Vintage Bike Basket Tutorial


Remember my son’s Bike Basket I made? You can see that version by clicking here: D’s Bike Basket Tutorial.
I remember finishing his, and thinking how pretty it could be for a girl with a few changes. So I re-designed the entire thing to fit an adult vintage style bike. *This basket actually fits my son’s child size bike, so it doesn’t even have to be only for an adult bike!

My friend Kim had the perfect bike for me to borrow, and her daughter happens to be absolutely sweet and stunning. She agreed to be in the pictures. Yea–thank you!

Disney at Ruffles and Stuff is having that contest called “Ruffle Your Stuff” so I entered this.  DSCF7964
One of my favorite parts is the ruffles on the Velcro straps.
I still ended up taking step by step pictures. So if you want to learn how to make it, click on the button below to see the full tutorial! I figured it was okay to have two bike basket tutorials as they are completely different looks.


*This pattern fits a bike with about an 8″ flat space on the bar, and about 9.5″ space from the bar down to the tire. As I said above, it also fits on my son’s bike. And it’s a kid bike. So please measure your bike to see if any adjustments need to be made first:).

Materials You’ll Need:

*Heavy weight cotton fabric, preferably home decor fabric (*I used the same fabric for the outer and inner, so when I say cut two below in the pattern pieces section, I just cut two of the same fabric)

*knit (I just used an old shirt)
*40″ thick wire, but still bendable. You can treat it with plasti-dip from the get go, or (and this is what I prefer), wait until you have sewn the piece the wire is going into to make sure it will fit perfectly. If you accidentally made your seams a little bigger or something, then you can always cut the wire down a little bit and treat with plasti-dip after the wire is the correct length.
*plastic binder (with bendable plastic–see picture below. This means it will have more structure and will still be washable)
*Heavy weight interfacing–I did not use this, but I think it would be beneficial to the structure of the basket
*flower or ribbon for embellishment
*plasti-dip or rough sand paper
*4 inches Velcro
*Heavy Duty Sewing machine needle
*ball point needle for sewing on the knit
*elastic thread (optional)
For the pattern pieces:

*Two 12″x12″ pieces of paper

*bottom of basket–cut two. Find the downloadable version HERE.

*front panel of basket–cut two. Find the downloadable guide HERE. This is not an actual true to size pattern, it’s just showing you how you measure out the two 12″x12″ pieces of paper. The middle of the template is where you will tape the two sheets of paper together. Then proceed to mark and measure out according to the template measurements, then cut and use as the front panel pattern. Was that beyond confusing? Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask me! I’ll try and help as best as I can:).

*Back panel of basket measures 10″ tall by 9″ wide–cut two.
*straps–cut four. Just measure around your handlebars to see how long and wide you want them. I’ll still show you how I made my straps, but the measurements might be different. I believe mine measured 5 ” long x 3.5″ wide.

This is the binder I used. I already had it on hand, but I saw online that Avery sells page dividers that are also made out of this plastic, that I’m sure would work for this project.

You will need a plastic piece for the bottom of the basket and another piece for the back panel of the basket. Cut the plastic about 1/2″ smaller than the patterns on each side except for one, which should be about 1/4″ smaller. You might have to check and see if they fit after sewing the pieces (steps for this below). Just make sure that you melt the corners after you are finished cutting the plastic so they are no longer sharp to stick through the fabric.

So on the bottom panel, cut the plastic 1/2″ smaller on the curve, and 1/4″ smaller on the straight edge.

Cut the plastic 1/2″ smaller on each side except one of the short sides. That should be 1/4″ smaller on that side. I didn’t quite have it small enough in this picture.

On the front panel exterior piece, embellish it however you’d like. I chose to ruffle 1″ strips of knit using my elastic thread. You can definitely do a basting stitch and pull on the top thread to get the ruffle. I like the way the knit lays when you sew across the vertical lines in the knit. It just ruffles way better!

**Please note:  although the basket is great how it is, I wonder if maybe in this step you might consider putting a wire down the middle of the front panel, to keep it’s shape over time.  I did not do this, but I think if I made the basket again, I would add that in the front panel.

Cut a long 3″ wide, long strip of knit and sew along the edge with a basting stitch. Pull the top thread to ruffle. It all depends on how much ruffle you’d like as to how long you need the strip.

Line up the top edge of the ruffle with the top edge of the already embellished front exterior panel.

Take the other front panel piece and place it on top of the embellished panel, right sides together.

Make sure that you leave your basting strings attached–don’t cut them or the ruffle will start to fall off.

For this front panel, I tucked in my ruffle so that I didn’t catch it on the sides when sewing.

Pin the layers together. The ruffles might not like being pinned the normal way, so I stuck them in this way. Just be careful when sewing the panels together to not poke yourself!

Mark a 6″ space to leave un-sewed.

Sew 1/4″ seam, leaving the 6″ gap open, backstitching in both the starting and ending places.

Clip corners and turn right side out.

See how the ruffle sticks up straight? We want it to lay down.

To have it lay down, topstitch along the top of the ruffle, on the right side.

Now take another 3″ strip and do the same thing for the interior piece of the back panel. Set aside.

Back to the front panel structuring–let’s work on the wire. The sides of the wire measure about 9.25″ and the middle section is about 21.25″. If you need to cut your wire down, then do so now. Either sand the rough edges down (not sure if that will actually work) or treat with plasti-dip. Let the plasti-dip dry before using. Bend your wire to look like the following two pictures.

Insert the wire into the opening you left.

Make sure to push it clear into the corners.

Put your zipper foot on your machine. Start at the bottom with the basket like this:

Sew the wire into place. Gotta love that zipper foot!

Make sure to fold the ruffle up so you don’t sew through it.

Just keep sewing around the entire thing, folding in the gap you left and topstitching along that.

Now you are done with the front panel.

Let’s make the straps now! Take your strap pieces, and cut your 4″ piece of velcro into two 2″ strips. I also ruffled another 1″ strip of knit to put onto the straps.

For one strap, place your velcro like this and sew on.

Sew right sides together, leaving a small gap on one of the long sides, to turn right side out.

Turn right side out. Top-stitch, making sure to fold in the raw edges of the gap. (This strap hasn’t been top-stitched yet.)

On the back panel, take the piece that will have the velcro attached. Measure in from the sides 1/4″, and down from the top 2″. Mark these places.

Fold your finished strap in half and line up 1/4″ from the side, and 2″ down in the places you marked.

Sew once down the middle, then a 1/4″ on either side of middle stitch.

Pin the back panel pieces together the same way as you did the front panel. Leave a gap for turning right side out. Make sure to backstitch at the starting and ending points. Sew 1/4″ seam.

But this time, leave the ruffles sticking out so that you do catch them on your seam. Clip corners and turn right side out.
Stitch along the top as this piece, as you did for the front panel, so that the ruffle stays down.

Test your rectangle plastic piece to make sure that it fits nicely inside your back panel piece. If it doesn’t, then trim, but make sure the melt the sharp corners if you cut it down.

Now either hand-stitch the opening in the back panel closed, or you can try and catch it together with your machine after folding the raw edges in. I was able to do that. Now your back panel is done!

Last piece in your basket structure! Sew around the edges 1/4″ seam, leaving a gap for the plastic piece. Cut slits around the curves and turn right side out.

Hand-stitch or machine stitch closely to the edge to close.

Line up the top corners of the back panel to the front panel on the sides.

Hand-stitch closed. I used 4 strands of thread. Sew close enough that it creates a strong bind between the pieces. After the first side, repeat with other side.

Line up the bottom piece to the basket and hand-stitch together.

Look! You now have a beautiful, girly-fied, ruffled, vintage inspired basket!

This is one of my favorite views.

Embellish how you would like. I chose to ruffle some knit and stitch together in a circle, then I added some lace and the flower.


Enjoy your new Vintage Inspired Bike Basket!


P.S. A couple of you have mentioned covering a bike basket. I think that is a wonderful idea! If I had one already, I totally would try that out! I’ll keep on the lookout for one at the thrift store.
**As with my other bike basket tutorial, the materials used make this washable, though I would hand-wash it. You can definitely try this out with some laminated fabric, or try out the iron on vinyl!

Linking to Someday Crafts Whatever Goes Wednesdays, V and Co. Link Me Up Party, The Shabby Chic Cottage, and Seven Thirty-Three.


  1. says

    That’s adorable! I already have a wicker bike basket, but I bet this could be modified to make a basket liner too…then I could have a liner for every day of the week! Love the ruffles too :D

  2. says

    Wowsers!!! I love it. Makes me want to go hop on my bike and leisurely ride around the neighborhood. So pretty.

  3. says

    i just got a cruiser and have been on the hunt for a vintage wire basket. forget that! i am making this now! waaay cuter, thanks a million for sharing!!

  4. says

    Why don’t you sell these on your site? It’s one of a kind, I would buy it right now if it was for sale.

  5. says

    Oh!!! I’ve been pondering the bike bag/basket issue ever since I got a new bike for Valentine’s… The same model of bike that’s in your pictures! It’s fate :D I gotta make it :D

  6. says

    Wow, I never would have thought to do this! Such a creative idea, and it turned out darling! I’d love to share a link on on April 22!

  7. says

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  8. says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!! I want to go ride my bike too now! I may give my black wire basket to my hubby and make this one for me, then we each have one to go shopping… maybe riding our bikes this summer will be happening more this way <3 Thanks Christie,