DIY Pack Basket

If there is one thing that screams outdoor adventure fun, it is a pack basket. In this tutorial we show you step by step, how you can make your own pack basket, or how to revamp your current pack by making new straps for it! You can go completely upclycled with this DIY or invest in some durable materials. Your starting point is a basket, and we will guide your through all the other steps.

We found our basket while strolling down some thrift stores.

What do you need
Basket with a flat back
3.5m/11ft (depending on size of the basket) Leather straps of desired width
A piece of leather the size of the bottom of the basket
Optional: Leather stain or paint
Seven rivets (we went with copper)
Thee belt buckles (we went with brass) and belt loops
Needle and thread (we went with a speedy stitcher and waxed saddle makers thread)
Bankline (or more thread)
Small leather hole puncher
Oval hole puncher

You could go all upclycled here:
Leather & buckles Use secondhand leather belts, look for buckles on old secondhand bags or belts. For the larger piece of leather, look for an old couch, thick leather bags.
Rivets You could omit the rivets, and sew instead (there are also screw studs on the market). Or use nuts and bolts with washers.
Needle and thread You can use every needle and thread you have at hand, that is strong enough to do the job. If you do not have a speedy stitcher, we recommend using and awl to punch through the leather.
Hole punchers Use a large nail to punch holes or use a electric drill. You can make oval holes, by making two holes, and connect the two holes.
Going vegan? Opt for some thick canvas!

Step by step
1. Remove all price tags and old straps, so only the basket remains.

2. Measure the size of the top of the basket, add a couple of inches, for closing. This is the length of the first belt.

3. The first belt goes around the top, you can use a second hand belt for this, or make your own. If you want to make your own, loop one end of the leather strap through the buckle. Make an oval hole on the place the pin of the buckle will poke through. Strap the belt around the top of the basket, to see where your holes need to come. You can use a brass belt loop, to make sure the end of the belt stays in place.

4. Measure the bottom of your basket and cut a piece of thick leather to fit. This piece will be used guide the straps through, and protect the bottom of the basket.

5. Punch four oval holes in the piece of leather, so you can loop two belts through. If your leather is a natural tan colour, like ours, you can choose to paint it now.

6. To fill up the middle part of the bottom leather piece, in the middle, where there are no straps going through. We attaches a piece of leather, to fill up the space. By doing this you make sure you are able to attach the bottom part neatly to the bottom of the pack. Do not attach it to the bottom just yet!

7. Measure two belts, that are long enough to go from the top front of the basket, to the middle of the basket on the back.

8. Attach the two belts to the top belt, on the front side of the basket, by forming a little loop around the top belt, and secure it with a rivet. Do this with both of the belts.

9. Lead the two belts through the bottom piece of leather before attaching the buckles. Go over the leather, through the holes, and than out again.

10. Use the same technique to make a belt out of the two straps, just as we did in step 3. Do this for both the belts, making sure the loop with rivet is on the front, and the two buckles on the back.

11. Stitch the leather bottom to the bottom of the basket. A strong needle or speedy stitcher with heavy duty thread is recommended for this step. Make sure your belts can still move through when done.

12. If you find that the belt around the top, slides downwards, like we did. You can attach a couple of loops round the top of the basket and the belt, and secure those little loops with some bankline, so you can adjust them at any time.

13. Now for the back and the straps that go around your arms. Loop the leather straps around the top belt, making sure the loop goes upwards. Secure with a rivet. Do this twice, so you have two straps for your pack.

14. Measure the straps, by fitting your pack. Punch holes in the end of the straps, so they can be attached to the buckles of the straps the you made in step 10. Leave enough space so you can adjust the straps when wearing the pack.

You are done! You did it! You made your own basket pack. If you didn’t get to finish your pack (just yet), or are struggling with any of the steps, drop a comment down below, and we will provide you with further information.

Final thoughts
On what adventures will you be taking your pack? We brought ours with us to the farmers market and then for stroll in the woods. We are sure it will accompany us on many more future adventures too.

Do you have any tips or advice for us, or for our readers? Please share below!

5 Comments on “DIY Pack Basket

  1. Pingback: Making a Pack Basket – Preindustrial Craftsmanship

  2. Awesome, thank you! I just finished my first willow pack basket, now needing to add the leather straps. This will help a lot.


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