Upcycling a Thrift Store Basket

Welcome to the blog! It’s time for our Sustainable Pinterest Challenge hosted by Julie from Sum of Their Stories. Our challenge for the month of June was to turn a thrift store find into something we’d actually want to use. So I hit my local America’s Thrift Store (I never go to Goodwill because it’s a company and not a charitable organization at all), and I found several items to bring home with me. It’s summer, which means it’s time to put out all of my coastal decor. I recently came across some coastal themed fabric, so I thought that I would upcycle my thrift store basket find into a beautiful blanket basket. It turned out to match our new furniture perfectly when I was finished! Let me walk you through how I did it.

Pinnable image of a thrift store blanket basket painted white with two navy and one white blanket inside.

The semi-inspiration for this project came from this photo:

Supplies for a Thrift Store Basket Upcycle

  • thrift store basket or crate
  • chalk paint or chalk spray paint
  • sandpaper
  • cleaning rags
Thrift store upcycle supplies: brown wood basket and Rust-oleum Chalked spray paint in white.

Clean & Sand the Basket

Thrift store finds are usually pretty dirty and dusty. I wiped mine down with a Clorox wipe because of my health, but you can get away with water and a towel. You want a fabric that won’t leave lint behind.

I first intended to stain my basket, but the stain I bought was too light for this basket. If I could’ve removed all of the dark color, that would’ve worked, but the basket wasn’t in the best condition to take a deep sanding. So, I sanded off the glossy surfaces so the matte chalk spay paint could adhere easily.

Sanding the basket before painting it.

Wipe down the basket to remove any dust from the sanding.

Paint the Basket

I’ve used chalk paint in the past, but this was my first time using chalk spray paint. I bought Rust-oleum Chalked in ultra matte linen white.

Thrift store upcycle supplies: brown wood basket and Rust-oleum Chalked spray paint in white.

You will probably need to give your basket two coats of the spray paint to cover dark surfaces. The photo below is my basket after only one.

Allow the paint to dry.

Distress the Thrift Store Upcycle

Once my basket was dry, I felt like it was a little too perfect. In order for it to fit in with my decor better, I decided to distress it a little.

Go over parts of the basket with a low to medium grit sandpaper. I went over the higher spots. No need to do it perfectly or in the same spot on every side. You want a naturally distressed look.

That’s it! Now you can fill your thrift store upcycle basket with blankets or other decor!

It’s that easy. This is a really big basket, so I decided to place blankets and my new coastal fabric inside. I could easily fit five throw blankets into it without a problem. I may switch it up and in summer and spring fill it with long-stemmed flowers. There’s so much I can do with this beautiful basket. Remember to pin the image below to your home decor or upcycling Pinterest boards!

Thrift store basket upcycle before & after pinnable image.

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy thrift store upcycle challenge. There is so much you can do to repurpose thrift store finds into beautiful home decor. Just think- by upcycling unwanted items you’re being creative, you get custom home decor, you’re saving money, and you’re keeping items out of landfills! Soon I will be sharing projects for more of my finds. Make sure you don’t miss any of those tutorials by following me on social media and via email. Enter your email address below so that my newest posts don’t get lost in your social media feeds! Keep reading to visit the next stop on our monthly Sustainable Pinterest Challenge hop!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might like this DIY wood lantern made from Dollar Tree items!

Pinnable image of the Dollar Tree lantern

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On to the Hop!

Click on the name of the blog to head to their main blog page and on the name of the project to head straight to the project itself!

Julie from Sum of Their Stories | Tote Bag with Vintage Lace

Gail from Purple Hues and Me | Decoupage Napkin Lampshade Makeover

Ann from Apple Street Cottage | Updating a Thrift Store Plaque

Julie from Treasures Made from Yarn | Espresso Cup Cozy

Allyson from Southern Sunflowers | Patriotic Star Shaped Wreath

Mel from Decor Craft Design | Upcycled Towel Basket for Summer Decor

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16 thoughts on “Upcycling a Thrift Store Basket

  1. I’m always impressed how some spray paint and sandpaper can transform a piece. Great makeover, Niki!

  2. Wow, Niki, what a difference painting your basket made! It looks beautiful now! And it goes perfect with your decor! Great job!

  3. Spray paint is great for baskets isn’t it? Gets in all the nooks and crannies! Your basket looks so fresh and modern now, and that nice big size makes it perfect for so many things.

I'd love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment below!