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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Free Pattern/Tutorial: Stacking CD Baskets

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Make a charming basket out of a couple of discarded CDs!
I'm not exactly overrun with CDs that need to be repurposed, so this project more or less uses up the last ones that are cluttering up my space.

In a very pretty way, I might add.

As I found out before deciding to upcycle CDs into coasters, there aren't a whole lot of simple ideas for reusing CDs, as is. Most of them involve breaking them up into small pieces. So when I came across a variation of this basket on icreativeideas.com (direct link at the end of this post), it jumped out at me.

CDs are used to form the lid and the bottom of this basket. You'll also need some polyfil (mine was left over from my P&P pillow project). Fabric-wise, you can make one basket with a fat quarter. A button and an elastic hair tie completes the list of required materials.

The name? Well, if you make more than one basket, you can stack them together!

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Make two baskets and stack them together!

There are loads of possibilities for how to use this fancy little fabric basket. In the photo at the top of this post, I've put some jewelry selections in it.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
An elegant way to use up a couple of old CDs ...

It would do well in your guest room to hold candies and mints.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Interior of basket...

It looks like a natural container for cotton balls. Or maybe potpourri? (Does anyone use potpourri anymore??)

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Underside of the basket...

In the sewing room, you can use the stacked version to store clips, buttons, and other small bits that are relatively lightweight.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Basket holding my collection of clips...

In terms of this set, one is being used as a thread catcher. The one with the lid is in my bathroom, holding various chargers and cords for my cell phone, mp3 player & speaker.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Do you find yourself charging your gadgets in the bathroom overnight?

The original project was hand-sewn. You don't need to be reminded again of how much I dislike sewing by hand (although I just did remind you), but for those who share my sentiments, let me say that I have transformed this into a machine sewn project.

Ready to make one?

Cut two circles out of your chosen fabric, 10" or 26cm in diameter. (You probably have a dinner plate that you can trace around.)

Establish where the middle is on the wrong side of one of the fabric circles and place your first CD there. Top with the other fabric circle, wrong side down.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Place one of the CDs in between the two fabric circles, right in the middle...

Place the other CD on top to guide you in pinning through both layers around the first CD, trapping it between the two fabric circles. Use a fading marker to draw a circle around the CD; that will be your sewing guide. Pin around the outer edge as well.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Pin around your CD and then draw a circle around it for sewing...

Carefully stitch around the CD.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Stitch around the CD, completely enclosing it in the middle of your fabric...

A cutting mat comes in handy here: use pins along the edge to divide the circle into eight equal parts.

The next step is to sew from the edge of the CD circle to the outer edge along those divisions.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Sew eight lines to create "pockets"...

If you need to make actual sewing lines, go ahead and do so; I can usually just follow my pins.

Once you have the divisions sewn up, cut appropriately sized pieces of polyfil and stuff them into the resulting "pockets".

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Do not overstuff or you'll have trouble sewing up the edge...

You don't need a whole lot of fill to make this work, so don't overdo it (as it might make your next step unnecessarily tricky).

The next step is to close up the circle — and the stuffed pockets — with a 1/4" (6mm) seam allowance. (Definitely pin the edges closed first, before you start sewing.) If your fabric is especially prone to fraying, you might want to follow up by zigzagging the raw edge also.

You have a choice as to how you want to do the next step.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Hand or machine baste in some gathering stitches...

I sewed the gathering stitches in by hand onto the top edge of this basket, but you can also machine baste — just be sure to use a high quality, strong thread — and then pull the threads afterwards to gather.

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When it comes to deciding how much to gather, place your remaining CD on top as a sizing guide. The finished lid will only be a tiny bit bigger.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
The basket part is done!

Tie off the gathering stitches appropriately and you already have a functional basket! In fact, as a thread catcher, this is enough; you don't really need a lid.

I had a fabric scrap that was perfect for the lid, but wanted some way to tie it back to the main part of the basket. I decided to cover a button with the main fabric.

covering a button with fabric...
How to cover a button with fabric...

If you want to do this, you'll need a button with a shank. Cut a small circle of fabric sufficiently bigger than the button and then baste, gather, and tie off. (It doesn't have to look nice on the underside because no one will see it.)

I didn't take many pictures of the rest of the lid making process because it's really quite simple. (Check out my CD coaster project if you want some similar visuals.)

Cut two fabric circles about 3/4" or 2cm larger than the CD. With right sides together, sew around the perimeter with a 3/8" or 1cm seam allowance, leaving a large enough gap to slide in the CD.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Ensure you leave a gap big enough for the CD to fit...

Turn right side out and give it a press.

Use the CD as a template to cut a piece of polyfil about the same size and then stuff both inside of this fabric "pocket".

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Add the fill to the top of the lid...

Use clips to help you keep the turning gap closed, and then carefully — very carefully — topstitch around the entire outer edge... avoiding the CD, of course.

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
Both of my fabrics were Robert Kaufman Imperial Collection selections...

All that remains is to attach the button through the middle of the CD and then slip the hair elastic around it. (FYI, if you want that tight "button in the middle of a pillow" look, anchor the button with another on the reverse side.)

Stacking CD Baskets by eSheep Designs
What might you use these stacking baskets for?

That's it for this week. If you're interested in taking a look at the original inspiration behind this project, you can find it here.

Like it? Want to keep it? For a copy of this tutorial in PDF format, go to my Makerist shop and download it for free!


  1. Great tutorial, thanks for sharing it Rochelle.


  2. That is clever!!! I love your baskets, Rochelle. They'd be perfect for potpourri - yes, I still use it. The CDs makes for a sturdy lid and a flat bottom on the basket. I'd love you to add this to the Fabric Baskets linky.

  3. I am amazed! This is so cute, and who doesn't have some old cds around the house. I love this idea, and who would ever guess what it was made out of!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sandi! Hope you have fun making these and find great uses for them.

  4. Great idea. Lots of possible variations running through my brain. I'd like a way to attach the lid so it flips open. (Easy to imagine losing the lid otherwise) I used to have many old disks around waiting for inspiration- hope I can find them!

    1. Hi there and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think I've seen similar situations covered off by a small length of ribbon. It could be sewn into the rim of the lid and then attached to the basket in some way.

  5. una idea fantastica la pondre pronto en practica . Gracias


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