I love taking something that isn't so pretty, and re-creating it with an awesome new look. Some of my favourite up-cycling, or re-purposing projects were done using things that were in the worst condition you can imagine (seriously!).
I've up-cycled everything: chairs, more chairs, picture frames, file drawers into tables, clothing into twine, retro furniture, old tools - most of which were just being thrown away by their previous owners.
If you ever have something that used to be pretty or functional, and now looks a little sad; a basket, an old t-shirt, a plant pot... don't just throw it away, get some pinspiration! and think about what you could do to give that thing an awesome new look? or how it could be re-purposed?
Or, if you're not super handy or crafty, think about a creative person you know, who makes all sorts or things out of all sorts of things! Maybe they would get some use out of your unwanted stuff, or they could create something beautiful out of things you no longer want?
I love when people offer me things that I can up-cycle, or supplies they no longer need but they think I will get use out of - as a creative person, its very encouraging when people recognize your skills in this way! So keep this in mind when your clearing out your garage or cupboards next, who do you know who loves making something out of nothing?
A while ago I made this white-washed storage basket with fabric edging and braided handles using an old, falling apart basket that a friend was throwing away, and a couple of old shirts that another friend gave to me for the fabric.
How to Up-cycle an old Basket
Step One: Tidy up the Basket
The top edge of this basket was falling apart and the wicker was braking so using some secateurs, I cut the edge down so that the basket was the same height the whole way around.
Step Two: White-Wash the Wicker
I took a little bit of white acrylic paint and lightly brushed it over the wicker. Once there was a little bit of paint over the surface of the area I was working on, with basically no paint left on my brush, I brushed the paint around, spreading it as far as it would go to get a light, rustic layer of paint across all the wicker. This is how I white-wash.
Step Three: Prep Your Fabric (or your re-purposed clothing)
In my case, this meant cutting up two old white shirts into strips. I cut off colars, cuffs and buttons. Then I cut the rest of the shirts into strips.
Step Four: Make Fabric "Thread" for Edging
I cut a slit in each end of each strip of fabric, then I loop de looped them to one another, making one long length of fabric "thread".
Bonus Tip: As you do this next step, fold the collars and cuffs (that you cut of the shirts) over the top edge of the basket to cover the sharp wicker edges. This will ensure that no sharp wicker bits will stick through the fabric stitching!
Step Five: No-Sew Fabric Edging
Using a firm plastic paddle (a plastic knife or blunt object also works well ), I pushed a loop of the fabric thread through the wicker weaving, close to the top edge of the basket.
I then pulled the "tail" of the fabric thread through this loop which made another loop, and wiggled the loop to tighten it.
At this point I had one full "stitch" of fabric around the top edge of the basket.
I then took the "tail" of the fabric thread and pushed another loop through the wicker. This created another loop that I threaded through my first loop, making a stitch kind of similar to blanket stitching.
I continued this pattern around the entire top of the basket until the top edge was fully covered. The best thing about this technique is that it is very forgiving and doesn't matter if the edging isn't perfect - the finished product will look super cute, not to mention that is really easy to do and fun!
If you were inspired by this project and made something similar, post a pic on social media and tag me @hollowfurniture