Basketry Merit Badge
Basketry Merit Badge Info
Basketry is often earned at a scout's first summer camp. It's very simple consisting of just making three baskets, but the kits cost a bit. The lowest prices I could find are below, but most scouts just purchase kits at camp.
There's no reason for a scout not to do this merit badge at home in free time. It's safe, easy, and fun, but finished kits often don't look as good as the pictures.
Nearly 15,000 scout complete Basketry each year, putting it up in 35th place. (During 2020 with scout camps closed, the completions were half that since it's often done at camp.)
Requirements for the Basketry merit badge:
- Do the following:
- Explain to your counselor the hazards you are most likely to encounter while using basketry tools and materials, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
- Discuss the prevention of and first-aid treatment for injuries, including cuts, scratches, and scrapes, that could occur while working with basketry tools and materials.
- Do the following:
- Show your counselor that you are able to identify each of the following types of baskets: plaited, coiled, ribbed, and wicker.
- Describe three different types of weaves to your counselor.
- Plan and weave EACH of the following projects:
- a square basket
- a round basket
- a campstool seat
Hints for Basketry Merit Badge
- Soak the weaving materials a long time before starting and keep them soaking until used.
- Just use the easy kits to get done fast, but they are all the same simple style. Someday, try making a coil basket or at least one without a wooden platform.
Terminology for the Basketry Merit Badge
- Reed - plant material used to make baskets, and is either round or flat strips.
- Stakes - framework pieces of a basket.
- Spokes - same as stakes, but laid out in a frame like spokes of a bicycle wheel.
- Weaver - reed that is woven between the stakes or spokes.
- Plaited basket - flat weavers are woven over and under flat stakes to create a generally square shaped basket.
- Ribbed basket - round reeds form a basket stake frame and flat weavers are woven through the stakes to form the basket. The frame is created first.
- Coiled basket - coils are made by wrapping a core of flexible matter such as hair or pine needles with flexible wrapping such as sinew or grass. Coils are stacked in circular layers and sewn together.
- Wicker - the process of weaving strands of fibers around a frame of thick stems, vines or plant stalks.
Resources for Basketry Merit Badge
See my general First Aid Skills page for requirement #1.
Buy the 3 Basketry Kits for requirement #3 here here or here, or buy bulk basket weaving supplies here.
See how to make a ribbed basket
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