Friday, January 17, 2014

57 If You Like It, Then You Should Put Some Stain On It!

Isn't frustrating when you are on the search for something in a specific size and color, and you look and look and just can't seem to find that oh so perfect piece?  And then when you do, you drop over in disbelief of the sticker shock?

That seems to happen to us all of the time.  We find these really expensive inspiration pieces, and then it is our job to do what we can to achieve that same look on our budget.  That was the story of some baskets I was on the hunt for.  They had to be a specific size for a space we are working on, and they had to come in a specific finish that was appealing to us and worked with the room.  Finding baskets that fit just a few simple standards can take months!  You would think with all of the options out there, that it wouldn't be all that challenging, but this is one thing I haven't been able to master on a whim.  And baskets can be crazy expensive!  My inspiration ones came in between $45 and $90 each {similar to this}!  No thank you.

HomeGoods and TJ Maxx are typically my "go to" spots for trendy baskets on a budget, but I even fell short there, as they didn't have three in the same shape and size I needed.  I was getting desperate, so when I finally found three baskets that fit everything I needed, with the exception of the finish, I pounced.  The bonus is that they were 65% cheaper than the inspiration baskets I had been eying up, so I knew they were something I had to make work.

The reason the baskets were so inexpensive is because they came in a natural, unfinished state.  Definitely not the highest quality or weave, but I was able to see the diamond in the rough.



Our inspiration baskets all seemed to run in a deeper tone, something that matches our lower level floors and feels nice and classic.  So although some may find these baskets beautiful in their natural state, we were looking for something a bit darker.  Say hello to our favorite stain.   


We use this stain on all sorts of projects {you can see one here}, and I couldn't wait to give it a try on the baskets.

Of course, anytime you take paint or stain to something that you didn't find on clearance from a thrift store on half-off Tuesday, it can be a bit nerve inducing.  So, I always be sure and give things a try in a secret spot first, just to see if I think I can pull off what I am trying to achieve.

Once I realized that the stain was going to be the perfect solution, I went for it with that all-in attitude.  Out in the ventilated garage with gloves and brush in hand, I started covering the basket with the stain.


I just used a cheapy brush and found that it worked really great at spreading the stain in-between all of the weaves of the basket.  The basket sucked the stain up like a sponge, leaving very little to wipe off as the directions recommend.  Here is a quick look at how the first coat compared to the original finish.

And after two beautiful coats and time to set and cure, they are now exactly what I had initially set out to achieve!




I am so happy that I didn't let the finish be the end all determining factor while on the hunt for the perfect solution for our design.  You can't necessarily change the shape, size and material of a basket, but the finish options will always be endless!




The best part is that this project was super simple and quick, and anyone can easily do this to all sorts of baskets, old or new!  Aren't those projects the best?  I always love the instant gratification and being able to achieve what I am looking for without having to spend hours on something finicky.

Anyone hacking baskets lately?  I am thinking that tackling those liners would be a fun little project to tackle next to bring in some pattern and color.  Anyone had luck with sewing liners, and is it something that a newbie sewer could take on?

57 comments:

  1. What a fabulous idea your baskets look great. Talk about perfect timing, have been looking for weeks for the perfect baskets for a unit I am having custom built. Now I know exactly which shop I can go back too, as I had previously discounted the baskets due to the colour. I can stain and get the perfect shade. Thank you, thank you.

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    1. YAY! So happy you can make the baskets work for your project! I know how great that feels!

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  2. So fun - I would have never thought about doing that. I am a moderate sewer, and would maybe take this on.... buy you could always try rit-dying it, or using fabric paint for something even easier!

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    1. Agree! Dying/painting has definitely been an option on the list.

      xo!

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    2. Check that the thread they used sewing the liners isnt acrylic based, as acrylic threads wont dye and will stay white if you dye the fabric darkner. X

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  3. Beautiful! I just went thru something similiar. I found as awesome wire egg basket for one daughter that has chickens and felt I needed to get a basket for each of my other two daughters too. That don't have chickens. So I found really awesome baskets with two handles, like a picnic basket but they had ugly liners. So I took one liner apart to use as a pattern and made two new liners in beautiful fabric. The girls were all happy! Amazing how just changing the liner can completely transform a basket!

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    1. Love that! And I agree, liners can be game changers for sure! Lucky daughters, feel free to adopt me if you are looking for one more ;) xo!

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  4. Tutorial on my blog for basket liners. Www.mudpuddlesanddaisies.Blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! I will have to check it out! I am hoping between my hubby and I, we could figure something out. :)

      xo!

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  5. Those look like high-end baskets now! I've never thought to stain an unfinished basket before...that's a great idea. I haven't seen a how-to on basket liners, but I can't wait to see what gorgeous solution you come up with!

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  6. We have a laundry hamper that the liner was totally gonners- I'm a moderate sewer but good with numbers and although it's not perfect, I did my own design and I really love it. I think since you'd have a pattern from these, it really shouldn't be hard to replicate, especially since they only have one "good" side. I really love the stained look- I would worry about it rubbing off at all, coming on your fingers when you handle them? Or is it a non-issue?

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    1. It really shouldn't be an issue. We have never had trouble with stain on other items coming off, it soaks into the wood nicely and I always wipe off excess with a rag. Then, I just let things dry and cure for the recommended time and it works great!

      xo!

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  7. Love the baskets and the stain color. I will definitely have to jot that color down in case I ever need to stain something. :)

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  8. That's the perfect fix. I always scout out baskets at Goodwill. I found the perfect one and just spray painted it red for Christmas.

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  9. Be-u-ti-ful!!!!
    I didn't know you could stain baskets! Good to know!

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  10. FabShabbyRoses is right. I'm a fairly beginner level when it comes to sewing and i did the same thing, using liner as a template--worked like a charm. Just be sure to pay close attention to front and back of fabric when sewing for the tie string.

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  11. Where did you finally find the baskets? I am *right* in middle of a basket-hunting dilemma that's dragging on and on. And I *just* told my mom today I was tempted to stain some lighter ones. The end result of yours are *exactly* what I'm looking for!

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    1. Hi Carrie!

      I found them here, and they were just on sale for a few extra dollars off: http://www.kmart.com/creative-bath-laundry-basket-arcadia/p-005W443425450001P?prdNo=14&blockNo=14&blockType=G14, hopefully they cycle their sales because it was a fab price given the size of the baskets!

      xo!

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  12. Love them Jen. They look really good. You know what might be fun and super inexpensive to do with the liners...dye em! A pop of bright color could def add a little somethin! And dye is cheap so double win!

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    1. That is absolutely an option! I have a few ideas swirling, now, to just pick one and do it! :)

      xo!

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  13. I love this! Where did you get those baskets from? I have been looking for baskets very similar to those for a while now (in the original color)!

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    1. Hi Kayla!

      I found them here, and they were just on sale for a few extra dollars off: http://www.kmart.com/creative-bath-laundry-basket-arcadia/p-005W443425450001P?prdNo=14&blockNo=14&blockType=G14, cross your fingers they cycle their sales because it was a fab price given the size of the baskets!

      xo!

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  14. Well I've painted just about everything, but never a basket...thanks for the great idea!

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  15. are you using new brush in your painting job like this, every single time? because it always looks new.. or do you have any specific method to keep it clean after use so it will remain like a new brush?

    my brush full of 'real stain' LOL ;)

    btw, the basket turned out...AWESOME {as always}! =)

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    1. Thanks Fizah! Nope, I use brushes old and new. It always depends on the project and quality of the brush. For priming projects, I use cheap brushes that only last a few uses because they are more challenging to keep clean. I use nicer brushes for painting projects because when taken care of, they can last quite awhile. Cleaning always depends on the project and finish being used. :)

      xo!

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  16. I see you've already got some suggestions on dying or working with your existing liners. I do think you would be able to tackle sewing new liners yourself without too much trouble. You have a great pattern in the current liners, so I would suggest working from one of them if you choose to go the sew your own route.

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  17. You can totally sew those liners as a new sewer-- look carefully at what is there, and then buy about 25% more fabric than you think you will need. Look at your seams carefully and see where you want them to line up. I like to paper piece first to get the best fit. I have sewn liners for several different baskets and have been so glass that I did. If you need dividers inside the baskets you could also sew these:
    http://sometimescrafter.com/2009/04/tutorial-fabric-scrap-basket/
    You can do it!

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    1. Thanks so much for the tips and link! I am feeling so encouraged to try!

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  18. Gorgeous! What a brilliant idea! I love baskets! But they can be so expensive! Now I will be on the lookout for unfinished ones! :)

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  19. Loving those baskets! I´ve stained and painted several baskets, and it totally makes the difference! I had a few under-bed baskets in natural and painted them white (with a basic wallpaint) and they are still like new ones! I use stain and paint to modify all kinds of old things, too - and I don´t have to buy new ones!

    Looking forward to see what you end up doing with those liners :)

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  20. Such a great Idea. I always think of spray painting wicker, but this is a great alternative. Thanks for the idea.

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  21. They look beautiful! What a great idea, staining them. Opens up a whole new world of possibilities :)

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  22. I am always in search of the perfect basket and can never find quite what I'm looking for. This is one of the best ideas I have come across in ages!

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  23. I really like the darker stain. I have had this problem in the past. Never again...now I know the quick fix.

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  24. I love this idea and your blog in general! Do you think this would work with baskets that may already be stained? I have a set of honey colored baskets that I would like to stain darker. I'm just concerned that if they are already stained the new stain won't set properly.

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    1. Hi Laura!

      I think it would, but they sell little tester sizes of stain which could allow you to try it in a small spot on the bottom of the basket. The stain cans may also offer tips for staining over stain as well.

      xo!
      Jen

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  25. These look amazing. I'm always finding myself in a store that might have the wrong color but the right style of whatever I need at the time — I will definitely have to keep this in mind from now on so I don't pass on so many good prices and items!

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  26. I have been looking for a way to update non-matching baskets for quite awhile. I thought about using spray paint, but I didn't want that look in our family room. This stain will provide a more grown-up look that I am looking for! I have added this to my shopping list!

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  27. These look beautiful! Nice job! Just curious if they still smell like the stain? Is it indicated for something this porous/off-gassing and all that. Or is that just plastic? :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I let the baskets sit in my garage for a few days to "off-gas". I never noticed any scent on them when I brought them inside. :)

      xo!

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  28. The baskets look beautiful, I love the new colour so much more! I'd be interested in knowing how you get on with making new liners, I have a couple of baskets I have in mind that could do with sprucing up a bit!

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  29. Great idea! I'm definitely one of those people that will walk away if it's not the right color, but staining is such a great solution.

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  30. I did something similar. I had some white Ikea baskets and spray painted them brown and they turned out really well.

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  31. if you don't want/know how to sew liners for the baskets, you could always buy a box of fabric dye and give it a bright color.

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  32. Where are these baskets going to be within your home? What purpose will they serve? Thanks!

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    1. They are laundry baskets for a little sorting station we are working on. :)

      xo!

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  33. I did NOT even think of this! You're amazing. I think you just solved the issue I've been having in trying to find baskets to go in my entryway cubbies! YAY!

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  34. This is such an awesome idea! Never would have thought to do this! Its so simple even me, being a teenager could do it! I will definitely keep this in consideration when I re-decorate my room, or for when I do my dorm decorating coming this fall :) I love your blog and all your projects!! They make me so happy! :D
    doityourselfteen.blogspot.com

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  35. I love your blog! You're full of life-hack ideas! Not a big handy-crafty type myself, but always looking for a way not to pay those overblown prices!

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  36. Brilliant, the results are lovely, a smart solution to an often frustrating problem. My daughter recently found a basket she really liked, But it was the wrong color . I will call her today and suggest she go back and buy it along with stain. Hugs
    P.S. I invite you to share this great tip at my Thursday hop ( you can link up Wednesday night) :-)

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  37. I am now wondering if you could also spray-paint baskets like this and get a similar result?
    Also -- if you follow up with a liner post, could you please help those of us who have liners that will NEVER NOT EVER go back in the basket the way they should? Tips and tricks for cleaning and returning those liners would be fantastic. Thank you!

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  38. Wow!!! What an awesome idea. I am loving your blog!!!

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  39. You can definitely sew liners for them! Just take one existing liner and use a seam ripper or scissors to carefully dissect the seams. Use the pieces as a template. Attach the pieces together, and then at the end fold the top over and make a hem for a drawstring, if you need to add a drawstring to the liner. Good luck!

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  40. Hi Jen, I have been following your blog for years and just LOVE all of the ideas you come up with. This one is fantastic. I was just wondering how much stain you used. I will be using this idea to stain four 30x30 baskets, to fit into a cube unit. Also, mine will not have liners in them, would you also stain the inside of the baskets in this case or not worry about it? Thanks :)

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    1. I used a small portion of the can {had plenty leftover} but did not do the interior due to the liner covering it. But if there were no liner, I personally would stain the interior as well as it would be hard to find a start and end point that would look good from all angles. xoxo!

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    2. Fantastic, I'm very excited to get started! Thanks Jen :)

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