This simple thrift store decorating trick will make finding the perfect decor item for your home and style so much easier and cheaper.
I definitely have a bit of a thing for bins and baskets and I have a ton of them around my home, but my favorites by far always come from updating thrift store baskets. Although a lot of thrift stores have caught on to people like me who enjoy thrift store decorating and treasure hunting and have accordingly raised their prices in a lot of areas, baskets seem to still be pretty undervalued so you can get a really interesting addition for your home decor for next to nothing.
I love baskets because they’re kind of like equal parts cleaning tool, instant organizer, and home decor piece. The shape and function of baskets stays pretty much the same over time so it’s easy to find something great when you’re shopping secondhand, but the finishes and colors of older baskets are usually not quite right for what I want in my home. No problem! Paint to the rescue!
Thrift Store Decorating – Updating Old Baskets
If you’re interested in updating thrift store baskets, you’re in luck because it’s pretty much the easiest little DIY project ever! I always start out by looking for something with an interesting shape that catches my eye, or something really square and basic that will be really functional. Both are great! If you find something really dated that screams 1992 to you, that might be a bit of a challenge to bring up to date, but if it’s only 50 cents, well then maybe it’s worth trying anyway! Something like this old picnic basket I found is great because it’s both interesting to look at and really functional because of the lid.
I had to remove a gross old fabric liner from this one and add quite a bit of paint, but I really love how it turned out and it’s been in constant use in my home for the last three years or so.
I also updated these baskets that hang on my wall in the front hall with a little paint and I think they make a pretty good wall art solution.
There are countless other little thrift store baskets around my house, helping me stay organized and stylish at the same time, but I had a few more that I wanted to play around with a bit, so I thought I’d share my process with you today.
Since most of these baskets that I do require so little paint, I usually just use basic acrylic craft paints, that way I can have quite a few colors to play around with. I like to use a white, a lighter brown, a darker brown, and a grey usually, and end up dry-brushing on a little of each to get the effect I’m looking for. This just gives you kind of a basic “perfectly aged” look that seems to work on anything and it’s the technique I use most often. You can definitely do something a little more colorful though if you’re in the mood for that! I’ve also used regular latex wall paint on some of my larger baskets and of course the chalky finish paints are always great for any kind of paint update you can think of.
For today’s projects, I decided to play with this long basket I found a couple of weeks ago as well as this little plant pot basket that I’ve had for about 10 years.
For the long basket, I used a really light grey chalky finish paint and I just dry-brushed it over the whole thing. This is definitely the type of project where you think you’ve completely messed it up a few times along the way. Stick with it! Once you can see the finished product, you’ll love it! I went to add in a bit of brown and maybe some black too, but I realized I liked it with just the light grey paint and nothing else. It looks kind of beachy! Usually, just one color of paint isn’t enough and it makes the basket look kind of “not quite right”, but in this case, it worked!
You can see how just these few simple steps really updated the basket! I went from looking old and worn out, to looking like I could have picked it up brand new at a home decor store yesterday. Or maybe some fancy antique market. I think I paid 99 cents for it though, so definitely a steal either way, truly thrift store decorating at it’s finest.
I’m still not 100% sure what I’m going to do with it, but I think it would work really well with a tea towel inside it for serving buns or baked goods. Or maybe even a little bandana for summer entertaining if I’m feeling really creative! 🙂
Custom Made Decor
I decided to do something a little more interesting with the plant pot and try a bit of a color. The thing I love about having an all-neutral color scheme in my home is that I can always add in a little color whenever the mood strikes and then completely change it again without having to buy new furniture, or paint walls, or anything like that. I decided to use a sort of navy color to go with all of my blue and white stuff I’ve been enjoying in the dining room this summer. I can’t find a link to just that exact color, but it’s the dark blue from this set here.
After I got it thoroughly navy-fied, I decided to “weather” it a bit by adding in some layers of the light grey paint and a teeny tiny bit of brown. I’m so happy with how it turned out!
If you’re in need of a few pretty and affordable baskets for around your home, definitely have a look at your local thrift store and then get out the paints! These baskets always turn out to have so much more character than the boring ones bought at big box stores and you get to know that you painted them yourself! Do you have any great thrift store decorating ideas that you love?
OTHER IDEAS LIKE THIS
- DIY Home Decor That You Can Make for Way Cheaper
- Why We Chose Laminate Flooring Instead of Hardwood
- Mason Jar Garden Markers
- The 10 Minute DIY Pillow Cover
- 3 Ways to Paint Mason Jars
- The Creek Line House Easy-Peasy Decorating Idea Archives
This post contains affiliate links.
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.