How to Make Old Fashioned Berry Box and Basket Toys

The following article on berry box and basket toys was originally printed in 1915.

The following crafts show the ingenuity of our recent ancestors and how they were able to use just about anything to make toys for themselves and their children.

Berry Box and Basket Toys

More toys than you would imagine can be made out to the little berry boxes and baskets.

The little cradle shown in Fig. 1 is made of a berry box with a basket hood. Open the side of the box that has the lapped ends, and fold down and out the doubled pieces (Fig. 2). Then set the box inside of the basket, with the opened side pieces against the basket sides, and sew securely to the basket.

Figure 3 shows the rockers (A) and the upright supports for attaching them (B). Make the rockets two inches longer than the width of the cradle, and cut a slot in the lower end of uprights B just wide enough to receive their ends. Figure 1 shows how the uprights should be stitched to the sides of the cradle.

The doll rocker in Fig. 4 is another of the many pieces of berry box furniture that can be made. Remove one side of a box, and about one-third of each of the adjoining sides and the bottom, and use the remainder for the seat, back and arms of the chair. By selecting the doubled sides of the box for cutting, the upper parts of the rockers can be slipped up and fastened between the doubled pieces (Fig. 4). Cut the rockers by the pattern of Fig. 5, making them long enough to project about an inch in front and back of the seat.

Figure 6 shows a simple wagon made of a berry basket. You may fasten another basket over the end for a hood, if you like, and thus convert the wagon into a doll carriage. Get a pair of large ribbon spools for wheels (Fig. 7), and cut two sticks to the diameter of a pencil for axles, and a pair of uprights (A, Fig. 7) for connecting the axles to the basket. Make holes near the ends of the uprights just large enough for the axles to fit in, cutting very carefully so as not to split the wood.

The castle in Fig. 8 may be built as high and wide as your supply of berry boxes will permit. The windows are cut at the corners of the boxes, because there is less danger of splitting the wood by cutting them at that point. Cut a doorway in each box of the second tier to lead out on to the drawbridges. The drawbridges can be made either of pieces of a berry box or cardboard.

Source: The Yale expositor. (Yale, St. Clair County, Mich.), 02 Dec. 1915.