Guest Picks: Handicrafts from Rwanda

I have always loved global layout. Once I stumbled upon a few plateau baskets created by women in Rwanda, I searched for more of their beautiful handicrafts. I love that every piece is so complicated in detail and they all tell a story in their own culture. These are the types of things that I love bringing into my home: one-of-a-kind statement bits which also tell a story about the entire world. And all these purchases benefit the neighborhood craft — what could be better than that? — Lillian out of Unstitched

Eclectic Baskets – $44

This plateau basket includes such calming colors, and the special swirl shape is indeed eye-catching — it resembles a wave or even a kaleidoscope. This could be perfect used as a bowl or hung on the wall as artwork.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Friendship Baubles – GBP 1.25

These friendship baubles are perfect little Christmas gifts. Produced from sisal and sweet grass, each is unique.

Indego Africa

Wine Coasters – $15

Each of those wine coasters, made from conventional Dutch fabric, is closely stitched with foot-powered sewing machines. These would make wonderful presents.

Rwandan Peace Basket

These conventional woven baskets represent that the artisan craft of Rwanda. Made of sisal, they’re sturdy and perfect for storage. I especially love the vivid red — we can all use a bit more reddish in our homes, could not we?


Handwoven Sisal Basket – $48

This basket includes such a bright and happy color blend; it reminds me of sunlight. Each of the colors is dyed obviously by plant or tea leaves. This is likely to make you smile each time you see it.

Indego Africa

Woven Coaster Set – $25

This is the perfect cultural piece to add to some cocktail party. These woven coasters are handmade with needles and conventional threads. My favourite part is you can observe the intricate job that went into creating them.

Indego Africa

Plateau Basket – $44

The soft muted colors of the basket are so calming. Even with all the complex details and patterns, it is still so easy to check at. It is just designed enough that is isn’t loud or overbearing — a great piece to add to some room to get a bit of a global feel.

Indego Africa

Banana Table Runner – $48

This bamboo table runner is the perfect organic touch to any table. I love finding unique ways of bringing the outside in, just like this. Each of them is handmade with strips and needles of banana leaves, therefore no 2 will be the same. The intricate technique employed in creating this makes it a really intriguing piece.

Indego Africa

Agaseke Basket – $40

These agaseke baskets are so distinctively shaped, they would make certain to be a statement piece. These are traditionally created for newlyweds, each distinctly designed to represent something about the bunch. They take five days to make, so that you know they’re quite a gift from the heart.

Indego Africa

Large Woven Platter – $75

Dynamic and cultural, these platters would be the perfect unique piece to spice up a coffee table or display. They would be perfect as a tray to group sculptures together or on their own as art.

Indego Africa

Agaseke Basket Ornament – $11

These tiny agaseke basket ornaments make amazing and socially responsible gifts for the holidays. I love the colors of the one — equally relaxing and bright.

In the color to the print, I love the fabrics used to make these wine bags. Simply made yet still representing the civilization, these would be such unique global housewarming gifts (with a bottle of wine inside, of course).

Shop 4 Rwanda

Violet and Natural Fruit Bowl – GBP 10

Produced from earthen materials (sisal, papyrus, bamboo leaf and sweet bud ), this basket is ideal for holding fruit. I especially love the patterns and colors: checkers and dark purple stripes.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Dark Blue Rwandan Table Cloth – GBP 6

This tablecloth is made from East African fabrics. The bright blue color is so dramatic; it would make any picnic or outdoor meal intriguing.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Set of 5 Placemats – GBP 10

These hardy placemats are not only functional, but also so intriguing to look at. You can observe the carefully woven pattern in every and every one. And they’re so durable, they will surely help shield a tabletop from scratches.

Sundance Catalog

Handwoven Wide Nyanza Baskets – $145

The colors of those beautifully woven baskets are simply stunning, and there is that little dash of detail with every line of color. Like all the other crafts, these baskets are made from organic, earthly materials. It is so inspiring to find that beautiful objects like these can be created from natural materials.

Eclectic Baskets – $40

This ageseke basket reflects a piece of historic significance in Rwanda: the reconciliation of the 1994 genocide. Both lines represent two women walking together hand in hand, stopping to meet a friend before moving ahead. This is a slice of home decor that reflects hope.

The large, bold patterns on the fabric of the wine tote are so intriguing. They make the cloth seem so cultural. Tied on the top with a drawstring, these wine bags are excellent little pouches for storing wine.

Indego Africa

Woven Banana Box – $110

These sturdy baskets are made from banana leaves. I love that the weave produces such a pretty routine alone. These are also quite sturdy — perfect for storage.

Shop 4 Rwanda

Keza (“Beautiful”) Sissal Grass Bowl – GBP 8.50

The brilliant mixture of pink and turquoise in this bowl also make it so beautiful. It is woven with a number of all-natural materials, sweet grass among them. You can still smell the sweet grass, including an aromatic component to the room as well as visual eye candy.

Next: More ideabooks from Lillian

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