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How to Reshape Your Baskets!

A handful of the baskets carried by Life Inspirit, require reshaping once they have arrived!

Those baskets typically include the Bolga Baskets, from Ghana and the Mlima Baskets from Kenya. The reason for this, is to cut down the cost of shipping from the weavers here to the US, and then to you the consumer. Luckily these talented weavers live where the grass used for the baskets is prevalent and easy to manipulate once your basket has reached its final destination! Your home! 

Below are some steps and suggestions for getting their baskets to their desired shapes! The baskets used in the images below are the Mlima Baskets from Kenya, you can shop those here

Here we go!

To cut down the cost of shipping, your baskets may arrive "flattened" like pictured below. 

Do not worry! Woven grass baskets such as these can be reshaped! All you need to do is lightly mist with water and reshape by hand! 

But first....

To reshape my basket I am going to take it into my bathtub area ( or a sink will work) along with a spray bottle filled with some lukewarm water. Prior to using any water, I am going to reshape by hand and start working the woven basket into the desired shape. 

I then....

Lightly mist the creased sides and start to manipulate it into the desired shape. This may take a couple times to finally get it to the desired shape. But be sure to let it dry between mistings to ensure the colors do not bleed! 

As a word of caution: DO NOT OVER DAMPEN! Over dampening may result in the colors bleeding! 

In addition...

To misting the creased sides, I am going to "fill" the basket to help encourage the desired shape. For the purpose of this step-by-step, I am wanting this basket to be a planter.

Here is what I've had success with!! (I didn't have a pot on hand tall enough to fill the basket but no worries, I'm going to show you how to "build it up" so you wouldn't know any different!)

To encourage the round shape, and since I am planning on using it as a planter, I will be using the following

  • Basket
  • Ceramic Bowl
  • Plant tray
  • Ceramic Pot (Plant)

As you an see the plant I am using isn't tall enough for the basket. First things first to get the bottom of my basket to be somewhat flat and help encourage the desired shape, I am going to insert the plant tray in the bottom. 

Then to "build up" the height, I am going to flip this bowl upside down and place it on top of the plant tray! BOTTOMS UP! 

Next I will take my potted plant and set it on top of the bowl! At this point my basket is starting to be reshaped by just being filled! 

I will leave it like this for a few days and if I still have some creases, I will lightly mist again and leave filled to encourage the shape. The end result will be a reshaped and round basket!

Below is a pic of a basket I had previously done the same way and after a few days it was exactly how I wanted it! 

Finally enjoy your beautiful, handmade + fair trade basket! 

As always, I hope you love you're goods! Thank you for shopping small and having a positive impact in the world we live in! Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions! 

XO- Kellie