Online courses




BECOMING A BASKET MAKER COURSE 1&2: From round to oval work

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Are you struggling to find information on basket making?

Would you like to learn from your own home? At your own pace?

You have been feeling this for a while now....
It has been pulling you, nudging you, pushing you,....

And now you are here.

You want to learn how to make a basket.
You want to learn how to gather your materials,
how to sit down with them and let your hands touch the willow
you want to learn how to weave with confidence, assurance and style.

You want to sit and feel connected.
To your past, your ancestors who were also basket making
your ancestors who knew this craft, who mastered it.

You want to sit and feel connected to the natural world around you.
Use her plentiful harvest.
and use it to create objects of great beauty and use.

You came to the right place....


My name is Hanna,

I am a basket maker and artist living in Tipperary, Ireland with my husband and 3 teenage children.

I have also felt the pull to weave. I Have been making baskets for more then 15 years and teaching others how to. Over time I felt the need for a more structured, step by step approach to basket making. I would find that those starting to weave would often be overwhelmed. Where to start? What to make? how to go on?

So I finally listened and developed my own program called BECOMING A BASKET MAKER.

So now you can now learn how to make baskets from your own home, at your own pace, with me by your side.

In this program I have made 2 courses: Course 1, round work, and Course 2, Oval work.

Hanna Van Aelst artist and basket maker

BECOMING A BASKET MAKER Course 1: Round work


In this course I teach you all the foundational weaving techniques while still keeping to a round shape. The aim in this course is to build skills as a weaver. With each project I add new techniques and challenges.
I show 5 different borders, 3 ways of waling, different randing techniques, different ways to make handles,...

In the oval work course I build up your weaving skills even more. In this course I specifically focus on 4 different ways of weaving oval bases, but also still add more weaving techniques (like scalloming, frame base, slewing,...)
For this course you will need to be fluent in your borders and basic techniques (taught in course 1)

What you will learn:

Each course is build up of 5 projects. Each project is broken into different videos where I explain new technique clearly and step by step.

Each project also has clear downloadable step by step instructions.

Course 1: Round work

Project 1: Simple round basket ( Learn how to do pairing, 3 rod wale, simple randing, 3 behind 1 border, simple small handles)

Project 2: Round shopping basket ( French randing, 4 behind 1 border, handle)

Project 3: Log basket (English randing, 4 behind 2 border, twisted rod handles)

Project 4: Skibs (traditionl Irish potato baskets) (Making the skib frame for a base, magic joins, changing colour, 5,6 and 7 behind 2 rod border)

Project 5: 'Belly' basket (shaping, curved base, lifted handles)

Course 2: Oval work

Project 1: Oval tray ( Learn how to make an oval base without twisting, reverse pairing)

Project 2: Oval shopping basket with flared sides ( 4 rod wale (2 ways), double French randing, shaping )

Project 3: Peg basket (Underfoot oval base, slewing)

Project 4: Oval frame base basket (making a frame base, scalloming, attaching scalloms, weaving base, packing)

Project 5: Picnic basket (English oval base, adding lids and fittings)

What you will get:

-Unlimited access to all video’s forever so you can go back and look at a certain technique over and over again.

-Unlimited access to me as tutor through email and Facebook.

-Regular Facebook live (or Zoom) sessions where you can ask questions and interact with me or where I will show extra information if needed.

-A private Facebook group only for participants in the course where you can share your work, interact with other participants, ask questions and lots more.

– A printable worksheet with the ‘recipe’ for each project.

-You can work through the course at your own pace. There is no time limit. You can go as fast or as slow as you want.

No overwhelm. New techniques are added slowly with each project so you get time to practice them before moving on to the next one.


What you will need:

-Tools: Secateurs, measuring tape at least. Maybe a bodkin, wrapping iron, knife.

Willow: Material is not included in the course. You will either have access to your own grown willow (or friends, ditches,..!) or find your local supplier. (if this is an issue, please get in touch as I might be able to help you out with that. Also see list of suppliers at the bottom of this page)

A place to soak your willow. This can be a bath, stream, tub, pipes, watering trough for animals, a hole in the ground lined with plastic, …. (anything that will hold willow that is between 3 and 6ft (120cm-180cm) long for about a week at the time)

Time to practice. Each project can take several hours (depending on each persons weaving stride) and will need to be repeated to gain full muscle memory knowledge.

– A laptop/tablet with internet connection to watch the video’s on.

You no longer have to do this alone…..

You no longer have to figure everything out by yourself….

You can learn from me, with me

and others on this path,

And improve your skills step by step.




BECOMING A BASKET MAKER COURSE 1&2: From round to oval work

What previous participants are saying…..

I absolutely loved your online course. It definitely suited my lifestyle. There wasn’t any part of the course that I didn’t enjoy. All the challenges in your projects allowed me to build and incorporate learned skills into following projects. I loved being able to work in my own time and space with the knowledge that if I ran into difficulties in any area I could message you and get an almost immediate reply. It was my first online course, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I now consider it money very well spent. Your guidance, delivery, clarity and enthusiasm was excellent. The format easy to follow and I have unreservedly recommended your online course to anybody who has asked where I learned my weaving skills.


I’ve absolutely loved the course. Learning to weave has helped me through what has otherwise been a difficult year – so thank you!! The videos are excellent and clear and I also really liked your more philosophical points about practise and mistakes etc! I also really enjoyed the online format for sharing projects with other members, and the fact that I could go at my own pace and fit in the weaving around other plans. I think an added bonus to the online format is that it forced me to learn to manage my own willow – ordering, sorting, soaking – along the way, so I have learned skills that I may not have done through a conventional course.


This is for you if:

-you are self- motivated, you really want to learn!

-you love working with your hands.

-you are a problem solver, you always figure things out.

-you would love to learn a new craft.

-you want to learn from someone with experience.

-you love working with natural materials.

-you really don’t know why but are just fascinated with baskets!

This is not for you if:

-you cannot find willow in your area (for sale or growing wild).

-you are not good at problem solving.

-you are afraid to get stuck in.

-you have arthritis in your hands, or have difficulty using your hands to do manual labor (basket making is hard work!)

-you have no internet connection.

What previous participants are saying…..

I though it worked out perfectly and your videos were perfect. I love the angles of the cameras and how well you explained each step. I also liked how the course built upon itself.


I loved the course because there was always another project coming it made me practice all the more. And the really good thing is that I have the videos to go back to forever. That is a real winner.





BECOMING A BASKET MAKER COURSE 1&2: From round to oval work

How much willow do I need?

Keep in mind that the amount of willow needed is an estimate. Length and thickness will vary according to your own supply. It is recommended to do each project at least 4 times (so multiply the amount by 4 to get at the total amount needed)

Course 1:

3ft/90cm x 280 rods, 4ft/120cm x 270 rods, 5ft/150cm x 265 rods, 6ft/180cm x 145 rods, 7ft/210cm x 17 rods

Course 2:

3ft/90cm x 325 rods, 4ft/120cm x 410 rods, 5ft/150cm x 135 rods, 6-7ft/180-210cm x 10 rods

Course 1&2:

3ft/90cm x 605 rods, 4ft/120cm x 680 rods, 5ft/150cm x 400 rods, 6ft/180cm x 145 rods, 7ft/210cm x 23 rods

Where to get willow for cuttings (planting) and weaving:

Most basket makers would have some willow growing or know someone who does. If you know a basket maker local to you ask for advice.


Barry Noyce Tipperary, his number is 086 8241393. He has a wide variety of willow varieties available and sells cuttings in the winter months.

Future forests in co. Cork have basket making willow varieties for sale as cuttings. They are not great at labelling and named varieties. Their website is here

The Organic Centre in Leitrim has some willow varieties for sale as cuttings. Their website is here

United Kingdom:

Musgrove willow growers in Somerset, UK.

Somerset Willow Growers UK

Coates English Willow, UK

West Wales willows, Wales.

Redstone Willows, Cheshire,

Blencogo Willow, Scotland:

The willow bank, Gloucestershire, UK :

World of willow, Dorset, UK:

Windrush willows near Exeter UK:


L’osier de Guedrod, France :


De Vos. Belgium. shipping all over Europe


Hans Ender, Germany:

Andreas Schardt KG, Germany:


Living Willow Farm, Roseville, Ohio, USA:

Or his other website The Basket Farmer, Ohio, USA:

Dunbar Gardens, Washington, USA:


The Branch Ranch, Warkworth, Ontario, Canada: SHIPPING TO USA and they have willow available! 

Lakeshore willows, Wainfleet, Ontario, Canada:

New Zealand:

Go Willow, New Zealand:



And this is not an exhaustive list, there must be more out there that I haven’t found yet….!