coffee bag basket

weaving camp Enä-Seppä 2023

My First Coffee Bag Weaving Camp Experience

This summer, I participated in my first coffee bag weaving camp. The camp was a four-day event organized by the association “Kahvipussien ihmeet ryn” (Wonders of Coffee Bags) at the Enä-Sepän camp center in Vihti, Finland. The camp brought together 35 enthusiastic coffee bag weavers from all over Finland (and even a couple from Denmark) to learn new weaving techniques and spend time together with other weavers.

The camp program included various workshops, one of which I taught myself. I also participated in a couple of workshops where I learned new ways to weave coffee bags. The side program included coffee bag exchanges, sales of accessories, a raffle, a task trail, and sauna.

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In my own workshop, I taught the square mill weaving technique. This was a less familiar technique for many weavers, so I gave the participants a choice of making either a small basket or a bag assembled from square mill squares. The pre-assignments for the workshop were to cut and fold the coffee bags. In the workshop, we learned how to weave the squares, join them together, and finish the edges and holes. In short, the basics.

You can watch the instructions on video:

After my own teaching, I participated in the mad weaving workshop. The pre-assignments for the workshop were to iron opened coffee bags into long strips. The strips were cut into 4 cm wide strips, which were about 150 cm long. Finally, the strips were folded in half lengthwise, resulting in a final width of 2 cm. I started the pre-assignments a couple of days before the camp, of course, and I noticed that ironing and cutting were quite time-consuming tasks. It was a good thing that we didn’t have to spend time on them at the camp.

The coffee bags are ironed with the right sides facing each other, overlapping. To protect the ironing board and iron, baking paper is placed under and over the coffee bags to prevent the plastic from melting onto the tools. The coffee bags are pressed with an iron at ()-heat for a few seconds. I managed to wrinkle the coffee bags a bit while ironing, but the end result was still quite nice. I used various patterned coffee bags for the work, which I didn’t have enough of for my own project. I made the wrong side from the inner layers of Presidentti coffee bags, so it was a solid silver color.

I placed the coffee bags next to each other from the edges of the back seams, because the edge of the coffee bag is straight in the back seam and didn’t need to be cut. Next time, however, I will place the bags the other way around, with the top and bottom edges next to each other, which will make the coffee bag sheet a bit wider. I also want to avoid the silver and white stripes of the back seams in the middle of the long strips.

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In mad weaving, the pattern of the braid is formed by stars or a staircase pattern, depending on the colors of the strips used. I chose a rather mixed selection of coffee bags for the work, so my basket didn’t really form any recognizable pattern. This required a bit of adaptation to the interpretation of the instructions, as I couldn’t follow the formation of the star pattern in the braiding. After the initial awkwardness, the braiding started to go well, and the lack of patterns didn’t bother me too much in the end. The end result was a rather colorful and at least unique basket.

After the mad weave workshop, I started planning new projects and different shapes that could be woven with this technique. Especially without the star or staircase pattern, you can use more creativity with the shapes instead of the regular hexagon.

As a second workshop, I participated in the weaving of a small pencil basket. The basket was woven with a diagonal weave and the special feature was that the bottom had non-standard corners. I used the ironed strips left over from the mad weave workshop, as I hadn’t made folded and taped strips for it. At least the weaving was easy with these ironed strips, which I had cut 2 cm wide for this work. The strips were about 80 cm long and there were 8 of them in total.

The weaving camp was a very enjoyable experience (Nalle also enjoyed it). It was great to meet other weavers and challenge myself by learning new things. I thought the camp had the right amount of activities, but also plenty of free time and freedom to choose what to participate in. Of course, it was also great to be able to spend several days without having to think about what to eat, as someone else had done that work for the campers. Finally, here is a short video of the atmosphere of the camp!

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coffee bag basket with red and silver color design

Paulig’s Presidentti coffee packets have nice colors and patterns, but unfortunately the coffee packets consist of two plastic layers, of which the top colorful layer is thin and rustling and not a particularly attractive material for weaving. The first challenge arises when cutting the strips, when the layers detached from anywhere other than the back seam may not necessarily stay on top of each other in the front of the bag. Another challenge comes in folding the strips for the same reason. Folding two layers is also heavier than one. The strips may also become too wide more easily. In addition, when weaving, the double-layered material is slightly stiffer.

I once made a green bag from Presidentti coffee bags, but after that always peeled off the rustling layer. Now, however, I dared to try using a double-layer coffee bag when I received these red Presidentti Ruby coffee bags.

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I made red Ruby and the inside of silver-colored Presidentti coffee packets into a checkered basket. The sides of the basket are woven vertically with silver strips and horizontally with red strips. The base of the basket is completely silver. The basket contains four squares and four corner pieces, which are connected with a curling ribbon. The height of the basket is 22,5 cm and the base of the basket is 15 x 15 cm. You need 36 red strips (6,8 cm wide) and 48 silver strips (also 6,8 cm wide).

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upcycled coffee bag basket

My friend had collected 80 Reykjavik coffee packages from his workplace. First I thought about making a bag out of them, but the light colored material with a malty surface is not necessarily the best for that purpose. I decided to weave a basket similar to the one I made earlier from Juhla Mokka bags, but instead of square weaving, I used zigzag weaving.

A few more coffee bags are used for zigzag weaving compared to a square weaving in a basket of the same size, because in zigzag weaving, the edges of the basket are formed by branches, which in this basket are folded to the inside of the edge. This way, the edge becomes more stable, which is why the extra used coffee bags are not particularly harmful. I also decided to add carrying handles from ribbon to this basket.

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58 coffee bags were used in this basket. I cut three strips from each coffee bag, making a total of 172 strips that are 6,8 cm wide and 2,3 cm when folded. The height of the finished basket is 21 cm and the size of the base is 21 x 31,5 cm.

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The bottom of the basket consists of two parts and the edges are made of two zigzag layers. You can watch all the work stages of weaving in the video below.

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coffee bag basket with a zigzag pattern

Paulig’s Juhla Mokka and New York coffee packets are the same width, so they fit perfectly together in weaving projects that use ring-shaped strips. For this basket, two strips of each of the New York packets have been cut (the upper edge of the packet has been used in another project) and the monochromatic part of the upper edge of the Juhla Mokka packets.

You can see the complete weaving steps in the instructional video:

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The coffee bag basket consists of two zigzag layers on the edge, which are woven from different coffee packets, so that a zigzag pattern from the border of two different colors is formed around the basket. The width of the strips cut from the coffee packets is 6,8 cm, which when folded is approx. 2,3 cm. The width of both coffee packages is 15,3 cm. There are 48 New York strips in the basket, or a total of 24 coffee packets. There are 48 pieces of Juhla Mokka strips in zigzag and 24 pieces in the two pieces of the sole, i.e. 72 pieces in total.

The height of the finished basket is 17,5 cm and the size of the base is 21 x 21 cm. With the same model, you can also weave baskets of different heights by reducing or increasing the layers of the sides. One zigzag layer reduces or increases the height of the basket by 10,5 cm. The basket with one zigzag edge would therefore be only 7 cm high, and the edge with three zigzags would be 28 cm. You can also find a narrower version of the same body model on the blog ->

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zigzag weaving for beginners

Through YouTube, I got a wish for projects more suitable for beginners, and here is one smaller project, for which you don’t have to collect coffee bags for years. This small basket is woven from Paulig’s Brazil coffee bags, of which only 16 were used in total.

From each of the coffee bags, 2 pieces of 10,7 cm wide strips have been cut, which when folded twice are 3,6 cm wide. The strips on the upper edges of the coffee bags are woven in a monochrome yellow zigzag and the lower edges in a yellow and black textural zigzag.

The zigzag layers are connected with a curling ribbon. The slats on the upper edge of the basket are turned and the slats on the bottom edge are connected to each other.

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You can watch the instructions for basket weaving in the video below.

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The height of the finished basket is approx. 16 cm and the size of the base is 10,5 x 10,5 cm.

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basket with a zig zag pattern

The 2020 Juhla Mokka Christmas packages have a fun knit pattern. There is a heart pattern on the bottom of the package, which has been used in this project with the plain red of the regular Juhla Mokka packages.

Two edge layers of coffee packets are woven into a basket with zigzag weaving, and the bottom of the basket is woven from monochromatic strips derived from the same weaving technique.

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You can see instructions for basket weaving in the video:

A total of 92 coffee bags have been used for the basket, from each of which one strip has been cut. 52 of the strips are plain and 40 are heart-patterned.

The size of the strips is 15,3 x 7 cm. The width of the folded strip is 2,4 cm.

The size of the base of the basket is 14 x 21 cm and the height is 17,5 cm.

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long basket from coffee bags

The cheerful yellow color of the Brazil coffee packets is a wonderful change to all the red and brown coffee packets. The middle part of the package is used for this basket, with black text and patterns on the back.

In the video you can see the cutting of the strips and the weaving of the square:

This basket consists of two 8×8 squares and two two corner pieces. The total amount of strips used for this basket is 60. The two corner pieces are at the ends of the oblong basket and the squares are in the middle. The seams in the basket hit the middle of the bottom along the entire length and vertically at both ends of the basket on the larger sides of the basket.

The pieces are connected with a black gift string, which has also been used to finish the edge hinges. The size of the basket is 11,5×7,5×22,5cm.

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small coffee bag basket from corner pieces and triangles

Light blue Reykjavik and pink Sydney coffee packets have been used for this basket. The material is bags left over from a multi-colored cube basket, from which the mono-colored parts of the upper parts have been used.

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Triangles and corner pieces are woven from coffee bags by mixing strips of two different colors.

This small basket consists of two corner pieces and two triangles. The four parts of the basket are connected with a gift ribbon and a gift ribbon is also strung on the upper edge of the basket as reinforcement. The size of the basket is approximately 10,5 x 10,5 x 10,5 cm.

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combination of different size bags

Square weaving can be used not only for squares but also for weaving other rectangles. In square weaving, the length of the side of the woven square is determined by the width of the material used (in coffee bag weaving, the coffee bag). If two bags of different widths are combined in the same square, then the width and height of the square will be of different dimensions. In this project, you can see how two different bags can be combined in the same basket.

The basket consists of two squares and three other rectangles. Juhla Mokka 500 g and 100 g coffee bags from 2004 have been used as material. The width of the larger one is a good 15 cm and the smaller one is about 12 cm. The width of the strips to be cut is determined by folding the paper, and the same instruction applies to most coffee bags of different widths. However, you must always take into account the number of strips to be woven, the width and hardness of the material used, and your own folding style (with smaller folds, the strips remain wider). The basket took 6×3=18 large coffee bags and 8×3+12×2=48 small bags. The strips have been cut 1/bag, but you can of course get more strips from one coffee bag, if it fits your pattern plan.

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The size of the finished basket is approximately 12 x 12 x 15 cm.

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coffee bag pencil jar

After one bag and one basket, there was still a good amount of the lower parts of the Juhla Mokka confetti bags left. A confetti-patterned part of these bags has been cut into this basket.

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The basket consists of two pieces with two corners, each of which has 14 strips, i.e. 28 pieces in total. The strip width is 5,1 cm. The strips have not been specially arranged in certain patterns, but the confetti pattern has been tried to get visible as much as possible. The size of the finished basket is approx. 11 x 7,5 x 7,5 cm.

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