Sunday, March 4, 2012

Decoupage Basket Tutorial

So hey, I'm a child of the 70's. I know ALL ABOUT DECOUPAGE. We decoupaged everything back then!
Holly Hobbie? Spirit of '76? Anyone?
And darn it if Elmer's glue wasn't good enough for us. Ummm hummm.
But then came Mod Podge.
Actually it was there all along, but like I said---Elmer's was fine. And remained fine. My whole entire life.
Till now.
 So let's just skip the long story and say that I've fallen madly in love with Mod Podge and we're getting married. Soon. If you are feeling like your love for me is exceeding your ability to function, a case of MOD PODGE left on my porch will ease your angst. I promise...


How to make a Decoupage Covered Basket!!!
You can breathe new life into the rattiest of thrift store baskets with this technique that I've been doing pretty much since 1974. Yes. I'm that old.
You can use MOD PODGE thinned with a LITTLE water, or Elmer's glue, also thinned a bit. I would run far and away from Elmer's SCHOOL GLUE or anything marked "washable glue" ...Cuz, that's just asking for trouble. It's inferior. Most white glues ARE washable. It's akin to labeling soap "antibactreial soap", but don't get me started.

You'll need a basket, an upholstery needle, MOD PODGE or Elmer's (both will now be referred to as "glue") stiff bristled paint brush, say 1" or 2", and fabric scraps.

Thread the needle with a long narrow scrap. We're aiming to go all around the border here.

Stick the needle in a large gap and work your way around the edge. You can leave spaces or not. Up to you.

If you need to add on more fabric, make a generous knot and don't worry about it.

Scraps! Since this basket is round, narrow strips are best. With a square basket, you can use bigger pieces.

First, those pesky ends...dip your brush in the glue, and wet the ends down so they stick to the basket somewhat.

Paint a little glue on the back side of the fabric, and on the basket.

Paint glue on the front side of the fabric, pressing it down with the brush into the basket. Cover those pesky ends of the knot we just slicked down. See? All gone. Get the edge of the scrap as close to the sewn edge as possible. BUT! Don't paint the skinny edge we sewed on till the very end. It makes it easier to handle the basket while working on it.

Repeat with more scraps and over lap a bit. Do the inside first.


Do the outside. If your scrap's too big and leaves a wrinkle, you can make a slit in the scrap and then let those new ends overlap to make it lie flat. Make sure to wash/wipe off your scissors (<-- from someone who forgot to do that...:-/....)

Let it dry by propping it up. Then, give everything a good second coat of glue.
When the second coat is dry, NOW you can paint the edge its 2 coats, sanding/trimming rough spots between coats.

Bushel basket with some basket trim left exposed.

You can add shapes, letters etc. As long as it has a good top and bottom coat of glue---it all amalgamates. Think of the personalization possibilities...
Lastly, trim any stray threads, sand down any rough spots and spray or paint with a sealer. I know MOD PODGE is its own sealer, but I like the glossy look. And I want to be able to wipe the basket out with a damp cloth if necessary. I wouldn't serve wet food in it, but I sure would serve some rolls or bread in it. Probably with a napkin liner, but you get the idea.
Best part is---you can use this technique on any indoor porous surface. I've done this on cardboard boxes, walls, frames, furniture, etc. Knock yourself out!


  1. I definitely remember Holly Hobbie, decoupage, and Holly Hobbie decoupage (did you ever do one of those 3D HH masterpieces?) But no baskets! I have a few shameful excuses for baskets that can now be redeemed via the Pamela treatment. Thanks!

  2. I've never tried modge podge before, I always just water down I totally missing out?

    Also? That exposed wood top with the fabric bottom makes my heart go pitter patter. Love.

  3. Nice work , i will try it. Have a nice day, Sissy.