Making Rope/Lariat Baskets --
Thanks to Betty Swanson for submitting this picture of  
the lariat basket purchased for her newly re-decorated bathroom.    ------------->
Instructions from Pat Harnes

It is an easy method and any basket maker could make a lariat basket as they already have the feeling for flat bottoms and shaped sides.  The only tools needed is a flat-head blade soldering iron, at least 100 watts or more, used lariat from a tack shop and a flat board with a small french curve piece of one inch wood attached on top to brace the rope end to start the coil bottom.  The rope is stiff and for me the hardest part is to tightly start the coil for the bottom.

You can select the colors of rope as they range from tans to rusts and greys to gray greens and blues.  After deciding how large a basket you want coil the bottom to fit the size.  As you start the coil, use the soldering iron to melt the rope together.  The melted fibers of the rope will melt black.  Generally the welded flat-bottom is on the inside of  the basket.  As you start to climb to make the sides, you can decide a pattern of the melded rope from the outside or solder from the inside till the sides are such an angle that the iron can no longer reach the area to be soldered.  Then solder the basket from the outside.

Most often, the solder forms a pattern from on the out side of the basket.  It can be in the form of diamonds, coil, lines or what ever suits your fancy.  This is what keeps the ropes together so must be at least half the round.  It is a big part of the decoration so give the pattern some thought.
When reaching the end of a rope weld one rope end to the next rope as clean as possible or for variety leave apart of the looped end and start the next rope from the inside of the basket. The looped end can be looped into another looped end of a rope toward the end of the basket to make a decoration on the side of the basket.  The basket ends in the same manner as a woven basket.  After the shape has been completed the end is made in a way that will not detract from the design of the basket.  Any type of decoration can be added as long as it goes with the texture and design of the basket.

If anyone has further instructions to share or pictures you would allow us to post, please contact Baskets, Etc.
Meanwhile, you might check out the baskets pictured at All That Cowboy and other sites you can find on the web  by search on