Have you ever been in a situation while out in the field where you wanted to collect small items like seeds, nuts, or berries? A simple small basket can be made from a single poplar leaf. Although many different leaves can be used to make a basket, the poplar leaf has four lobes that lend themselves to an intuitive series of 3 folds to create a basket similar in shape to a the practical French Fry paper cups found at fast-food restaurants.
Start this project by selecting the largest clean leaf and pluck it off where the stem meets the branch. On the stem, estimate a distance of about 2 inches away from the leaf and break off the end. To accomplish this I pinch the stem with my fingernails while rotating my hands in opposite directions. Some folks may prefer to cut it off with a knife or scissor accessory blade. Then break the remaining stem into 2 – 1 inch pieces. This creates 2 pins that will be used to hold the folded leaf parts together and can be temporarily held between your lips in ready position for installing during the next step of folding the leaf.
For esthetics, I prefer to fold the leaf with the top surface facing outward. To begin, position the stem edge facing upward with the underside facing you. fold the upper left lobe inward, aligning the bottom of the lobe at the same level as the notch on the opposite side, then lift the bottom 2 lobes up, making a horizontal fold line connecting the left and right notches. These folded parts become tabs that overlap and are joined by stitching one of the stem pins in and out of the leaf tabs. Repeat the process with the right upper lobe, tucking it under the bottom tab and joining it with the remaining stitched pin.
This is definitely a short term implement but can be easily and quickly constructed whenever it’s needed. Click HERE to view a video to see how it’s done.