Dyed Clothesline Easter Basket

By  Barbara Warholic  for  Rit Dye

size: 4-1/2"x8" (without handle)

  • Dyed Clothesline Easter Basket


  • Cotton clothesline, 3/16” to 1/4” diameter, 50 ft.
  • White 100% cotton fabric, 8”x6”
  • Pearl beads, three
  • Yellow/white polka dot ribbon, 15” length


  • Sewing machine and 100% cotton sewing thread
  • Scallop-edge rotary cutter and mat
  • Rit Liquid Dyes: Golden Yellow, Teal
  • Spray starch

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, ruler, measuring tape, sewing needle, plastic tablecloth, rubber gloves, glass or plastic container, plastic spoon, paper towels, large stovetop pot, iron and pressing surface
  • Sewing Basket
  • 1. Set zigzag stitch length on sewing machine at 2.5 and stitch width to wide. Fold first 1" of clothesline in half, forming loop. Position loop under presser foot with top of loop pointing away from you. See Photo 1.

    Photo 1
  • 2. Zigzag stitch down center of loop. Start coiling clothesline and securing coil with zigzag stitch. Take three stitches and turn work counterclockwise. Take three more stitches and turn work again. Continue stitching and turning until you can freely stitch without stopping and turning. See Photo 2.

    Photo 2
  • 3. Stitch until coil measures 5" diameter. (Note: This is bottom of basket.) Leave coil under presser foot.
  • 4. To form side of basket, raise coil up to side of sewing machine and continue to stitch. See Photo 3. Continue stitching until side measures 4-1/2" tall. At this point, stop. Make several stitches in same place. Cut clothesline leaving 36"-long tail.

    Photo 3
  • 5. Cut 72"-length of clothesline; fold in half. Tack snugly up against first tail, making three 36"-long tails. See Photo 4. Tightly braid tails to form 20"-long handle. Machine-sew across end of handle several times to secure. Cut off excess clothesline; hand-sew handle ends to inside of basket.

    Photo 4
  • Dyeing Basket
  • 1. Cover work surface with plastic tablecloth. Heat 8 cups of water to at least 140°F in large stovetop pot.
  • 2. In plastic container, measure out enough hot water so that basket will sit in 1" of water. Wearing rubber gloves, add 1-1/2 tsp. of Teal dye for each 1 cup of hot water. Stir dye bath with plastic spoon.
  • 3. Submerge basket in stovetop pot in hot water. Remove. Set basket in dye bath for five minutes. Carefully lift basket; allow excess dye to drain out through bottom of basket back into dye bath. Set basket aside on paper towels. Discard Teal dye and rinse out container. See Photo 5.

    Photo 5
  • 4. Reheat remaining water if necessary. Mix 1 Tbsp. of Golden Yellow dye for every 1 cup of hot water in plastic container. Turn basket upside down and place in dye bath, making sure handle is submerged in dye. Let set for five minutes. Use plastic spoon to spoon dye over any bare areas. Allow dye colors to migrate and mix into each other where colors meet on basket. See Photo 6.

    Photo 6
  • 5. Remove basket from dye bath and set aside on paper towels. Place cotton fabric in Golden Yellow dye bath for five minutes. Remove and rinse in cool water. Allow basket and fabric to air-dry completely on paper towels.
  • Making Flowers
  • 1. Iron dyed fabric using spray starch on pressing surface. Trim top and bottom edges of fabric using rotary cutter; cut fabric into three 8" strips. Fold each strip in half lengthwise.
  • 2. Tightly gather lower folded edge using needle and thread. Secure ends of strip together, forming flower shape. Hand-sew flowers to front of basket. Attach bead onto center of each flower. Tie ribbon bow; hand-sew below flowers. Knot thread ends.