Yesterday I shared with you my inspiration for a new, fresh and modern utility basket. I’ve had this medium-sized, brown wicker basket from Ross for some time now. It’s been Husband’s office trash can, a small laundry basket for my bathroom and lately it has been hanging out in my office / craft room catching unwanted mail and crumpled up notes. It’s perfectly functional, but I was wanting it to be a little more stylish. My office is still very much a work in progress, so the few items I do have in there need to make an impact. After trying a few painting techniques and adding some twine around the handles, I think it’s the perfect combination of modern, chic and rustic that I love.
- Wicker basket with handles
- Spray paint (I used white and silver)
- Plastic bin
- Painter’s tape
- Twine or rope
- Glue gun and glue sticks
1. Spray paint your basket. Make sure to do this outside in a well-ventilated space. If you’re using a dark or colored basket, you may need several coats. Please follow the drying instructions on the spray can.
Lesson learned: Do not spray paint with your sunglasses on. After the project, I noticed that my sunglasses were covered in tiny speckles of white spray paint, thanks to the wind. Also make sure to wear clothes that you don’t care about getting dirty and remove all jewelry.
Lesson learned: My original vision for this DIY was for the bottom section of the basket to be metallic silver. Originally I used painter’s tape to mark off the top section and sprayed the bottom with silver spray paint. However, I wasn’t happy with the results. I wanted the wicker to look more filled in, so I decided to move onto step #2.
2. (Optional) Dip-dye basket. I looked everywhere for a reasonable priced metallic silver paint. Home Depot carries one under the Martha Stewart Living Precious Metals collection, but it’s crazy expensive and since I was planning on dipping the basket into the paint, I needed more than one gallon. No thank you. I ended up using some old white paint we had left over, just to try the technique. Then I figured I could spray paint over the white, to give it the color I wanted.
If you want to try this technique, first you fill a plastic bin with paint. Make sure that your plastic bin is slightly larger than the basket. Next, place your basket into the bin. You will need to push it down since the paint is thick. Then thread a pole or a piece of wood through the basket handles and lift the basket out of the paint. Use two chairs (I used metal folding chairs) or props to rest the pole on, allowing the basket to hover over the plastic bin. Paint will continue to drip as it dries, so make sure that the basket is directly over the bin and I would use a drop cloth.
Lesson learned: This is a very non eco-friendly painting method and unless you plan on tackling multiple projects at once. A lot of paint goes to waste. You also will need to throw out your plastic bin. Overall, I am not really an advocate for this technique, unless you using smaller items and thus need less paint.
3. (Optional) Color-block basket. Once my basket was dry, I decided to add color back to the bottom section using metallic silver spray paint. You would not need to do this if you used a different color paint to dip-dye.
Lesson learned: At this point I was getting really lazy. I should have used painter’s tape to mark off the top section, but instead I just sprayed at the general area that I wanted to be silver. The result is fine, but it’s not truly color-blocked and not as obvious. It’s actually really difficult to tell in the pictures that it’s silver at all.
4. Add twine to the handles. I cut really long pieces of twine (about 20 times the length of the handle). Starting at where the handle meets the basket, add glue to the inside of the handle in small sections and begin wrapping the handle with the twine. Wrap the twine extremely close. Be careful to not leave gaps, especially around the curves. Because the glue dries fast, I recommend only using less than an inch of glue at a time. Once you have wrapped the entire handle, cut the twine leaving about a 1/4 of inch. Tuck the end into the basket and secure with glue.