For a very long time I have wanted to do a little batch of Vintage Wicker Shopping Baskets and line them with oilcloth.
As you are probably aware, I have been creating since I was a very little girl and one of my first businesses as a teenager (yes, you did read that right, I did start very young) was making baby items.
I used to make really beautiful broderie anglaise moses baskets with elaborate hoods and canopies and gorgeous trimmings and I even made tiny little quilts and fitted sheets. I also made little children’s rocking chair covers, teddy bear mobiles and nursery decor such as fabric balloon wall hangings from different coloured pastel fabrics, which I padded out and strung with ribbon and made them look like they were floating across the wall.
Another product I made was a gift basket full of gifts such as socks and bibs and various other useful items which I would adorn with little bows and embellishments. The basket which they all came in was a gift in itself, as I used to line them with wadding and then broderie anglaise fabric and trimming as well. They would always be adorned with at least 1 bow and were meant to be used as Nursery storage for things like nappies.
Much as I have come on an incredibly long journey with my creativity since then, I find it slightly amusing that all these years on, I am still making and selling fabric lined baskets which lots of my customers love.
Nowadays, I paint and distress the baskets and use many other beautiful fabrics and my customers and I use them for all sorts of storage from papers to toiletries, from children’s toys to hair accessories, varied kitchen storage, books and magazines and also as picnic baskets where I have lined them with oilcloth, as the oilcloth can be wiped clean.
In my own house, they are used for Doll’s Tea Sets, Bedroom Storage and Papers and I use my oilcloth lined Vintage Shopping Baskets for Ruby’s Lego and shopping locally in my village. I do love a basket and, as Mr Chandelier will confirm, I definitely do have far too many – with a rather large percentage of those hanging in abundance from my summerhouse ceiling.
I also transform Vintage Picnic Hampers and Old Fishing Baskets but the few that I have had time to do have sold very quickly, so I there are very few photographs of them – these two being no exception. I sold the Taupe Roses Hamper to my hair colourist whilst having my hair done and telling her about them, she didn’t even see it and said she had to have it – how fab was that!
It did however, take me over a year to find and gather enough Vintage Shopping Baskets so that I could create a batch of 5. I did have one more, but unfortunately it was damaged, which I did not notice when I purchased it so that has been relegated to the garden and will be painted and filled with something, probably flowers – I will show you what I do with it when I finally get round to dealing with it!
As they are shopping baskets, I had decided a long time ago before I started trying to find them, to line them with oilcloth so that they could be wiped clean which hugely increases what they can be used for.
I knew they would be hard work and I was right – I really dislike sanding down but unfortunately the process I use means they need to be sanded 2 or 3 times. I also knew that working with the oilcloth was going to be grief and I was so right. It is an absolute nightmare to iron – which you have to keep doing – and an even bigger nightmare to line each basket and work with oilcloth, particularly when you need perfectly folded corners. I have lined hundreds of baskets with normal fabrics over the years so I don’t say that lightly.
However, I never give up and I persevered with them and I am so delighted with how they have turned out. They all look so pretty in their soft colours, Shabby Chic paint and lovely oilcloths. The problem is, as always, I make them as if they were for my own home so of course, they look as if they belong with me and I never want to sell them! Hmmm…………I wonder how many will make it to my Etsy shop!
Do you have lots of baskets in your home and what do you use yours for, I would love to know?