Learn how to make a tomato cage basket for carrying your vegetables and fruit
Tomato cage baskets are easily emptied and cleaned, making them ideal for outdoor use in the garden, or indoor use for short-term kitchen storage. The open design of the chicken wire container allows for convenient rinsing of fruits and vegetables while still in the basket.
Follow the easy, step-by-step instructions in this project and you can create your own tomato basket in a couple of hours.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT
• Snip at the circles of your tomato cage and you will be left with your base. Make sure that you snip as close to the cage wire as possible, leaving no excess wire sticking out as shown.
• When finished, you should be left with three pieces. Discard the two smaller sections that you will not be making your basket from.
• Place the smaller of the circles (the bottom of the basket) on top of the chicken wire.
• Cut away the chicken wire around the circle, making sure to leave about an inch on the perimeter. You want to have enough left over to wrap around the circle.
• Flip your base so that the chicken wire is on top and centered over the circle. Lightly bend the sides down around the circle so the chicken wire is more stable.
• When measuring your chicken wire for the sides, measure the width and height of a panel and cut your chicken wire slightly larger than your measurements so you have enough wire to bend around the frame.
• Trim excess wire pieces hanging over the edge, leaving enough wire to bend and secure it around the frame, then bend the wire tightly around the frame, making sure to leave no sharp protruding edges.
• Repeat Steps 2-3 for the sides of the basket, doing one panel at a time.
• To make the handle for the basket, use a hand saw to cut a large dowel rod into the size you desire. In our project, we used a ¾ x 12-inch dowel rod was cut to 6 inches.
• Drill a hole on each side of the dowel rod at least an inch in from the ends.
• Use a wire hanger, preferably uncoated. If you have a coated wire, use sandpaper to remove all the coating from the hanger.
• Measure the bottom of length of the hanger and make a tick at the halfway point. Use wire cutters to cut the hanger on your mark.
Cut at the neck of the hanger as shown, so you are left with three pieces. You can discard the hook piece of the hanger.
Straighten the hanger pieces out as best you can, then thread them through the holes you drilled into the dowel rod. Bend them as shown.
• Bend the ends of the wire hanger toward you into hooks, so that they can attach to the side of the basket with needle nose pliers.
• Hook them where you want on the basket, bend the hooks as tightly as possible around the wire frame of the basket so the handle does not come unattached.
• Fill with desired decorations or use as a handy tool to help you harvest your vegetables.