Apple Basket Refresh
My relationship with thrift stores is hot and cold, there are times when I just don’t feel like dealing with the hunt for treasures. Then the mood will strike and I will really enjoy a trip to several thrift stores all in one day. On these thrift store days I may have a couple of ideas in mind but I don’t go shopping for any item in particular. It was on one of these days over a year ago that I found this authentic apple basket.
For those who don’t know Kelowna is the main city in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, famous for its orchards and wineries. We were fortunate enough to live nearby for ten years. I miss it every single day so this basket pulls at my heartstrings a little bit.
Vintage Wood Basket Makeover Tutorial
The actual makeover is very simple to update. The basket is not stained but cleaned and pampered with lemon oil instead.
Start by washing it really well with a brush and soap and water. Do not immerse it in the water, rinse it off quickly and then leave it to dry thoroughly.
Use lemon oil and steel wool and give every surface of the basket a good scrubbing. Make sure to work the oil into the wood with a little extra effort where any stains or especially dirty areas are. I have used lemon oil and steel wool on all kinds of cupboards in homes I rented and worn wood furniture. Every time I do it, it surprises me how much dirt pulls out of the wood. Once you apply the oil and work it in really well simply wipe it off with a clean cloth.
The oil turned it back into this gorgeous honey colour and gave it a little bit of shine.
After it was oiled I let it dry for two days and then applied some protective paste wax. You can coat it with the wax or leave as is.
Fixing the Vintage Basket Bottom
The bottom of the basket is really dirty and I am not sure exactly what the cause of the stains is. I sealed the ick behind a thick coat of acrylic paint and then made a simple basket liner for the bottom.
Make the Simple Basket Liner
Take two layers of muslin or other fabric you have on hand. Place the basket on top and outline the bottom of the basket with a pencil. Put the basket aside and cut around the markings leaving an extra half inch for seam allowance.
Repeat the process with a piece of quilting liner, (or other tidbits of leftover material). Trace around the basket but this time cut the liner 1/4 inch inside the marking.
Place the muslin good sides together and sew leaving a 3-inch gap. Turn right side out and iron.
Insert the quilting fabric inside the muslin pouch. Sew all around the outside, this is optional. I did this so that the quilting was attached to the muslin for washing.
Place the liner in the basket and then sew the ribbon.
Sewing the Basket Ribbon
You may choose to tie purchased ribbon to the basket but to give it more of a farmhouse feel I choose to sew a cotton ribbon instead.
Cut a piece of material 8 inches by 50 inches. This chicken material is from a tea towel that I cut and then sewed into a strip 8 ” wide and 50 ” long.
Fold the strip in half and iron. Sew along two sides leaving one end open. Turn the fabric right side out then sew the open end. Tie on to the basket.
The tea towel came in a two piece set so I have a second coordinating tea towel to hang up in the kitchen. This vintage basket is so much better than anything new because not only is it vintage it has memories of home.
Let me know if you have any items that bring you back to your hometown, or other thoughts on the update.