Thursday, April 15, 2010

Top o' the basket

Having a two-bedroom apartment has its perks.
  • Cleaning is a breeze--I only need ten minutes to vacuum the whole place.
  • If I get stuck without toilet paper, I don't worry about being forgotten for thirty minutes--my roommate will be able to hear me if I call her name.
  • In the summer, the air conditioner has to cool only 1100 square feet. Which is really nice come August.
But having a two-bedroom apartment has its downsides.
  • I have to be creative with my storage. No one likes a plastic bin in place of a real coffee table.
  • There are only so many places I can put my arts-and-crafts supplies before it's obvious I have a problem.
  • I can store stuff under only two beds.
Enter a small solution for a big problem. Baskets with tops!

I'm what you might call a basket-aholic. I find myself saying on many occasions, "Well, you can always use a good basket." (Please tell me I'm not the only one!)

But here's the problem. When you fill them full, then what? You can't stack them - at least not neatly. I can't display mine; I don't have the room, and a basket of glue isn't very appealing to the eye.

So then I thought about it - a top! so I can stack! and hide!

Want to do it too? Here's how.

What You'll Need
Cardboard you can cut to size
Spray adhesive
Material to cover the top

Making the basket tops might be tricky. (And since I lost the step-by-step pictures in the Great Computer Crash of 2010, I don't have those to show you.) But here's my best step by step.

For the basket tops
1. Lay the basket, opening side down, on top of the cardboard. With a pencil, trace around the basket. Then with a ruler, measure two inches from the basket's outline. Then connect the dots all the way around. (It's like making a picture frame.)

On the two longer sides, cut across the 2-inch gap to the basket outline.

Then fold all the sides in at the basket outline. Where you've cut the cardboard, you now have made four tabs that will be glued to the inside of the rim. Use glue or staples - whatever works for you. (I did a combo of some super-stinky adhesive that worked well and hot glue.) Hint: you might use a clothes pin or binder clip to hold the tabs in place while they dry.

Let those dry a few hours. (I left mine overnight.)

Next - pick out a fabric to cover the top. (One yard covered four tops for these baskets.) These baskets are in my bedroom, so the damask matches that decor. But how fun would it be to do bright colors for a little girl or boy's room?!

Iron it or steam the fabric, if you want. (I clearly didn't.) Then lay the fabric out with a basket top on it and get a general estimate of the size you will need to cover that top. Then cut it out.

If you have some sort of invisible ink, that may be helpful. You'll need about 3 extra inches around the basket's top to cover everything well.

Spray the top with adhesive (or use any other glue you like). Press the fabric onto the top, sliding your hand along firmly to get out any wrinkles or air bubbles.

When it comes to the edges and inside, I glued those down and tucked them into the corners as neatly as I could.

I folded the outside edges like a gift basket. (Sorry for the socked feet.)

You'll end up with this general look. You could cut the extra farbic off and not worry with tucking it in, but I wanted to wrap it around and into the top so it was covered completely.

Like this!

Then pop them on your baskets and stack away!

Have you ever done anything like this? What other storage solutions do you have? (I need all the help I can get!)


Melissa said...

That is completely brilliant!! I never thought of that...this is why I love to blog!!

Orange it Lovely said...

wow.. I never thought to do that! great idea!

Little Lizard King said...

This is genius! Very clever...

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

I love it your creativity is endless!! You deserve at award op look at that I have one for you on my blog :)

Lisa B. said...

Wow, this is a wonderful solution to a problem I have also. Thanks for sharing.

Veronica said...

Great solution for us apartment dwellers.

BLJ Graves Studio said...

You are just too clever. Love it!

Kristen @ Miss Prissy Paige said...

What a creative idea. I love baskets but your right, you can't stack them...until now. So creative!

Selina said...

i LOVE this! i am totally gonna do this to my millions of baskets... (i am a basket hoarder) genious!!!

randee said...

that is soooo clever. it really helps when they have lids.

love your blog. i think this is the first time i've stopped by.

The Cannary's said...

Visiting your blog today from Friday Favorites - I have taken the cheapie liners out of baskets they sell at Walgreen's and Wal-Mart, used them as a pattern, and using cute fabric, have made snazzy liners that match the room I'm using the basket in - check them out:
I love baskets, too!

Parents of a Dozen said...

This is such a great Idea! I love baskets also. They are so much nicer than plastic bins. (I have a lot of bins also!)


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