DIY Picnic for Two: Part 2


Welcome back for Part 2 of the DIY Picnic project.  I’m taking this not-so-pretty sewing basket and giving it a make over.  Soon I’ll be ready for lazy weekends outside with my husband and a fat stack of pastries.


Last week, I created a new fabric top and added a chalkboard.  This time, we’re tackling the inside.

What we’re bringing…


I love the idea of using fancy china outside, but I have a stubborn practical streak too.  In the end, I went with lightweight and practical melamine for the plates and some reusable plastic containers to carry all of the food.  I will also be making over a few canning jars to carry jams, honey butter, and condiments.  The flatware came from Target.  My one concession to whimsy was this set of teacups picked up at Goodwill for $3.


I had originally envisioned lots of pockets and straps to hold all of the dishes and flatware in place.  (There’s a cute version here.)   However, truth be told, this basket is not that tall, and everything just fit better if I arranged things in the middle.  I added a set of ribbon ties in each corner to hold the teacups in place.  Since the other items are not breakable, we’ll be sewing insulated hot and cold packs and a napkin roll for the flatware.   Now, back to the liner.


The measurements and steps…

This is the quick and dirty version, so I hope that it all makes sense.  It does assume some sewing knowledge (if you’ve made a bag before, you should be good to go).  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  However, I am thinking that if you do this project, you will have to customize it quite a bit to fit your basket so this is just a general guideline to follow and not a detailed tutorial.

1)  I measured the inside of the basket and pulled out my Swedish Tracing Paper to create a quick pattern.  I cut out the following pieces:

Picniclinerpattern 2)  Next, I stitched the exterior of the picnic basket liner (just like if you were sewing the exterior of a handbag).  In this case, you will not see this part when you are finished, because it will be right up against the inside of the picnic basket itself.  Right sides together, I attached the FRONT, BACK, and SIDE pieces to the BOTTOM. I left a 5” opening along one of the bottom seams so I could flip my work later.  Then, I stitched all of the side seams closed.  Trim seams and turn, so that the right side of the fabric is facing out.

3) Repeat Step 2 to create the interior of the picnic basket liner.  Right sides together, sew the FRONT, BACK, and SIDE pieces to the BOTTOM.  However, this time, when you stitch the side seams together, you will sew in two sets of ribbon ties to hold your teacups in the back two corners of your basket.


4) Next, create your ruffle trim.  I cut strips of fabric 2 1/4” wide in lengths of 28.5”, 6”, and 6” so that they would fit around the handles.  The back edge where the basket top is attached does not get a ruffle.   (See photo above for ruffle placement.)   I used the scallop stitch on my sewing machine in contrasting thread, and then trimmed the fabric to create a nice scallop effect.  I hemmed the exposed edges of the ruffles.  Where I needed to add ribbon ties, I stitched black ribbon right into the rolled hem.  To get the ribbon to lie flat, I top stitched it in place.


5)  Create your ruffles by sewing a long basting stitch along the top edge of the ruffle.  Gather.

6)  Now you’re ready to assemble everything.  I found it was easiest to pin everything in place by actually assembling the layers in the picnic basket itself.  I set the exterior lining inside the interior, and pinned the ruffles in between the two layers of fabric.  It’s important that the ruffle is facing the correct way, so that when you turn your work, the front of the ruffle will be facing out.   Also, it helps to arrange more of the ruffle gathers in the corners so that they will lie flat.  Stitch along the top edge.  Turn your work and stitch the opening closed.  Voila, you are done.


A few thoughts for next time:

  • If I did this again, I would make my ruffle a little wider.
  • I may add some velcro to get the liner to sit flush against the picnic basket (on the edge where there is not a ruffle).   The ribbon ties do help hold it in place, but when the basket is empty it does sag a bit.


Next week’s project is much simpler!   I promise.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend.  (And don’t forget to enter the FREE STATIONERY GIVE AWAY to win some stationery flats.)

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3 Responses

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  1. That’s so cute! I love that you can remove the liner too!! Makes for easy clean-up! It’s amazing how you transformed that basket!

  2. Tracy said

    How utterly adorable! Now I want to find a sewing basket so that I can make this project.

  3. Hilary said

    Perfect! Just found a (slightly abused) picnic basket at my local thrift shop, this is JUST the thing to perk it up! Thank you for posting!