Basket 2.0–make use of what you have

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  July 21, 2011 — 6 Comments

Nick has had this little woven basket since his days of living in the frat house. I’m guessing he swiped it from his mama to store his dirty socks. I hope she didn’t want it back because I’m kind of in love with it now.

It’s really convenient for keeping in the laundry room. The colors weren’t really working for me, but I didn’t want to part with it, especially since it was a perfect fit on my new laundry room shelves.

I started by removing the liner. Even though a fabric liner is awesome for easy cleaning (just pull it out and toss it in the wash), the gingham was looking a little worse for wear and kinda clashing with my blue walls.

Even without the liner, I still didn’t like the color of the basket, so I decided to stain it. I had no idea how the material would take to stain so I was kind of taking a risk, but I figured what the heck, I like to live on the edge. I used some Minwax Dark Walnut stain that I already had.

Please forgive the blurry picture of my staining process. My right hand was covered in stain and I was struggling to hold the camera steady in my left. Working in small sections, I used a staining sponge to coat the surface of the basket with stain, squeezing the sponge so that stain ran into all the nooks and crannies of the woven surface, then came back with the same sponge and wiped up the excess. I applied one coat of stain to the whole surface, inside and out. Stain dries really quick, so I was able to do the whole thing in one sitting. Unfortunately, anything stained stays stinky for a few days so I had to wait a while before actually being able to bring it inside.

When Mrs. Basket finally did return to the laundry room it was a glorious reunion. She finally feels at home!

Can you believe it’s the same basket? Look how suave and 2011 she is now.

I feel really proud for working with what I already had instead of going out (or clicking over to Amazon) and buying something new. Baskets can get pricey if you start buying them left and right, and sometimes I struggle to find the size, shape, and color that I’m looking for. I’ve experimented with painting thrifted baskets before and was never thrilled with the result, but I’m totally stoked to know now that staining is a realistic option for giving something that’s still in good shape an updated look.

Have you found any simple tricks for updating something you already had?

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


6 responses to Basket 2.0–make use of what you have

  1. I’m in love with wicker baskets! I always find mine for cheap at family dollar or Marshalls

  2. I have NEVER thought of that! I’m searching my house now looking for baskets I can stain! It looks brand new!

  3. I have an old basket that was left out in the rain for a season. It’s dark like mildew on it but dry from being inside for a few years. Is there anything I need to do with that before staining it?

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hmmm, I’m not sure! Maybe wipe it down with a diluted bleach solution just to make sure there’s no lingering mildew?

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