For over 45 years, Longaberger Company has been crafting some of the finest handmade baskets available. Founded by Dave Longaberger in eastern Ohio in the 1970s, the Longaberger name has become synonymous with expertly crafted baskets using quality American hardwoods. While Longaberger produces baskets of all shapes and sizes, some of their most popular and charming creations are their petite baskets. Ranging in size from just a few inches across to around a foot in diameter, these tiny works of art make wonderful gifts, elegant decorative accents, and practical storage solutions.
The Popularity of Small Decorative Baskets
Small decorative baskets have maintained steady popularity over the years for their versatility, practicality, and visual appeal. The 2022 Portrait of the U.S. Gift Consumer report found that 31% of survey respondents had purchased a small decorative basket as a gift over the past three years. When well-crafted from quality materials, these diminutive baskets have an heirloom-quality look and feel that buyers appreciate. Their petite size also makes them ideal for display in any room of the house. Small baskets can neatly corral items on counters, shelves, end tables, and more while adding a touch of style.
Key Features of Longaberger’s Petite Basket Line
While many manufacturers sell small baskets, Longaberger’s creations stand out for their attention to detail and care put into every step of production. Some key features that distinguish their petite baskets include:
- Handcrafted from American hardwoods like oak, maple, ash, and hickory using quality steaming and bending techniques perfected over decades of basket weaving.
- Multiple shape options from round to oval to square, with curved, tall, or short sides. Diameters typically range from 4 inches to 14 inches.
- Unique Longaberger patterns pressed into the basket handles, like the popular Little Diamond weave.
- Multiple base options like flat bottoms, attached wood bases, pointed bottoms, or metal frames allowing baskets to stand or hang.
- Variety of stain colors that accentuate the wood’s natural grain without hiding imperfections that give each basket character.
- Made in the USA with natural, sustainable materials.
- Durable enough for everyday use unlike mass-produced imports. With care, they last for many years.
- Reasonably priced starting around $30.
Top Uses for Petite Longaberger Baskets
Beyond being exceptionally attractive accessories, some of the most popular uses that owners have found for Longaberger’s small baskets include:
- Holiday décor – The baskets coordinate beautifully with most seasonal décor and can hold tiny ornaments, pine cones, flowers, and other accents.
- Bathroom storage – Soap, towels, bath toys, and other items look tidy tucked inside a small basket.
- Office organizing – Craft supplies, tech cords, notepads, and other desk items can be neatly corralled.
- Kids’ rooms – Sturdy yet cute baskets work perfectly for storing little toys, books, stuffed animals, and more.
- Displaying collectibles – Show off special mementos like seashells, potpourri, framed photos, or candles in a petite basket.
- Hostess gifts – An inexpensive yet thoughtful housewarming or dinner party gift.
- Wedding favors – Affordable and reusable favors like these outrank standard disposable gifts.
What are the different types of baskets?
Here are some of the main types of baskets:
- Wicker baskets – Made from woven plant materials like rattan, willow, bamboo. Often have a sturdy base and handles. Used for everything from laundry to picnics.
- Wire baskets – Woven from metal wire, usually steel or aluminum. Tend to be very durable and come in wide range of shapes/sizes. Often used for organizational purposes.
- Wooden baskets – Constructed from thin wood splints, veneers, or laminated wood. Known for a natural, rustic look. Used for breadbaking, gathering farm produce, decoration.
- Plastic baskets – Molded out of various types of plastic from polyethylene to biodegradable corn resin. Inexpensive, conveniently lightweight and cleanable. Found in hampers, toy bins, storage boxes.
- Straw baskets – Woven from straw, rushes, or grasses. Have a softer, more rustic appearance. Frequently used for holding fruits/vegetables, drying grains, and flower arrangements.
- Reed baskets – Made from marsh reeds. Often closely woven and watertight. Used as market and fishing creels, and home decor.
- Splint baskets – Woven from thin strips of wood, rattan, or bamboo. Known for intricate and decorative weaving patterns. Used for fruit and bread serving.
Small longaberger baskets with lids
Small Longaberger baskets with lids refer to a specific style of decorative covered basket made by The Longaberger Company. Some key details:
- Size – They are small, typically around 4-8 inches in length/width. Enough to hold small household goods or use for organizing.
- Shape – Classic Longaberger shapes include rounded, elongated “Tulip Baskets” or squared “Serenity Baskets.” They often taper slightly towards the base.
- Lids – The lids are snug fitting, sometimes with a loop or wooden toggle closure to keep secure. The lid and base have matching weaves.
- Material – They’re handcrafted from thin strips of maple wood. The splint weaving style gives them an open, airy look.
- Craftsmanship – Attention is paid to symmetry, tightness of weaving, smoothness of rims. They are considered collectible quality.
- Design – Stylized motifs on the sides like hearts, leaves, flowers are signature. Rich stains in warm wood tones like honey, maple, cherry are used.
- Purpose – Mostly decorative, but the small size also enables using for organizing supplies, displaying keepsakes, or gifting treats.
Frequently Asked Questions About Small Longaberger Baskets
What are some typical sizes for small Longaberger baskets?
Their petite baskets range from just 4 to 14 inches in diameter. Some popular models are the 4-inch Sugar Basket, the 5 3/4-inch Little Diamond Basket, the 7-inch Classic Collection basket, and the 10-inch My First Basket.
How long does it take to make one Longaberger basket?
It’s a meticulous, labor-intensive process. Depending on the size and model selected, skilled Longaberger artisans can spend 8 to 16 hours handcrafting each basket one at a time.
What is the best way to care for a Longaberger basket?
Since they are made of natural wood, keep baskets away from excessive moisture. Occasionally apply a light coat of lemon oil to nourish the wood. Avoid harsh cleaners. With proper care, even petite baskets become treasured heirlooms passed down for generations.
Are there options for customizing a small Longaberger basket?
Yes, custom stains, plaques, or engraved nameplates can be added for an additional fee. Baskets also make wonderful gifts when filled with goodies like bath items, baked goods, or personalized keepsakes.
Do the baskets come packaged as gifts?
Longaberger offers exclusive gift packaging like organza bags and ribbons for an upgraded presentation. Baskets shipped directly through Longaberger include distinctive protective storage and shipping boxes too.
With their countless decorative and practical uses paired with Longaberger’s reputation for unparalleled quality and craftsmanship, it’s easy to see why petite baskets have been coveted for decades and will continue to be treasured for years to come. When seeking a gift, home accent, or storage solution that shines with artisan appeal, Longaberger’s small baskets perfectly fit the bill.