Give an Inexpensive IKEA Basket a Colorful Makeover

A cheap, run-of-the-mill basket is the perfect canvas for a colorful makeover. This $10 one from IKEA goes from boring to unique with colorful beaded trim and some adorable tassels.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Things You'll Need

  • IKEA basket
  • Craft paint (in a color combination you prefer)
  • Paint brushes
  • Wooden skewers
  • Masking tape
  • 3 yards of leather rope
  • Small wooden beads (about 3 dozen)
  • Yarn in 3 colors of your choice
  • Small piece of cardboard
  • Scissors
(Image: Jeran McConnel)

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Step 1: Paint the Wooden Beads

First, you'll need to have an idea of how many beads of each color you want on your basket. Once you've decided, paint your beads in your chosen color combination. To avoid messy fingers, here's a little hack: Wrap a small piece of masking tape around a wooden skewer so the beads can be held in place while you paint it. The skewer can be placed in a tumbler or cup to let the beads dry.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 2: Make Yarn Tassels

While your beads are drying, this is a good time to make your yarn tassels. These decorative pieces are a fun way to add color and texture to any decor object, not just for this basket (so take note!).

First, cut a small rectangular cardboard to wrap the yarn around. Mine was about 4 inches long. Coil the yarn around the length of it, and continue until you have the fullness you like. Then, slide the cardboard form out of the yarn. Cut three 2-foot lengths of yarn for hanging the tassels (using a different color for each strand lends a beautiful contrast). Loop the three strings through the bundle and knot off tightly.

Using a contrasting color of yarn, wrap the top of the tassel tightly and tie it off. Cut the ends of the tassel with a pair of scissors and trim it to make them as straight as possible.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Thread a wooden bead through the hanging strings to give the tassel and neat, finished look.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 3: Bead the Basket

This is the fun part of the project! Choose the arrangement of colors for your beads. This basket worked well with about eight to nine beads of each color, but this number will vary depending on the size of your basket.

Start by tying a leather rope to your basket. A tight double knot is necessary to keep the leather in place.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Cut at least 3 yards of the leather. You definitely want to be generous with this length because it just won't look as pretty if you have to join pieces of the rope together in the middle.

With the leather coming down over the basket, thread your first bead in and place it flat against the outside edge of the basket.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Pull the leather rope tight, and loop it back under and over through the next opening of the basket weave. Then, thread your next colored bead and loop the leather around the basket top again. Be sure to pull the leather snug with each lace and adjust the bead at an angle against the basket edge.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Continue wrapping the leather and threading the beads with each opening in the basket weave.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

When you get all the way around the basket, double knot the end of the leather rope to the original knot. Be sure these knots are on the inside of the basket so they're not visible. Trim any excess rope.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 4: Tie on the Tassels

Finally, fasten the tassels to the front of the basket, making sure each one is hung at a different length for added interest.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Now, you can proudly display your basket in any room in your house. It's easily customizable to your specific decor and a fun opportunity to add trendy color combinations without the commitment.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
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