Apply stain to the basket with a clean cloth, following the manufacturer's instructions. When the stain is dry, apply clear wood finish with a paintbrush. Set the basket aside.
Soak pine needles in warm water for 20 minutes or until they bend easily without breaking. Cut the sheaths from the ends of the needles.
To make a wrapped coil, gather enough needles to make a 1/2-inch-diameter bundle. Wrap waxed thread several times around the bundle, 1 1/2 inches from one end; securely knot. Hold the thread between your thumb and index finger of one hand along the needles, 1 inch below the knot. Use your other hand to wrap the thread clockwise around the bundle, inserting it between the bundle and itself above your thumb and index finger. Pull the thread end to tighten the wrap around the bundle so it is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch from the knot. Continue making the wraps around the bundle until the coil is several inches longer than the basket's handle. To lengthen the coil, add needles as you go by placing new needles into the center of the coil. Strive to keep the coil's diameter consistent and the outside smooth.
When the coil is the desired length, wrap the thread several times around the coil and knot securely. Repeat to make as many coils as needed to cover the handle; we used four coils for our basket.
Position the coils on the handle and use waxed thread to secure the coils at each end of the handle. Securely knot and trim the ends of the coil even with the handle ends. Secure the coils at the center top of the handle with thread. Use small amounts of hotmelt adhesive to secure the coils to the handle if needed.
Hot-glue pinecones around the rim. Fill in spaces around the pinecones with casuarina pods.
Tie a large ribbon bow around the handle at the basket front.