Our tired old thrifted Wicker Laundry Hamper received a much needed makeover with some gentle cleaning, a few painted stripes, and a little dress-up party complete with a brand new liner (which doubles as a laundry bag). And today I'm going to show you how it's done, so roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with me...
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Warning: this post is FULL of photos so the page may load a bit slower. I guess it just gives you time to read through my blabbering…
A few months ago, ok last August, a dear friend and I visited our local Goodwill. Isn't thrifting far better with friends?! She was on the hunt for jeans and I was just her wingman. When she was trying things on, I took the opportunity to sneak in some hunting of my own. When nearing the home goods section I was immediately drawn to this somewhat sad looking wicker hamper, checked the price ($4.99), jaw dropped, and scooped it up. It seems as though every wicker basket with good bones always has a price tag of over $10 at our Goodwill.
The basket had good bones and that's all that mattered. After living with it for a few months, its brittle wicker began mocking me every time I walked in our bathroom. So as soon as spring arrived (spray paint weather up here in the North) it was game on... first up:
In my quest for learning how to clean wicker, I came across this article which stated that good ‘ol soap and water was all it took. In fact, if certain types of wicker are kept too dry, they could become too brittle and shed their weaves, so wetting it down yearly actually helps keep them in good condition. Be careful not to soak your basket while cleaning (I moved mine around to avoid puddles in the grass). Also, since the basket was a tad crooked, it was the perfect time (while still wet) to gently re-shape it by putting a little pressure on the uneven side.
After letting the basket thoroughly dry in the sun, it was time for paint. We simply cut strips of brown paper (the dollar store sells wrapping paper-sized rolls) enough for three solid stripes and taped those strips using high-quality painters tape (my favorite is Frog Tape).
Let me tell ya, I was nervous to peel away the paper as a bunch of “what if’s” ran through my head-- what if it wasn’t taped enough, what if the spray paint dripped, what if it went through the basket to the other side….
Spot the photobomb? (Hint, upper Left)
As I was peeling it away, the basket revealed these perfectly straight lines to which I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Since the caned weave was rather rough on the inside and our primary purpose was to hold laundry, it was time to soften things up by creating a basket liner. I’m all for multi-purpose so it serves double duty as liner since it’s removable making transport and washings easier.
That’s when I decided to team up with the Online Fabric Store. You see I’ve been head over heels obsessed with their insanely gorgeous fabrics ever since petting their samples in-person at Haven last year. Let me tell you, it took me a couple weeks to narrow down the choices but somehow I managed to whittle them down to this schmancy group:
For this particular project, I chose the black and white dandelion print (surprise, surprise) as it fits our black/white/grey bathroom (one of these days I’ll show you what we’ve done with that room). And although the following instructions seem difficult to wrap your head around, I promise it’s basically a bunch cutting and straight sewing. Except for the round bottom which is also not as bad as it seems.
Also, I completely dove right in without much of a plan, took my measurements, and started assembling. So if the instructions seem confusing just take a step back and think about the piece as how you would cover it up. Then start thinking about where to put your steams and where you need to take your measurements.
MEASURING + CUTTING
Begin by measuring the height and circumference (the outer edge) of your basket. Then add 1/2 to 3/4 inch for your seam allowance (fancy term for the edges where your fabric meet creating a closed edge). This will equal the rectangle for the body of your hamper. Then cut your fabric.
Then measure the diameter of your basket (straight across your basket), also add 1/2 to 3/4 inch for this seam allowance. Cut a square using the diameter dimension. This will be the bottom of your liner. Then take this square bottom piece and fold it in half then in half again to find the center. Stick a pin in the middle and use it as the center of your circle. Half your diameter measurement from before. Using a fabric marker (or sharpie like I had on hand) and ruler, draw a dotted line and make your final cut.
Now here’s where I would have done things differently to create a loop for the laundry bag drawstring. Instead of keeping the body of the bag (har!) all one piece, I would have separated the ‘lip/loop’ and attached that separately. Why? Because where the bag becomes a lip (along the crease of the liner), it fits very snug making it somewhat tedious to remove the liner than I would have preferred. I’m sure over time, as the fabric wears, it will become easier. Of course being a DIY’er mistakes are inevitable so good thing I made it for you!
So go ahead and cut another rectangle for this loop which is the circumference + 2 inches (height) by your desired lip (length). My height was a total of 5 inches (3.5 finished) to accommodate the handles and the lip/loop which holds the drawstring. If that’s hard to wrap your brain around think of this loop as a hoodie string on a sweatshirt.
And finally, it’s time to cut pieces for your laundry bag drawstring. Cut two long pieces the length of your circumference and 4xs the overall width you would like your drawstring. Mine was two inches thick to create a half inch drawstring.
Sewing on gloomy rainy days is quite therapeutic.
Begin by folding your body piece in half with the right sides facing each other and sew the raw edges together (opposite the fold only). Set aside.
Then, pin your bottom piece to the bottom of the body so the right sides face each other. Since it’s a circle, the edges may not line up exactly, so take your time pinning and sewing.
Next, fold your ‘lip/loop’ piece in half with the wrong sides facing each other and iron. Then pin your lip/loop piece’s raw edges to the top of the body piece’s raw edges. I like to align the seams from the body and the lip/loop but it’s not mandatory. When you’ve finished pinning your lip/loop piece, leave the excess raw for now. Go ahead and sew around the basket leaving about 1/2 inch in from the beginning and end for two more finishing seams. Leaving these open will give you some wiggle room, since this area is round. Again, take your time pinning and sewing. Once you’re done, finish off the lip/loop edges by folding your lip/loop fabric raw edges in and carefully sewing them into a loop like so:
Sew your two drawstring pieces together creating a seam in the middle. Then, fold your piece in half and iron. Then fold each of the ends toward the middle and iron again. If you were to look at it from the top it would resemble a geometric heart (mines not creased because I was too lazy to bring out the iron):
When you’re all done, feed your drawstring through the lip/loop. And that’s it!! Again, it sounds a lot more difficult than it really is, it only took me about 2 hours from cut to finish (including photo time).
One of my favorite parts is that the liner doubles as a laundry bag:
Lastly, for the biggest question on your mind, how much did everything cost?!
- 2 yards of Online Fabric Store’s Primer Print in Dandelion White/Black, provided by OFS (but was on sale for $12.67 WITH 3/4 yard leftover for future projects)
- 1 Can Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2X in white (had on hand and was on sale when purchased) $3.00
- 1 Wicker Laundry Hamper (thrifted) $4.99
- 1 Roll of Brown paper (had on hand + plenty leftover) $1.05
- 1 Roll of Painters Tape (had on hand + on sale + plenty leftover) $5.00
Total cost: $26.71
Our total cost: $4.99
Considering this similar one (without a liner) from Signature Hardware runs for $119 and this one from World Market runs $39.99, I guess under $20 (if you didn’t have any of the supplies) or under $5 for us, doesn’t hurt the ‘ol pocket book, eh?! Aaand, the hamper is custom made just the way you like it!
So tell me what’s your favorite print from the Online Fabric Store’s Premier Print line (or from the ones I picked out, above)? Do you find yourself sewing on rainy and gloomy days?
Looking for more lovely fabrics online? Follow along as I pin my favorites from around the web:P.S. Don’t you love it when companies have their own blog?! The Online Fabric Store has one here, which also features other projects from the Premier Print line; more creative ways to use fabric… you’re welcome!
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