How to Make Tulip Tree Bark Baskets

Tulip tree bark baskets represent an old but extremely "handy" craft from the hills of North Carolina.



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Apart from the lacing, tulip tree bark baskets bear an eerie resemblance to actual tree trunks.
PHOTO: DOUGLAS ELLIOTT
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Each strip must then be peeled apart and the outer bark portion discarded.
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Begin your basket by cutting the lacing from a young hickory or basswood. Just start at the bottom of the trunk and peel an inch-wide strip of bark, pulling the material toward the top of the tree.
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On a smooth area of the trunk, mark off a section twice the depth of the proposed basket. This piece of bark should be peeled in one sheet from the entire circumference of the tree
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Punch a series of holes—about two inches apart and an inch in from the bark's edges—along each of the four "borders" that will be pulled together to form the container. Lace up the basket's sides like a pair of shoes
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Bend your "hoop" stick or bark into shape., set it in place around the mouth of the basket, punch another series of holes, and lace the wooden circle onto the container
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Draw a line across your sheet of bark alfway between the two short sides. Connect the ends of that scribe with two curved arcs to form an elongated football shape. Then, use your knife to score the markings through the outer bark, fold the material (carefully!) along the cuts. Your basket will begin to take its final shape
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