Birch Bark Basket

Feeling inspired by nature? I was when I came up with the Birch Bark Basket! This easy crochet pattern is almost more of a technique and tutorial – you can crochet big baskets, small baskets, gift baskets… You get the idea! And each one will have you thinking of a walk in the woods.

Birch Bark Basket - crochet inspired by nature! Free pattern on Moogly :)

This crochet basket pattern as written is pretty big – I find it to be a great storage basket for my other current yarn project! And better looking than plastic baskets too. At about 43″ around, it holds a lot! But this pattern is super easy to downsize. Just crochet the base to the dimensions you desire and work the sides using the technique outlined below.

Birch Bark Basket - crochet inspired by nature! Free pattern on Moogly :)

Birch Bark Basket Crochet Pattern

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    • US – I, 5.5mm hook
    • 900-1000 yds Worsted or Aran weight yarn, as follows: Color A – 826 yds (Caron One Pound in Lace shown); Color B – 100 yds (Caron One Pound in Espresso shown)
    • 1 stitch marker

How to Create the Birch Bark Crochet Stitch Pattern:

This stitch pattern is made using single crochet stitches, and is a sort of offshoot of tapestry crochet. The main color (Color A) is held doubled (two strands held and worked as together as if they were one), and worked in single crochet stitches. Each stitch is worked over a single strand of Color B, enclosing and hiding it behind, or in back of the row. Color B might peek out from the back, but shouldn’t be visible from the outside of the basket.

Then, when you wish to add a stripe of Color B to the pattern, you pull the strand to the front of your work and let it hang. Continue making sc stitches as before, with Color B hanging loose in front of your work. This could be for just 1 stitch, or it could be for as many as 10 – it’s up to you! Then when the stripe is done, pull Color B back behind the next stitch and continue as before, enclosing it in each stitch. Be sure to give a tug to Color B once in a while to make sure it doesn’t sag – but don’t pull so tight that the main color fabric buckles either.

The length of each stripe and it’s placement is completely up to you. Birch bark trees have random (to our eyes) stripes, and like a tree, your basket should be your own unique work of art! Before starting mine, I looked at pictures of birch trees for inspiration, and then just proceeded to add stripes whenever I thought it was a good time to add them. There’s no right or wrong to this, so have fun!

Birch Bark Basket - crochet inspired by nature! Free pattern on Moogly :)

Instructions for the Base of the Basket:

Row 1: Holding yarn from both ends of the skein of Color A together, ch 36. Sc in the 2nd ch from the hook and each remaining ch. Turn. (35 sts)

Row 2 – 40 (or until roughly square): Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. (35 sts)

Instructions for the Sides of the Basket:

Round 1: Ch 1, sc in each st across row (place marker in first st and move up with each row), then turning to work into the left edge, sc 36 sts across, then turning again sc in each starting ch, then turning once more, sc 36 sts into other row edges. Join with a sl st to first sc made in this round. (142 sts) NOTE: Exact st count isn’t actually important here so much as using the right number of stitches for the size basket you’re making and your own gauge. If it works and looks better to use a different number, then please do!

Round 2: Ch 1, and laying the end of Color B along the inside of the basket, sc evenly all around the basket, holding Color B behind the stitches and working over it to enclose it in each st. Join to first sc of round with a sl st.

Round 3 – 29 (or until basket is desired height): Ch 1 and sc in each st around, enclosing Color B as before, except when bringing Color B forward to create birch bark pattern (see above for more information on this technique). Join each round with a sl st in the first sc of the round. NOTE: On Rounds 13 and 26 I joined to the 2nd sc of the round and then in Rounds 14 and 27 I worked a st into the sl st. This technique maintained the st count while pulling the joining line back to the left. This is optional, but if you do not do this you’ll need to adjust the placement of the handles from the stitch counts listed below.

Instructions for Making the Handles (optional):

Round 30: Ch 1, sc in the first 12 sts of the round, ch 11, skip the next 11 sts, sc in the next 60 sts, ch 11, skip the next 11 sts, sc in the last 48 sts. NOTE: These are the stitch counts that worked out for me, if you are making a different size or didn’t adjust the joining line as noted above, you will need to move the handles around to suit your project.

Round 31: Ch 1, sc in each st and ch to end. Join with a sl st in first sc.

Round 32: Ch 1, sc evenly around. Join with a sl st in first sc.

Round 33: Ch 1, sl st in 2nd stΒ  and each st around. Break yarn and use seamless join to finish off.

Easy, chic, and right on trend in home decor. This crochet basket looks great in a cabin in the woods or in a modern loft – and in a suburban split level in Iowa. The neutral colors and inspired by nature design make it a really neutral piece that still has lots of character. But you don’t have to take my color suggestions! This pattern would be super fun in bright colors too – my head is filled with possibilities, and I know yours is too. So tell me what you think! I love reading your comments! And if you make a Birch Bark Basket, hop over to the Moogly Facebook page and share a photo! We’d love to see it!

PS – Curious about the WIP inside the basket? That’s a Blackberry Salad Striped Baby Blanket – another free crochet pattern here on Moogly! This one is made in Knitpicks Comfy Worsted in Bison, Peapod, Carrot, Marlin, Sea Foam, White, and Lilac.

Written pattern copyright Tamara Kelly 2013. Please do not reprint or repost this pattern, but please do link to this page to share this pattern with others. If you wish to make baskets for sale from this pattern, please visit the All About Moogly page for details.

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    • 2

      Tamara Kelly says

      Hi che! The instructions read

      Row 2 – 40 (or until roughly square): Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. (35 sts)

      so you just repeat Row 2 until you have 40 rows, or until it’s square. :)

      • 3

        Beth says

        I believe Che was commenting about rounds 3-5 for the sides of your basket, not the bottom. It goes from round 1 to round 2, then rounds 6-29 (or until desired height). Also love the pattern, I have some Love this Cotton from Hobby Lobby that I plan on using.

        • 4

          Tamara Kelly says

          ACK! Right you are, what a typo! Thanks so much Beth and Che – I’ll fix that right away!

  1. 5

    MarNella Cordato says

    Thank you for asanother brilliant free pattern that is pretty and useful!!! I’ve been looking for a pattern for something to make for my sil’s b’day. She’s a southern belle and I never got a feel for her taste – even after 40 years!

  2. 9

    celia says

    This is FABulous and just in time. I was going to make a basket for a friend, but this is just so much better!

    And it is PERfect because I am in Minnesota lake of Lake Wobegon!

  3. 11


    What a wonderful idea! I’m crazy about using wood for candleholders, bowls etc, ‘crocheted wood’ would be the perfect combination of my two favourite things! :)

  4. 13

    Christine says

    This would be simple to change it slightly to make a round basket. I think it would be really pretty having 3 or so of slightly different shades maybe, but in different sizes and shapes sitting by the hearth-side chair with crocheting projects and yarn in them. Thank you very much for posting the pattern. This is my first trip to your site following a link to this pattern from the Crochet Me site. I am looking forward to browsing your site here and already have your page up on Ravelry to check out your patterns there. Great job!

    • 14

      Tamara Kelly says

      thank you! And yes, it would be very easy to start with a round bottom, or even an oval if you like! :)

    • 18

      Tamara Kelly says

      I would think so – it won’t be as big, and you’ll need to make sure you use a hook size that gives you a tight stiff fabric, but you can do one strand for sure.

  5. 19

    Kim says

    I have been looking for a cute basket pattern large enough and sturdy enough to make little laundry baskets for my kids. Ones about this size will be perfect for them to be able to carry it to the laundry room when it gets full. Can’t wait to make them in fun bright colors for my boy and girl! Thanks!

  6. 24

    Allison says

    I wanted to make a little basket to hold my small crochet projects as I am working on them. I am in the process of using this pattern. My base is a rectangle and I am working up the sides now. It is white (because that is what I have) and I’d like to add a thick stripe near the top and then use your alphabet patterns to add my initials. I like how thick and sturdy it feels already. Thanks for the pattern.

  7. 26

    Linda says

    Once I start the sides it talks about turning. Does this mean that I turn going back and forth or just do sc all around the last base rown? It seems if I keep going it will be in rounds with a large square just going outward and not upward.

  8. 27

    Linda says

    I am sorry to write again but I am trying to figure out the sides on the basket. I am a beginner and sure would like to complete the basket Any help you can be would be greatly appreciated.

  9. 28

    Cathy says

    Linda, I see that she hasn’t had a chance to answer you – so I will try to explain. What she means by “turn” on the sides is not talking about turning and going back . She means do 35 (I think) stitches across the row. Turn and create the next side of the square (which will actually be the the side of what you had crocheted). Turn and create the next side of the square (which will be the bottom of your original bottom) and turn the last time to create the fourth side of the square (which will be the other side of what you crocheted). Does that make sense? You are “creating” sides of the square by going around (just like you would a circle) – only you are making it a square. Sorry if I’ve confused you more. lol

    • 29

      Tamara Kelly says

      Sorry I missed your original comment Linda! Cathy, thank you for the great explanation! πŸ˜€

      • 30

        Linda says

        So just keep going around only because the base is a square it will now just round off as I go along…I am going to try that . I know how to do rounds for sure. I have made my family hats for Christmas and I just made my granddaughter a strawberry purse. She is 5 and she will love it I am sure. Oh by the way, should I still maintain the same number of stitches 142? altogether? Thank You

  10. 31

    MK Gilbert says

    I didn’t read it carefully enough the 1st time~ IT really is big! I used the black and white Sugar and Spice cotton yarn~get 2 big spools so it doesn’t tangle like it did for me using both ends of one spool. They didn’t have it in the small skeins at our WalMart~I thot that color looked more like birch bark. I used one strand of regular black worsted for the stripes, but would like it better if I’d used a black cord, I think, as it’d give the basket more “body” and be less likely to fray and catch on stuff. My new daughter-in-law (as of Sat!) loves black in white, so I’m using it as a gift basket for a set of white sheets and a white crocheted bedspread I made for them! All I need to do is add a ribbon! Thanx for sharing the pattern! Next time I think I’ll try it in a smaller size in browns (for my other son getting married this fall.)
    Oh, also, I find it easier to not bother with the slip stitch and chain one at the end of each row~if you just continue on it doesn’t leave a crooked seam. Just mark which corner you started with~altho it doesn’t really matter, I guess. If you read the directions (like I finally did when I made my 3rd copy of the pattern (kept losing it!), the size of your bottom square (or rectangle if you prefer, I suppose) determines the size of your basket.

  11. 32

    jean says

    The actual pattern is on and it’s free. You use size I Hook. 900 1000 yds.worsted or aran wt yarn.
    Color a 826 yds. OF Caron One Pound in lace. And 100 yds. In Caron One Pound Espresso.

    • 33

      Tamara Kelly says

      The link on Ravelry takes you here. The pattern itself is not on Ravelry, just a link to this blog post. And yes, it’s free. :)

  12. 34

    Karen says

    Would this pattern work as well to just make all the single crochets and leave the second color out until the end, and then weave them in with a tapestry needle? I fear I might mess up having so many threads on my hook!

  13. 36

    Sherrie says

    I have a question. What is the size of the bottom panel? Even though I worked according to the pattern, mine doesn’t look as big as I think it should be. Mine is 10×10.

    • 37

      Tamara Kelly says

      Mine was about 12×12, so it’s likely a difference in gauge. You can always increase the size of the bottom by crocheting around and increasing on the corners.

  14. 38

    Isabelle says

    Love this pattern… You can even make it with plastic yarn, made from plastic grocery bags that keep taking place in my closets… Great way to recycle!

  15. 39

    Sandi Suggs says

    Hi – I am confused. I am ready to start on the sides of the Basket, the instructions indicate to crochet 36SC on the left side and on the right side. My sides are 40 rows as per instructions. I do not understand the 36SC in a side with 40 rows???

    Thank you!!

    • 40

      Tamara Kelly says

      Hi Sandi! That was to keep the square shape – you space them evenly along the side. But do see the note as written in the pattern: NOTE: Exact st count isn’t actually important here so much as using the right number of stitches for the size basket you’re making and your own gauge. If it works and looks better to use a different number, then please do!

      • 41

        Sandi Suggs says

        Thanks for your reply. I followed your pattern and made 40 rows for the bottom, am I understanding correctly that I only use 36 stitches along the 40 row sides on the right and left sides?

  16. 43

    Diana says

    I would like to use one color or maybe add stripes. Is it necessary to crochet over a third strand to add body to the sides? I love your site, the patterns ,hookin on hump day so much. I am just amazed how much information is so willingly shared. Thanks to you and all who have shared their patterns for all of us to try. My e-mail is all small letters.

    • 44

      Tamara Kelly says

      Thank you Diana! If you don’t crochet over another strand, you may want to go down another hook size to add some stiffness to the pattern. :)

      • 45

        Diana says

        Thank you for responding so quickly. The first basket is going to be a gift. If that one turns out Ok, I would like to try an animal print for myself.

    • 46

      MK Gilbert says

      I made this basket and it turned out quite large. You can adjust it however you like. Not necessary to crochet over a strand if you don’t care to. I thot I’d make it smaller if I did it again but use a heavier cord to crochet over to give it more “body”. I used variegated white and black cotton yarn but just used a strand of regular medium weight yarn to crochet over…

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