5 Brilliant Basket Ideas and Crafts

Not sure what to do with those old gift baskets piling up in your closet? Give them new life with these trendy crafts and ideas.
By: Briana Mowrey
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Baskets are something that mysteriously accumulate in my home. I think between flower arrangements and gifts of fruit, they just pile up in my hall closet, waiting for their time to shine again. If you can relate, take a look at these cool crafts and ideas for baskets and get inspired to use yours for something beyond bananas, pears and apples.

Old Basket = New Light Fixture

CI-Mali-Azima_basket-pendant-light_s3x4

CI-Mali-Azima_basket-pendant-light_s3x4

Photo by: Mali Azima

Mali Azima

This idea from Brian Patrick Flynn is perfect for deeper baskets that already resemble lampshades. The rope adds a touch of coastal-cool to this nautical light fixture.

Old Baskets = New Wall Art

Wall Decor With Woven Baskets

Wall Decor With Woven Baskets

Shallow woven baskets (like ones found at basketsofafrica.com) in a mix of sizes and colors can make for a super-graphic wall display. To hang the baskets, hammer a nail with a small head near the center of each so the edges of the baskets overlap. Start with one big basket and work your way out.

If you’ve got quite the basket collection at this point, turn it into an eclectic 3D wall art installation. This example from HGTV Magazine is the ideal mix of varying colors and sizes.

7 Ways to Fill Up Your Walls

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Cardboard Letters

Spell out a name or use initials in a kid’s bedroom or playroom. Crafty Kraft paper letters, $4 each, landofnod.com. Shown here painted Exuberant Pink by Sherwin-Williams.

Photo By: Mark Lund

Old Books

Cloth-covered books from yard sales and flea markets will hang flat against a wall once you remove the pages. The key is to look for ones with hollow spines so the pages can be sliced free with a crafts knife. To hang them, tap a small nail or an upholstery nail into each corner.

Photo By: Mark Lund

Ceiling Medallions

A variety of polyurethane ceiling medallions (available at home improvement stores) make expensive-looking wall art when they’re painted similar shades. The medallions are lightweight, so they’re easy to hang. Use strong glue like Liquid Nails or, for a temporary hold, try strips of Velcro. Nail the back part of the Velcro to the wall to make it extra secure. “Trace the medallions onto kraft paper. Stick the paper circles to the wall with painter’s tape to help plan your design,”—Tiffany Brooks, HGTV Smart Home 2014

Photo By: Mark Lund

Numbers

Pick a date that has special meaning to your family, and group a collection of those numbers. Different sizes and silhouettes look best, so mix house numbers, framed prints, and plastic or metal block numbers from flea markets or eBay. Hang framed prints from picture hangers, house numbers from nails, and block numbers from nails or screws tapped partway into your wall. “To keep an arrangement of different-size objects from looking too crazy, anchor them around a shelf or piece of furniture that has a straight top.”—Vern Yip, Live in Vern’s House

Photo By: Mark Lund

Woven Baskets

Shallow woven baskets in a mix of sizes and colors make a super-graphic display. We found most of these at basketsofafrica.com. To hang the baskets, hammer a nail with a small head near the center of each so the edges of the baskets overlap. Start with one big basket and work your way out.

Painted Crates

Vintage produce crates (find some at thecratepeople.com) become storage shelves once they’re prettied up with paint. Let dry, then drill a hole in each corner and screw or nail them to the wall.

Photo By: Mark Lund

Platters and Cutting Boards

Show off serving pieces on a kitchen wall. Hang wood cutting boards that have a handle from nails. Use plate hangers for lightweight platters and plates, and heavy-duty plate hangers (find options at ooks.com) for heavier pieces, like the rectangular silver tray below. “Another easy way to hang a plate is to attach a picture hook to its back with superglue.”—Nicole Curtis, Rehab Addict

Photo By: Mark Lund

Old Basket = New Hanging Plant Basket

Hanging Basket with Aromatic and Edible Herbs

Hanging Basket with Aromatic and Edible Herbs

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

This might seem like a no-brainer, but an old basket makes a darling hanging planter. All you need is a plastic liner and metal chain or rope for hanging.

Old Basket = New Bathroom Storage

Stenciled Bathroom Basket

Stenciled Bathroom Basket

Simple stenciled lettering gives this wicker basket decorative appeal and transforms it into stylish storage for the bathroom.

Adding a simple white stencil to an old basket can be enough to bring it back to life. This beauty from Marian Parsons has been repurposed as stylish bathroom storage, but the possibilities are nearly endless.

Stylish Ways to Decorate With Baskets

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The Benefits of Baskets

"Baskets not only hide a multitude of sins, but they are also a great way to add texture to a room," interior designer Judith Balis says. Available in a wide range of shapes, styles and colors, baskets can be used to add attractive storage to almost any space. Design by HGTV fan LaylaPalmer.

Photo By: HGTV fan Layla Palmer

Selecting Baskets

When decorating with baskets, Balis likes to maintain some consistency throughout a room. "The baskets can vary in size and shape, as long as they're made out of the same material," she says. "This keeps them from adding to the visual clutter." Design by HGTV fan housetweaking.

Photo By: HGTV fan housetweaking

Baskets on Bookshelves

If you have a large bookcase, fill the bottom shelves with baskets, Balis recommends. "They can help to add visual weight if you have numerous small items and keep everything in balance," she says. Design by Judith Balis.

Clutter Collectors

From utensils and gadgets to canned food and fresh produce, baskets are great for storing all kinds of kitchen items. Best of all, attractive baskets can be displayed proudly on countertops or open shelving, keeping your kitchen essentials close at hand. HGTV fan LaylaPalmer removed her cabinet doors to showcase the baskets she found that perfectly fit the shelves.

Photo By: HGTV fan Layla Palmer

Spa-Like Accessory

Ideal for keeping toiletries and other items out of sight, a few well-placed baskets can take a bathroom from cluttered to calming. You can also use baskets to store magazines or towels or to display decorative soaps on your vanity. For a small bathroom, Balis recommends stacking baskets with lids on the floor. "Not only are they a great way to stash extra rolls of toilet paper and toiletries, but they can also add visual interest to a room with limited space," she says. Design by HGTV fan leal6.

Photo By: HGTV fan leal6

Elegant Office Storage

Forget the typical metal file cabinet — in this charming office nook, HGTV fan Tetbury stores files in a large wicker basket. The 19th-century French purses displayed in the built-in corner bookcase add a decorative touch and echo the look of the wicker basket.

Photo By: HGTV fan Tetbury

Toy Box Alternative

In kids' rooms, designating baskets for toys, books, art supplies and clothes makes clean-up easy for both you and your little ones. Consider labeling each basket to help children learn where their belongings go. HGTV fan jak1975 created a chic look by filling a modular bookcase with a mix of wicker and black-and-white polka dot baskets.

Photo By: HGTV fan jak1975

Embellished Baskets

Simple touches can transform plain baskets into stylish accessories. HGTV fan lvmama-08 dressed up inexpensive fabric baskets with ribbon to store clothes and shoes in her daughter's nursery.

Bedside Storage

Bulky blankets and extra sheets can take up a lot of room in a closet. If you're short on space, store these items in a basket underneath or at the foot of your bed. HGTV fan em-80 adorned this bedroom with a set of three matching baskets, stacking two of them next to a reading chair to create a makeshift table.

Photo By: HGTV fan em-80

Woven Wall Hangings

Baskets don't always have to be functional — for a purely decorative addition, try filling baskets with flowers, shells or wicker balls or using them as wall hangings. In the HGTV Dream Home 2010, interior designer Linda Woodrum added three-dimensional texture to a smooth wall surface with subtle, yet stylish, hand-woven bowl baskets.

Old Basket = New Baby Shower Gift

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CI-Melanie-Grizzel_Pamper-Mom-Gift-Kit_h

Photo by: Melanie Grizzel

Melanie Grizzel

If you have a clean basket that’s in good condition and a friend with a baby on the way, this idea is for you. Fill a basket with luxe spa essentials that will pamper a new mother or mommy-to-be and wrap with a bow. (Hey, it’s not re-gifting if you add new gifts to it!) 

Create a Gift Basket of Spa Essentials

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A Thoughtful Surprise

Help that special someone in your life cherish every relaxing moment they can get. This is an especially great gift for an expectant mom in her final weeks of pregnancy or first months of motherhood.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Start With the Basics

Start building your kit with a couple of easy-to-find spa basics: a plush white towel and a pair of waffle knit slippers.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Stay Neutral

Choose a neutral woven basket lined with natural linen to really give it that spa look. (The plush towel does double-duty in this gift kit. Rolled and tucked into the bottom, it makes for great filler in the basket!)

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Fresh and Clean

A bar of gently exfoliating soap paired with a soft-bristled shower brush are great for giving a super clean feeling in the bath or shower.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Buttered Up

Body butters feel great and can also be used to prevent and treat stretch marks, so a mango body butter will make a perfect addition if you're creating a baby shower gift kit. Natural sponges are a great choice since this is something mom can enjoy alone or (eventually) together with baby!

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Good Scents

What spa experience would be complete without playing to one’s sense of smell? A scented candle and pretty matchbook will add a luxurious touch to your pamper kit.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Soak It Up

A sore muscle soak purchased from a local organic spa is sure to provide a heavenly escape for any tired new mom or mom-to-be. This item might be substituted with bubble bath or any sort of soothing bath additive.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Putting It All Together

Tucking all the products in over the towel, your spa basket should really start to come together. Finally, use a simple shipping tag and luxe colored ribbon to finish off the kit.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Indulgent Ideas

With an array of products that can be enjoyed both during and after pregnancy, a pamper kit for mom is an unexpected and fun way to show your love for the mom or mom-to-be in your life.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

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