If you are interested in learning the ancient craft and art of weaving a willow basket, the first step will be to obtain the supplies necessary to make willow baskets. Luckily the supply list is fairly simple, and you should be able to find most of the supplies you need at your local craft or home goods store. You may also need to adjust the quantity of supplies based on the size and number of willow baskets you plan to make. If it is your first time weaving a willow basket, it can be helpful here to use some of the free tutorials posted online such as the one at Cultivating Life or the Acorn Pies blog.
The basic supplies you will need to make a willow basket include unpeeled brown willow, a smaller amount of unpeeled brown willow that has been steamed, a sharp woodcutting or carving knife, a weaving bodkin, pruning shears with which to slice off appropriate lengths of willow to weave with, a ruler to keep accurate measurements of the willow rods, and a grease horn.
Figuring out how much willow material to buy can be the toughest part of gathering the necessary supplies. As a guide, if you want to make a larger basket that is 20 by 20 by 20 inches in measurement, you would want approximately four pounds of willow in two different lengths for the pairing, waling, stakes, and handle wrapping pieces. If you have a large willow tree in your neighborhood or (better yet) in your own yard, instead of brown willow you can look for yellow willow twigs and stems and use those to construct a truly homemade willow basket. The one caveat here is that you may not be able to make a basket that is as large depending on what your local tree yields.