’s affordable but cute.

How to Make a Picnic Basket

1. Paper Weaving Basket | How to Make a Paper Easter Basket | DIY Easter Basket

Let’s start with something simple that the kids can use for their backyard picnics. This isn’t a heavy-duty picnic basket – it can only hold a few sandwiches or waffle cups. Anything more weighty would likely split the basket, so keep your picnic sparse. To make the basket, weave strips of craft paper or card paper, glue the edges and decorate with paper flowers or bows.


2. Easter or Picnic Basket – Instructables

Easter or Picnic Basket – Instructables

For older kids and teens who may want to picnic a bit further out, a cardboard basket is a good way to go. Your picnickers can still make the basket themselves, but because cardboard is stiffer than card paper, the basket will be more sturdy and can handle a large load. And it’s fairly easy because you’re basically adding a lid and a handle to an existing cardboard box …

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3. Woven Rectangular Storage Basket Out of Newspaper

Paper is a good base when you’re figuring out how to make a picnic basket. We’ve looked at cardboard and card paper. Now let’s play with some recycled newspapers. This version is a storage box, so if you want to use it for picnics, you can craft handles and a lid using the same technique as the box. Pick newspaper pages with photos to add some color to your basket.


4. How to Make a Picnic Basket – Lovely Indeed

How to Make a Picnic Basket – Lovely Indeed

As we said before, high-end picnic baskets will sometimes come with their own cutlery and crockery, and these items are often strapped into place so they don’t fall while you’re walking or driving. So this DIY picnic basket starts with an existing basket that has a hinged lid. Add elastic bands to hold your picnic dishes, and place a decorative button to close the basket lid.

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5. Non-woven Basket Box – Recycled Crafts

The title of this video isn’t in English, but you can easily follow along. And while this shallow basket is used for storage and décor, you can use the same technique to make a deeper picnic basket. Instead of weaving the paper straws together, stack and glue them tightly to make square tiles. Don’t forget to add a lid and strong handles to keep your picnic basket portable.


6. How to Turn an Ordinary Basket Into a DIY Picnic Basket

How to Turn an Ordinary Basket Into a DIY Picnic Basket

The easiest tip on how to make a picnic basket is to take an ordinary basket and pimp it for your picnic. Start with a cheap thrift store basket and make a hinged plywood lid. You can decorate the lid with patterned paper or even make a stuffed sponge lid to give your picnic basket extra insulation. If the handle is flimsy, make a stronger one out of plywood scraps.

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7. Crafts: Recycled Newspaper Basket – Ecobrisa DIY

This video has Spanish audio, but it’s so easy to follow. And while a single layer of newspaper isn’t sturdy enough for a picnic basket, you can strengthen its holding power by folding and gluing multiple paper layers. This tutorial shows you how to make an organizer for your remote controllers, but it works just as well for picnic baskets if you add a lid and handles.


8. IKEA Hack: Contemporary DIY Picnic Basket

IKEA Hack Contemporary DIY Picnic Basket

IKEA Viktigt baskets weren’t designed for picnics, but with a few simple tweaks, they can get the job done. Like the previous repurposed basket, you’ll craft a plywood lid for the Viktight basket. Use a ribbon to make a carrying strap, then sew some fabric lining for the inside of the basket. Hold the fabric liner in place with thumbtacks. Add Velcro straps for your dishes.

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9. Weaving Round Basket with Recycled Newspaper

Can you make a round picnic basket out of recycled newspaper? Yes! Try the same technique we looked at earlier. Use pencils, skewers, or dowels to coil the newspaper into reed-like straws, though you can use paper straws instead of rolled-up newspaper reeds. Do a double weave for the basket floor and lid, and use a wider mold base if you want a bigger basket.


10. How to Create a Summer Picnic Basket

How to Create a Summer Picnic Basket

What if you want a picnic basket with a retro feel? We’ve got you! Grab any old wicker basket that has a hinged lid, then spice it up with a fabric inner lining and straps for holding your spoons, forks, glasses, and plates. You’ll need to sew these straps so it helps if you’re handy with a needle or sewing machine. Decorate the outside of the basket with tassels and buttons.

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11. Woven Basket from Newspaper – Veronica Flavour

If all this work of rolling up newspapers doesn’t appeal to you, you can make a different kind of DIY newspaper basket. It’s the same basic technique, but you’ll flatten the ‘straws’ as you go, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining their ropey shape. This takes your stress levels way down! Mold the basket around a wooden box that’s big enough for picnic things.


12. Make A Cute Shoebox Picnic Basket

Make A Cute Shoebox Picnic Basket

You may be content with a bite-sized DIY picnic basket, and if you are, you can make one using an upcycled shoe box. For a slightly larger basket, opt for a hat box instead. The crafting process is simple. The inside of the box usually has patterned paper so that’s fine, but you can line the outside with printed fabric. Add a strap so you can carry your basket.

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13. DIY Picnic Basket from Used Cardboard

DIY tutorials are good at breaking language barriers. So here’s another non-English video that shows you how to make a picnic basket using cardboard, lace, and braided sisal ropes. Use a hot glue gun to line the outside of the cardboard box with sisal rope. A plastic basket could work too. Line the inside with fabric. A cardboard corner makes the perfect hinged lid.


14. DIY Picnic Basket – At Home with Ashley

DIY Picnic Basket – At Home with Ashley

Getting your kids involved is a good way to keep them busy as they discover how to make a picnic basket. And they can customize it to fit their size and preferred pallet. This one is based on a Munchkin Colour Me Hungry dishware set. It has a bowl, cup, spoon, fork, and knife. Make a customized picnic basket to fit this tableware by adding a handle and buckle.

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15. Homemade Picnic Basket – Scrapwood Challenge ep24

So far, we’ve looked at how to make a picnic basket with various types of paper. We’ve also seen how to upcycle existing wicker storage. But now it’s time for the big guns. If you’re up to it, you can make a wooden picnic basket. And if you want to upgrade even more, build one that folds out into a table! This basket is made from soaked and woven strips of scrap wood.


16. DIY Crotchet or Knitted Picnic Basket

DIY Crotchet or Knitted Picnic Basket

If you’re good with your hands, you could always knit or crotchet a picnic basket. Pick a pattern that you like a scale it to your preferred basket size. Yarn baskets are cute, fun, and offer built-in insulation. But because the yarn isn’t rigid, you may need to stiffen the floor and sides of the basket with cardboard or card paper. Slip some in between your yarn layers.

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17. DIY Picnic Basket From Thrift Store Items

Here’s a really fun way to make a DIY picnic basket by raiding the thrift store, or even the dollar store. The base is – of all things – a retro suitcase and leather belts! This is a no-sew project that anyone can do. First, cut off any unwanted straps or pouches from the suitcase. Then, line the inside with fabric and use a hot glue gun or staples to make the interior straps.


18. Styled Eats: DIY Picnic Baskets And Free Printable

Styled Eats DIY Picnic Baskets And Free Printable

We’ve looked at tons of DIY picnic baskets woven from card paper or recycled newsprint. But you can make an even simpler version using brown packaging paper or butcher paper. Plus, the texture of this wrapping material makes it easier to shape into a box or basket. The method is the same – cut the paper into strips then neatly weave and glue the strips together.

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19. DIY: Picnic Basket with Cardboard – How to Make

We’ve seen picnic baskets woven from card paper and others upcycled from cardboard boxes. Now let’s combine these ideas and weave a homemade picnic basket using cardboard strips. The sides of the picnic basket are woven while the base is made of thick, solid bits of cardboard. For the handle, use the corrugated side of the cardboard for a decorative touch.


20. Storage Rack Picnic Basket

Storage Rack Picnic Basket

The trouble with paper picnic baskets is they may not be sturdy enough to hold your picnic items. So here’s an idea. Swing by the dollar store and grab a wire storage tray or a plastic dish rack. You want the type used to dry dishes or store letters. You can fashion a handle for the racks and use them as makeshift picnic baskets. Placing interior fabric lining is optional.

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21. Building a Picnic Carry Basket that Transforms into Picnic Table

Our final idea on how to make a picnic basket is also our most complex one. You need solid woodworking skills to make this one, but if you can, you’re sure to impress. The picnic basket doesn’t have a lid so you’d probably need to drape a fabric cover on your picnic items. But it does fold into a low-lying picnic table, so that’s a lovely bonus. And it’s pleasantly portable.


Have you tried any DIY picnic basket projects? Tell us how you made them in the comments!