Five.  That is the number of times I’ve almost bought, but didn’t buy an antique wall basket.  What is an antique wall basket you ask?  I’m going to do my best to describe it for you.  An antique wall basket is an antique basket.  That hangs on the wall.

I can slow down if you want.

I see them the odd time at antique markets and shows like the Christie Antique Show and Sale I go to every year.  This past summer they had a beautiful basket that I almost bought to hold onions in on my brick wall in the kitchen.  You may remember that wall in my kitchen as the wall where I store my weapons.


photo by Donna Griffith

This is what the brick wall in my kitchen has looked like for the past couple of years (as seen in the October 2014 issue of Canadian Living magazine).  Antique French curtain tie backs holding my collection of rolling pins.  I was afraid putting a random basket up on the wall with a pigs head and a bunch of  rolling pins would just look mish mashy.   I have a huge affinity for mish mashy whether it looks good or not.  I’m a misher.  And a masher.  So I didn’t buy the antique wall basket or the 4 antique wall baskets that came before it.


Then the other day when I was at my local dollar store I came across these baskets when I was looking for baskets for an upcoming post on something else entirely.  I grabbed one and brought it home and by the time I got here I realized there was no question.  I had to go back for 5 more.

If you take a look at the photo above again, just beyond the wood beam you can see into my mudroom which is where my freezer lives.  It’s also where I store all of the vegetables I grow all summer because it’s a good temperature for storage.  The only problem is, any time I want a potato or onion or anything I have to go into that mudroom which although may be a perfect temperature for storage, it not the perfect temperature for wandering into while wearing socks and a tee shirt.  It’s cold.



I would liked to have kept a few potatoes and onions in my kitchen but my cupboards are already full with other very important kitchen stuff like 152 slightly ratty tea towels and a junk drawer filled with rubber bands and pens that don’t work.


Hanging these $3 baskets up gave me an entire wall of storage for potatoes, onions, fruit, herbs and … more potatoes.  Because a Russet can’t be expected to do the job of a Kennebec.  You need both.



Just look at how elated I am.  I remember exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking I am SO HAPPY I can quickly grab a red or yellow onion.  Or I just tooted.

Can’t really remember.

I love mandarin oranges and buy them until they’re out of season but I don’t really have room on my counters for a big bowl of fruit.  Hence … one basket is dedicated to the things I used to have to keep on the counter; mandarin oranges, bananas, unripe avocados, that sort of thing.



I’d never get rid of the hooks. The hooks I love.  They’re antique French curtain tiebacks my friend Michelle gave me in a moment of weakness I suspect.  I do not want to give them back to her but if she asked I would.  (I absolutely would not but I want you to like me and that’s the kind of thing a likeable person would say.  In truth I’d cut Michelle’s throat with a can opener before I ever returned these tiebacks to her.)



Just look at the genuine verdigris on them.  In the words of that Seinfeld episode … they’re spectacular.

The baskets aren’t full, they have just enough in them for a week or two.  That way they aren’t out of their optimal storage facility (the mud room) for too long.  Plus they’re $3 baskets from the Dollar Store, an establishment not always known for their superior quality.  Any more than 5 onions or potatoes and they’d likely crash to the ground.



Now’s as good a time as any to mention that I completely lied to you in this post.  Not in words but in pictures.  You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words?  Well three of those words in this case were” lie” “basil” and “fraud” .



I took the plastic bags off of my basil for the pictures because they just looked like blurry smears.  You couldn’t even tell what it was.  I have two mason jars with some water in the baskets and my herbs sticking out.  I find the best way to store any herbs is the give the stems a fresh cut, put them in a jar of water, cover them with a plastic bag and let them sit at room temperature.  DON’T keep them in the fridge and with anything that has a high moisture content like basil or even sage leaves, cover them with a plastic bag to hold in some humidity.

The takeaway I hope you get from this post is a) dollar store crap looks less like dollar store crap once you get it out of the dollar store b) you may have storage hiding in plain sight and c) tooting is funny.

And that is the story of how I became a basket case.


  1. Liz says:

    I’m so in love with this idea and it is the PERFECT thing for a piece of barren wall in my kitchen that is located in front of cabinets and a counter so no real things can go on the wall, like a table and chairs (which we could really use, but anyway). I just found some perfect antique car iron hooks on Etsy and I’m amassing baskets now! Hallelujah and thank you for this great blog!!!

  2. Jess says:

    Could you do more brilliant posts about how to store things in a house with little / no storage?

  3. Dana says:

    Great find and look with those baskets, so rewarding when those inexpensive finds work out! Do you use that herb storage technique for Cilantro by chance? I always struggle with storing mine.

    • Karen says:

      ACK! I cannot for the life of me figure out a great way to store cilantro! No, this method doesn’t work with it. It just turns to mush. So far the best I’ve done is to store it loosely wrapped in a plastic bag with a paper towel in it. Even then it’s touch and go. ~ karen!

      • Daphne Gail Perrette says:

        It’s a pain but I take every leaf off the cilantro and place them in a plastic bag or better yet plastic container with a damp paper towel and I emphasize DAMP. I found out by accident they last a lot longer. ~ Gail

  4. Karen says:

    Hello Karen…It’s Karen

    LOVE the tie backs, I do not blame you for NEVER giving them back to your friend. This entire post is genius. Love it all!
    I have been reading your blog for many years now and have enjoyed so many of your posts, from the frozen tampon, to your trip to Nashville (TCB in a flash) , to when you received your chicks, building the coop, loosing a chicken (sniff sniff), the earth day debacle in the basement.
    All this being said, I get VERY frustrated with your posts concerning dollar stores. Not that your posts about said dollar stores are bad or anything like that. It’s just, well, I think dollar stores in American (where I am) and dollar stores in Canada (where you are) are different. I mean they have to be! I remember years ago reading your post getting so excited to go to the dollar store to get inspired and to find great things that I can make out of my treasure hunt. I have gone for YEARS! and nothing…just plain nothing. In my area (I live on the east coast) we have Dollar General, Five below (where yes, everything is $5 or below), The Dollar Store. They sell, dusty straws, really bad wrapping paper, and canned food. Oh, an really odd candles that hardly light, I don’t know why. I am pretty good at finding treasures and / or making something out of nothing.
    Basically I am very green with envy of your dollar stores in Canada. I understand that you have to hunt and peck for special items as well. But speaking on this post, I have never seen a NON plastic basket in any dollar store in my area. I wish!

    What dollar stores do you frequent? Maybe we have some of the same around these parts?

    Keep up the great work! Love it all! Oh, also, I have decided I will FINALLY do your Christmas challenge this year, hopefully, no, I will, yes, I will!! Woo Hoo!

    • Karen says:

      Definitely do the challenge this year Karen! It’s makes a huge difference. Even I make more of an effort to get everything done since I started showing you all the challenge! And I bought my first Christmas present last week! So, the dollar store. In Canada we have Dollarama which is the world’s best dollar store. It’s great. GREAT. We also have a Dollar Tree (which is new to this area) but I haven’t been in it. I keep meaning to make a point of going because I’d like to compare it to our homegrown Dollarama. Which as I said … is the best dollar store EVER. ~ karen!

  5. Mia Bell says:

    Those hooks are so gorgeous! Now I need to keep an eye out for some of my own so I can do this in my kitchen too :). Though I have a feeling if I do find some they’ll cost me a bit more than a couple dollars.

  6. Shantanu Sinha says:

    Hi Karen

    What an use of the baskets you have done with. :)
    Very useful content to be followed upon. This very little experiments could enhance the beauty of your kitchen and
    living areas.

    I am very much eager that how could the weight of the baskets could be managed up, if the the load gets too heavy.
    Won’t they be able to bend towards and the stuffs could be fallen apart. As this not a big issue to be concerned with but
    loved your creativity.

    Hope you have a great week ahead

    Shantanu sinha

  7. Deb says:

    I forgot to mention that “Chad toots on the carpet.” He’s a boy.

  8. Deb says:

    I love the tieback hooks! My Granddaughter and I secretly agree that tooting can be funny; coincidentally, on our ride home from school today we had a conversation about tooting. Boys vs. Girls humor. We had a grand belly laughing convo. Always fun convo. Back and forth to school! She’s five and her sense of humor is phenomenal. We.Complete.Each other. (Reals)

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