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. Jess says:

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Deb says:

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

  7. 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)

  8. Beautiful. Fabulous. Love it all. However, my most pressing question is what is special about a Kennebec? I’m planning my garden (and my husband’s birthday present, as he’s the potato grower in our family). Do I need to add Kennebecs to my order?

    • Karen says:

      Kennebecs are the perfect french fry potato Julia. Also they grow nice and big and they’re excellent storage potatoes. Slow to rot or sprout. LOVE them. I learned about them from watching Masterchef Australia years ago. Chef Heston Blumenthal (I think) was talking about the perfect french fry potato and said the Kennebec was it. Sure enough it is. Golden crispy on the outside. Doesn’t fool you by just LOOKING crispy on the outside. It actually is. ~ karen!

  9. Leslie says:

    Hi! Lovely post! I’ve missed you! I had eye surgery and you changed your format and then I couldn’t figure out how to find your blog to get right to the most recent posts so I could read them. Today I was determined to figure it out. But I can’t. Can you tell me where to click? Like how you’d explain to a not-quite-blind person? Or maybe you wrote a blog post about it?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Leslie … well you’re reading the most recent post right now. “How I added tons of storage with baskets”. All the post are in chronological order on the home page. There’s one large link to my featured post (in today’s case 3 quick and easy meals). That post stays the same for a few weeks. BUt everything underneath it in the small boxes are my daily posts. Welcome back! ~ karen!

  10. marilyn says:

    Hi Karen, I notice a comment about radiant flooring in your kitchen. This is something I’m looking into and wonder if you ever did a post on it. I can seem to find the search button. Would love to hear more of your comments about this. And are you satisfied with the electric cost too. And nice baskets. I always look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks, Marilyn

    • Karen says:

      Hi marilyn. The search bar is up at the top right. It’s the magnifying glass. Another easy way to browse and find things it to look under the headings drop down menus. So in this case it would be under DIY, DIY tutorials. Then just scroll to find it. But for now just use the magnifying glass. :) ~ karen!

  11. Cred says:

    What an amazing photo of you!

  12. Leah says:

    It’s not everyone who can deliver such a whitty post about dollar store decor and tooting. Fab. Thanks!

    Love the pig’s head BTW.

  13. Cindy says:

    Great idea Karen. I’m thinking about hacking it and putting herb containers in them. Might need to line the baskets with plastic. Also…I didn’t know about putting a plastic bag over my basil. Add that to your takeaways….

  14. christina heggs says:

    Hi. Karen . I have been reading your great news for a yr. now. You are a smart women and I enjoy each email. I only wish you were my neighbor so we could be next door friends. I would like to share each day with you. Ha Ha. Keep up the good work. Chris

  15. Luanne says:

    This is great! Thank you so much for the information. I am going to immediately start tooting.

  16. Darla says:

    Love the baskets and you look “spectacular” in your picture!

  17. Elen G says:

    I like it! And I’m going with they’re magic baskets.

  18. Janalee says:

    One question. Baskets from Dollar Tree or Dollarama? Thanks!!

  19. Donna says:

    Clever!!! I’m a basket hound myself (he he) and may have to copy this idea. I’m always wondering where to store potatoes, onions, fruit etc.

  20. Dale says:

    Being an old Industrial Tech guy, what’s with the split in the bricks? It comes down so far and stops. Foundation settling?
    And what about the pig? When is the wild boar hunting season in Canada? Did you hunt it down with one of the rolling pins?

  21. Noelle says:

    Those hooks! Oh my! Why have I never noticed them before? Clearly I’m not as fond of you as I thought. I’m considering slitting your throat now… My mother was a basket freak. In the 70’s in our very hip orange kitchen there were huge white peg boards with many, many baskets. I still have them all.

  22. Kim C says:

    Sometimes the simplest solutions are right under our noses or in your case, Karen, right under the pig’s nose! I’m definitely going to put this storage tip to use. I wonder if my grandma’s egg baskets would work?
    By the way, sure looks like toot giggles to me. ;-)

  23. CJ says:

    Apropos of nothing…my bread bag and pinafore from Rough Linen are awesome, with a heapin’ helpin’ of sauce.

    I wear the pinny for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g I do around the house/yard and am trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a work look, but so far not feelin’ it. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

    Which brings me to the reason I wrote this…you, Miss Karen – touter of Rough Linen, are evil and I mean that in the best way possible. But, could you do me a favor? Talk me out of ordering another pinny, this time in that lovely natural linen color? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Oh no, I’m not going to do that. I have one in black and one in natural and the natural is my favourite. So … I’m actually here to talk you into it. It’s great! And would probably help you figure out that whole incorporate it into your wardrobe thing. ~ karen!

  24. mbaker says:

    Hey Karen,

    You may already have this up somewhere, but if not, could you do a tutorial for how to hang things on a brick wall without ruining the brick or having the nail/screw/bolt come loose? It seems that you’ve been successful in hanging some quite heavy things on your brick.

    • BethH says:

      I was wondering about that, too. I could never bring myself to putting a hole in a brick wall and was wondering how you did that. I grew up with plaster walls and was only allowed to hang things with scotch tape. Putting a nail in a brick wall would have resulted in a spanking, grounding, and loss of TV time. Although I have my own walls now, I can’t get over the fear of permanently defacing them. But I do love your display.

    • Karen says:

      It’s easy. You just need the right tools/equipment. You need a masonry drill bit for drilling into the brick wall (not a regular drill bit), and you need a solid wall anchor (meant for concrete, brick, etc). They’re metal. Then you screw a screw into the metal anchor and you’re done. Like I said, it’s just about having the right equipment and tools. :) ~ karen!

  25. Monique says:

    The wall is so interesting w/ all the gorge hooks..and baskets..and le cochon..:) It also looks beautiful w/ the rolling pins..the hooks of love for sure.

  26. jainegayer says:

    Love the baskets, and the sweater. Michelle is a good friend to give you those awesome hooks. Karen, I’d bet you’d be fierce with a can opener. LOL

  27. gabrielle says:

    The thing about Karen’s blog – besides being so funny and useful – is that the comments are so great! Look at me! All the way down here 8am on a Monday morning – the world stopped until read Every Single One!!

  28. danni says:

    Another thing, like the cob oven, that I never knew I needed. I did find space for the oven, but there is nowhere for that…. AAAaaaarrg! :(

  29. Michelle says:

    Hahaha! Funny girl!

    • Karen says:

      Don’t you dare think compliments will get you your tie backs back. Back off lady. They’re mine now! Unless you want them back. Do you want them back? ~ karen!

      • Michelle says:

        Ummmm… But thank you for the kind offer.
        They look lovely and clearly have gone to a good home.
        Now, hand over Idris, right now!

        • Jan in Waterdown says:

          Did either of you happen to notice how much he was on the SAG awards the other night? I paid particular attention to see if he was worthy of your attention.

          He is.

  30. Petra says:

    Karen! Love this whole idea! Piggy and baskets.. Genius! My kitchen has no counter space and 1(!) drawer so using the little wall I have is perfect. What could I use as hooks since there’s obviously no chance you will be passing hour gorgeous hooks on anytime soon ?

  31. Su says:

    Magic baskets indeed ?. Thanks for the tip on storing herbs!!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    If only I had a dollar store that carried nice baskets such as these. I don’t think I could achieve the same look, with plastic Dollarama baskets :)

  33. Joslynne says:

    Love the idea cause I love baskets, too…but where to put them?? Right now my onions and potatoes are in a basket on the counter and my bananas are in another on the table…would really love to do the wall thing!

    Thanks for the ideas and, as always, the great posts!

    P.S. wanted to say thanks for sharing about Cuddles, but sounded repetitive on the Cuddles post, so I’ll say it here!

  34. Marna says:

    LOL! I love baskets. I love the wall, and the baskets don’t look like they are from the dollar store. I like your explanation of how the contents don’t fall out! You are so funny! :)

  35. Marilyn says:

    Looks great! And the baskets too !

  36. Grammy says:

    A few things:
    I loved the display of rolling pins, but those baskets (the idea and the execution) are just so, so wonderful.
    I want that sweater. It is such a good picture with you giggling and looking so fabulous against the wall, but I can’t get past how much I love that sweater. My hair is the same color, but mine is natural because I’m old. I should have that sweater. I won’t be able to sleep tonight thinking about it.
    All of us need to know where the rolling pins went.
    If I was Michelle you would have had to cut my throat to get those antique curtain pulls because I am certainly not anything like that nice.
    I envy your potatoes.

  37. Laura Bee says:

    Handy & they look lovely. My bf hates baskets. This would drive him bonkers hahaha!
    I have a fantasy they there’s brick under the vinyl siding on our house. That would mean the crappy back porch the last owners slapped on could at least look nice on one wall. I’ve not found one bit of brick yet. The kitchen/family room is an addition too – 40s or 50s I think. More fantasy brick walls…hidden…in our next house maybe.

  38. Karen Eggleston says:

    Where are all the rolling pins?

    • Karen says:

      The two most used are in a drawer that’s easy to access and the others are in a less easy to access cupboard. ~ karen!

  39. Elaine says:

    Looks great, Karen! It kind of makes me miss my first house; bought in 1966. We covered one wall with faux brick (it was quite real and nice looking). For some reason (and much to my delight), my husband didn’t complain about nail holes at all … so I went to town and hung my collection of baskets and a few other rustic looking accessories and loved it. There’s just something about a brick wall – real or faux that seems to add character to a room!

    PS: I love your pig head and keep popping in the Kitchen Witch admiring her other “heads”. Great store!

  40. Gillian says:

    I LOVE baskets. Don’t know why. I just do. I see them and want them but, never buy them because….why?!? Now I know!!


    ….I think. LoL

  41. Mindy says:

    Now to find a dollar store that carries empty wall space……

  42. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    They look kinda nice for $3.00 baskets…great idea…I thought you were a basket case when I met ya…

  43. Denise Hosner says:

    But where are the weapons now? In your bedside table?

  44. Mark says:

    Very clever! And it looks quite sharp.

    But most of all, I love that pig head! Tell us about it, please!

  45. Denise Leavens says:

    Grand. Simply GRAND!

    The French tiebacks, the perfect color of the $3 baskets with said tie backs, the tip about storing herbs in jars with water, etc., not to mention how nice you want us to think you are (when really, the nice one here is Michelle and we all know it) and all the storage you now have hanging from your lovely brick wall is all just grand.

    Big, large scale, grand…style, baby, STYLE! You even toot with style, my dear. (Actually what I think happened here is you tooted, it made you throw back your head in laughter, you hit your head on the bricks and that set you off, laughing harder…you get the picture.) The sight of you in the tight grip of hilarious laughter, just before gasping for air, has got me going off in a fit, a FIT, of giggles. Now I’m tooting!

  46. Jani says:

    You are so funny!! Thanks for the laughs!

  47. Barb says:

    Looks great!! I do love me some dollar store bargains! But dumb question here. What keeps the baskets from flipping over from the weight of the contents?

    • Karen says:

      I”m gonna be honest with you Barb. I have no idea. It just worked out. Which as we all know, rarely happens. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the tie backs are a far ways out from the wall, and the back of the baskets rests on the wall. Or they’re magic baskets. ~ karen!

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