Paint the basket a color that matches your room's decor.

How to Make Old Baskets Look Chic

by Michelle Ullman

Baskets have a multitude of uses around the home. Use them to corral your kids' craft supplies, small toys and game pieces. Dress up the bathroom with a basketful of colorful washcloths. Set a small basket near the front door to stash car keys, cell phones and school permission forms. But old, plain baskets can be boring and outdated. With a little bit of creativity, give those baskets a new look.


A quick coat of paint turns a boring, natural-tone basket into a colorful accessory for any room in your home. Dust the basket before painting, and sand away any rough spots, stains or mildew marks. Use spray paint for full, even coverage with a shiny, smooth finish. For a shabby chic, weathered style, dry brush the basket. Dip a stiff-bristled paintbrush into latex paint, then wipe most of the paint away with a rag. Lightly brush the barely-wet brush over the basket, leaving a streaky, uneven coat of paint that looks like time and use has weathered the color.


It's time consuming, but weaving beads around a basket adds color, texture and funky style. You'll need fishing line or clear thread, a large sewing needle and a selection of your favorite beads. Knot the fishing line onto the basket's upper edge, then weave the fishing line in and out of the basket, securing a bead in place with each loop. You don't want a perfect look, so space the beads by eye, not with a ruler. Continue to loop beads around the basket until you reach the bottom edge.


With a hot glue gun and a few embellishments, you can turn your boring basket into a decorating statement. Cut the stems off faux flowers, and glue the heads around the basket's edge for a flirty touch. Show off a collection of small seashells by gluing them in place over the basket's handle and edge. Glue a grapevine garland complete with little bunches of grapes to the basket, and use it to hold napkins, corkscrews and other home-bar necessities. Work on the basket when the kids are busy elsewhere, as hot glue can cause a nasty burn.


If you want a natural, casual and unusual look, cover your basket with moss. It's a messy project, so lay out newspaper or a drop cloth to protect your workspace. You'll need white glue, and Spanish moss or reindeer moss, both found at most craft stores. Press small pieces of moss into thickly spread glue, working your way from the basket's bottom edge up. Periodically gently shake the basket to knock off any unglued pieces of moss, then fill in empty spaces. Finish by gluing moss over both sides of the basket's handle. Display the finished basket where little hands won't be able to reach it, as the moss is delicate.

About the Author

Living in California, Michelle Ullman is a professional writer with particular expertise in home, garden and pet/nature topics. Her work is published on many websites. She loves crafts and has a deep interest in design and DIY projects.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images