These baskets are usually made from all sorts of cards and photos, sewn together and then laminated.
The basket above is a very large representation of these vintage items - normally they come in smaller sewing basket styles. I imagine the above version was made by someone to hold knitting needles and wool.
The second basket I bought is a rectangular one depicting old photos from various cities around the world. I am not exactly sure which cities are depicted, but the main two look like something from Scandinavia, definitely Europe somewhere.
Its quite funny though, because on the side of this basket (see above) there are ugly photos of suburban sprawl and what looks like coal plants and furnaces. Quite the contrast from the main photos of Scandanavian harbours! (perhaps the maker was trying to make a subtle political statement!)
I would love to know more about how these baskets came to be made.
I imagine there must have been groups of women across Australia in sewing or craft circles making them? There must have been thousands made because my mother and all my aunties had one in their houses.
I love the fact that they are 'shabby chic' and so individual, but also because they represent someone's thoughts and creativity (and they are exceptionally well made and sturdy)
If you are interested in buying one of these sorts of baskets, you will need to look around quite a bit as they have become a collector's item in Australia. Any that I have seen on ebay have been quite expensive. I managed to buy these on ebay recently because no one bid on them (perhaps because they are much larger than the 'standard' sewing baskets people collect?).
These are the sorts of treasures you may be able to pick up at a thrift/opp shop - so keep your eyes peeled!