How to Sew an Easy Basket Liner (DIY Tutorial)

Learn how to sew a basket liner with this easy tutorial. Create a custom fabric liner for any kind of basket!

An orange polka dot DIY basket liner on a wicker basket on a white shelf.

Today’s little project is perfect for adding a touch of personality to baskets or containers in any room of your house. Come along and learn how to sew an easy fabric basket liner with my DIY tutorial.

Okay, so I may have too many baskets in my house. I love how they add texture and warmth to a room. Not to mention functionality.

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.

— Edward de Bono

Why You Will Love This Project

This DIY project is quick, easy, and perfect for a beginner. It requires very little fabric, so it is also budget-friendly. Most baskets require under a 1/2 yard of fabric.

Fortunately, no pattern is necessary to make your custom basket lining! You will create your own pattern, so to speak.

I will explain how easy it is to measure your basket to get the right fit. The sewing is really straightforward. Literally, it is straight lines and straight stitching.

Click here for a tutorial on making a liner for a round Easter basket.


Okay. Let’s get started! Below are the materials you will need. All supplies are not in the photo above, so be sure to read the list below. (Affiliate links are included.)

Sewing Scissors or
Rotary Cutter
Cutting Mat
Basket HERE & HERE & HERE 


Let’s get started. Below are step-by-step instructions for how to sew your basket lining.

NOTE which direction you want the print to run or if there is a pattern on the fabric that you want to show on the front, etc.


Customize the pattern to fit your basket. Write down the measurements as you go, then create a sketch.

Use the final pattern size to determine how much fabric to purchase. The amount of fabric and trims will vary based on the basket size you are fitting.

This works for straight baskets that are roughly the same width from top to bottom.

If yours varies in size, it should still work, but proceed cautiously. (I have not tested it.)

Depth of the Basket

For a rectangular basket, you need four measurements. Measure the depth of the basket.

Bottom of the Basket

Next, measure the bottom of the basket, width, and length. Turn the basket upside down and measure the widest dimensions.

Perimeter of the Basket

Finally, measure the outside perimeter at the top rim.

This is the most important measurement because you want the liner to be able to fit over the rim of the basket. The other measurements are more forgiving.

Take a long piece of fabric or tape measure, and wrap it around the outside at the widest part of the top rim.

Pin snug or mark with a disappearing pen for stitch placement.

I added a 1/2 inch from the pinpoint for stitching. You can stitch tighter or looser here; I like a little wiggle room.

IMPORTANT Add a seam allowance to each fabric piece. 1/4 to 1-inch is common.

This is the final width for your side panel. 

The perimeter will also determine the length of your drawstring.

Add an additional 16-22 inches to the total length if you want to make a bow. If your basket is large, you may want to go longer.

Create a drawing with the measurements.

Preparing Your Fabric and Pattern

1 Measure your basket, then make your pattern. See more details and techniques above to determine the size of your pattern pieces.

To create the same look I made, you should have three fabric pieces total, the side panel, a bottom piece, and the drawstring tie. (Unless you are piecing the drawstring from multiple fabric pieces.)

Once you have purchased your materials, pre-wash your fabric(s) first.

Use the drying technique you plan to use in the future, such as air-dry or machine-dry.

You want the fabric to shrink before you cut it out.

This will prevent unwanted shrinking in the future.

Cut your fabric pieces out. If you have a directional print, choose which edge you want to be at the top.

Making the Front Flap and Drawstring Casing

2 Next, we will create the drawstring’s front flap and casing.

You will press the top vertical 3 inches on both ends of the side panel fabric piece.

First, fold 1/8 inch and press, and then fold another 1/8 inch and press again. With your iron, taper the crease at the bottom of the roll.

Next, fold over the top edge of the side panel toward the wrong side of the fabric, 1/8 inch. Press. Fold over another 1/8 inch and press again.

To create the drawstring casing, fold one more time 3/4 inch. Press.

3 Next, topstitch the double-fold vertical hems on both sides.

Also, topstitch the bottom of the casing from end to end, catching the double-folded hem with raw edges inside.

Leave both ends of the casing open so you can feed the drawstring through.

4 Fold the side panel in half. Stitch the side closed, starting just under the rolled hems, all the way to the bottom. Backstitch to secure the stitch.

Adding Darts and Attaching the Bottom Panel

5 With the right sides together, pin the bottom piece to the side panel.

Start by centering the side panel stitching on the side of the bottom piece that you want to be in the front. See the photo above for reference.

I wanted the drawstring on the narrow end of the basket, so I pinned the casing opening onto the narrow side of my bottom panel.

Next, position the center of the folded side panel on the other end to the other side of the bottom rectangle.

Evenly pin around the perimeter of the rectangle, easing the fullness as you go.

Add a dart to create a tapered bottom in each of the four corners.

Pin a half-inch dart at the bottom that tapers vertically up the sides approximately 5 inches.

Adjust this length to fit your basket better if necessary. Stitch all four darts closed, then attach the bottom to the side by stitching around the perimeter.

Making a Drawstring Tie

6 Measure the perimeter of your basket for the length of your drawstring tie, then add approximately an additional 16-22 inches to the total length of the tie.

The extra length is for the bow. Lengthen or shorten as you like.

Next, cut a 2-inch wide strip of fabric that length. With the wrong sides together, fold the tie in half lengthwise and press with an iron.

Open up the fabric strip. Fold each raw END inward about 1/8 -3/8 inch and press.

This encases the raw edges so they don’t ravel.

Now, fold both lengthwise raw edges towards the center but not touching each other. Press again, tucking each of the ends under as you iron.

Fold in half again so the folded edges meet and line up. Press.

With a sewing machine, close up the tie by topstitching along both lengthwise edges of the tie and also across each end.

For more details on making a fabric tie, check out this Fabric Tie Tutorial.

Don’t miss all sewing & craft projects on my site and the Easter basket ideas post.


What is a seam allowance?

A seam allowance is an area between the raw fabric edge and the stitching line on the pieces of material being sewn together. It typically ranges from 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) wide to as much as several inches. It’s up to you how wide you’d like to make yours. I typically use a 5/8 inch (1.5cm) seam allowance.

Beyond basket-liner patterns, click below to see many other projects on the site.

Free Sewing Patterns

Discover how to make beginner sewing projects following the posts below.

Printable Hobo Bag Pattern
DIY Dog Bandana (Free Printable Pattern)
Free DIY Crossbody Bag Pattern
Easy Elastic Waist Skirt Pattern
DIY Easter Basket Liner Ideas (with Pattern)
Drawstring Backpack Pattern or Lined Drawstring Bag
How to Make a DIY Pillow Cover

I hope you enjoy upgrading your baskets with a pretty fabric liner.

Please let me know how your basket liner turns out in the comment box below. I love to hear from you. Be sure to subscribe or follow me on social media for more inspiration!

Wishing you creativity, happiness, and good health!


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