Basket Case

Last week, a random situation presented itself and after I dealt with it I thought, “Hey!  I should write about that!”  So I will and here it is.  It’s a story of some woven baskets I found last week at Dirt Cheap for $3 each.  I’m pretty sure you can still buy them in store at Target.  I’ve seen them in the Dollar Spot and they’ll run you back $5 a piece there.  Somehow a few of them trickled down to Dirt Cheap…well, somehow in that they were very misshapen from being smooshed somewhere along the line.  In their condition, they could barely stand on their own much less be a drop zone for something. 

But, I tossed them into my cart at Dirt Cheap because I had a plan to take these baskets back to their original glory…a plan I was 95% positive would work.

SO, this whole post is for you in case you ever find one of your beloved baskets indelibly squashed by a toddlers rampage or spot a misshapen basket on a clearance or thrift store rack.  Random, I know.  But, random does happen.  :)

First of all, let’s talk about the baskets themselves and what kind of baskets this will work on.  These baskets from Target are wire-free – meaning they aren’t woven around a wire support system.  This process won’t work on wired baskets (though a good bend with a pliers might).  These are made of some natural weave – jute or rush or something of that sort – bands of which are wrapped into the form of a basket and sewn together.  They smell like cigars (exclaimed Anthony) and that’s how I know they’re not acrylic or plastic.

The key to getting them back up and running?  H2O.   

Because they’re made of a natural texture, it was easy for me to set them each individually in our kitchen sink and give them a little bath.  Basically, I just turned on the water full-speed and got them good and wet.

Once wet, I was able to easily bend and form them back into shape.  This whole bath part took me about a minute.

When I was satisfied with the shape, I removed each basket from the sink and set it on a cookie sheet on the counter (so as not to get water all over the countertop).  Last, I ran outside quick and grabbed one of the kids soccer balls and plopped it inside to make sure the basket held it’s new shape.

[In hindsight, the soccer ball was probably completely unnessary.  Once I shaped the basket back into shape while it was wet, it didn’t seem like it was going anywhere.]

Our new house has a great little storage room filled with shelves and I’m excited to be able to fill one or two up with these little guys. 

Speaking of the  new house, WE CLOSE TOMORROW!  Do I seem a little excited?!  Good.  BECAUSE I AM!  New house tour coming your way soon!

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