My niece snorted at me the other day when I showed her this latest DIY of mine. Not because she didn’t like the end result, but because I told her I copied it from one I saw and loved in Country Living Magazine.
“Did you ever think you’d see the day when you’d be looking at Country Living Magazine?”
She has a point. But I don’t think I’ve changed. I think Country Living Magazine has. Gone are the days of chintz and dancing roosters on the kitchen counter. There’s a certain country charm to every single one of the pages.
Without, you know … conjuring up images of Hee Haw.
I’d have to say it’s my all time favourite magazine right now. House Beautiful and Architectural Digest has some stunning design but … a lot of times I can’t imagine living in those rooms. Country Living however … I could move right in, throw a blanket on the couch and watch a movie. They do country chic. Elegant country decorating that always looks modern and up to date. Not corny or cheesy.
So when I saw this basket in the June issue I knew I had to make it. Firstly because I loved it and secondly because it looked ridiculously easy to make.
I started out making a version that involved steam bending wood. Then I decided if I was going to share this DIY with all of you … chances are only one of you would ever consider making anything you needed to steam bend wood with a homemade steam bending contraption. So I nixed that idea.
(if you’re that one person, let me know … we’ll talk)
Instead I found a way to make a reasonable facsimile out of everyday objects you can find quite easily. I found all of these materials in my potting shed. But most of you will have to buy/scrounge/find a few of the materials.
1 peach basket (local produce or grocery stores will have and gladly give you one. Farmers markets try to hold onto theirs but I’m sure you could persuade someone to sell you one for a couple of dollars.)
1, 12″ round cork mat I bought mine at the hardware store for $5, but they’re also available in craft stores. Dollarama in Canada has 9″ ones for $2)
A long length of jute twine, string or bailing twine. (again … available in hardware, craft or Dollar stores)
Hot glue gun
2, 1/2″ wood screws
Hardware Cloth or Chicken Wire (available at hardware stores and sometimes garden centres)
2 wood paint sticks, or other thin, 1″ – 1½” scraps of wood cut to fit height of basket. (15″ in my case)
I N S T R U C T I O N S
1. Carefully pull your peach basket apart. All you’ll be using are the round, thin pieces of wood that go around the top and bottom of the basket. Using your wire snips or a screwdriver pull the staples holding it together out. Be careful to not break the long length of thin wood.
2. Cut a piece of hardware cloth to fit whatever sized piece of cork you have. For a 12″ piece of cork your hardware cloth will have to be 38″ to wrap around it, by however high you want your basket. I made mine pretty big at 15″ high.
3. When cutting your hardware cloth make sure you leave one of the long ends with the pointy bits still in tact. You’ll be bending these over to act as support for the cork at the bottom of your basket. Just bend them at a 90 ° angle with your thumb.
4. Once you’ve bent the ends down, roll your hardware cloth into a tube and tie the edges together with a piece of string or jute. (I started off using green coated wire thinking you wouldn’t be able to see it but changed my design midway through the basket to something where you would see the wire. So I took it off and replaced it with jute string)
5. Stand your cylinder on the ground and place your cork bottom inside.
7. Hot glue the tines to the cork. If you need to, shove something in between the hardware cloth and the cork bottom to keep it pushed up tight against the tines while you’re gluing it. I’ve just used a bit of mulch.
11. To finish the top edge of the basket (cause all that hot glue and wood is messy looking) just run a length of twine or string along the edge and hot glue it. If your twine isn’t thick enough to cover the whole edge, just double it up and twist it.
… and stick them to the side of your basket. Like so.
13. Hot glue your final piece of peach basket wood to the sides of your basket, leaving enough for the handle. Just eyeball whatever looks good for the length of your handle.
I’m already planning on making another one of these. Mainly because this one turned out a LOT bigger than I thought it would. This one I’m going to use inside in the winter beside the fireplace for kindling and rolled up paper.
In the summer it’s on the porch with magazines in it.
The smaller one, I plan on making this weekend will be for gathering vegetables from the garden.
The difference between my basket and the one in Country Living, is the one in the magazine has “feet”. But I decided I liked the look of the basket with just the two strips of wood along the sides where the handles run (as opposed to the 4 the basket from the magazine has). To make feet for the basket to stand on I’d need to add 2 more strips of wood to the outside of the basket. I didn’t wanna. So I didn’t.
What I actually like better about my basket is it already looks old and worn. That comes from using an old, worn peach basket. Keep that in mind when you’re picking your peach basket out. If it’s old and worn that’s how your basket will look. If it’s new and clean, that’s how your basket will look.
Country Living. Snort. Not only am I looking at it, I’ve subscribed to it. In more ways than one.