Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm a Basket Case!

It's super secret project reveal time!

Brad and I have a problem. We live in a tiny little cottage, and we have a lot of stuff. We've done a pretty good job of weeding out old clothes and childhood memorabilia that we don't absolutely need, but we still have a ton of books and movies. OK, I have a ton of books, and Brad has a ton of movies. To compound this problem, we only have two closets in the whole house. One is packed with clothes, and the other is full of Christmas decorations, camping supplies, tools, etc. So, storage is an issue. To further compound this issue, I find that I dislike clutter and adore hidden storage more and more with every year of my life.
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I tackled the book issue back in January with my very first blog post. Although I'm still excited about the day we build our dream home with a big library, I'm pretty happy with the way our books are displayed for now. Of course, once one thing is all nice and organized, anything still cluttered sticks out like a sore thumb.

Notice how the book side is all nice and streamlined, while the DVD and game side is a big, junky mess! Let's take another look:

I shudder.
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I've been scheming since January for a way to make our DVD storage civilized. I originally thought I would buy some of those gorgeous natural fiber baskets you can find at Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. When I discovered that those suckers are anywhere from nine to twelve bucks a pop, I put the baskets down and walked away quickly.

A month or so ago, One Pretty Thing featured a basket woven from strips of newspaper. Eureka! A solution to my problem that was practically free! I'm not going to rehash the basket weaving directions that others have already explained so clearly, but at the end of this post, I'll list the modifications I made and some other tips.
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Here are the fabulous results of three full days of basket weaving!

One more look!

I'm really, really pleased with the results! I also like how our games stack much neater on the tallest shelf. Part of me would still like to find another way to store the games. I've thought about finding matching containers to hold each game and then throwing the boxes away, or just painting the boxes a solid color. I'm really tempted, but I think I might regret it down the road when we can easily store the games in a closet. Any thoughts?
Let's take another look at the baskets!

If you plan to make these yourself, here are my tips and suggestions.

1. Read the directions I've linked to above.

2. I wanted my baskets to be pretty sturdy, so I used twice as much newspaper per strip. Meaning, I did not cut my newspaper into half sized sheets. I kept the sheets full sized, and folded into eighths lengthwise. I suggest stapling each end of the strip after folding.

3. My baskets are the perfect length and depth to hold a DVD, and they are long enough to reach the back of my 11 inch bookshelves. If you would like to make a basket this size you will need: 7 strips made by folding a full sized sheet of newspaper into eighths lengthwise (if you would like a shorter or longer basket, just remove or add strips. each strip = about one inch in basket length), 5 strips made by folding a full sized sheet of newspaper into eights lengthwise, and stapling half of another strip to the end of each strip so that each completed strip = one and a half the length of the strips you made in the first step. Weave these strips together to make the rectangular bottom of your basket. You will then fold each strip up and weave around the rectangle to form the sides of your basket. It takes 6 full sized strips stapled together to form three long strips to create the sides of your basket. This means that the sides of your basket are three strips tall.

4. Hot glue and staples are your friends. Use both liberally if you want your basket to hold a firm rectangular shape. I used staples where I could hide them and hot glue in the more vi sable areas.

5. Glue a solid sheet of paper to the bottom of your basket if you are worried about the newsprint rubbing off on your bookshelves.

6. This is not as complicated as it sounds. Once you start weaving everything makes sense.

7. What have you got to loose? Old newspaper is free!

I've thinking about adding a solid color ribbon around the middle of each basket. Will this dress them up a little or distract from the simple graphic vibe they've got going right now?



Tim and Tracy said...

Tres cool! Try out a ribbon around one and give us a looksie... but they look pretty awesome in graphic black and white. This takes wrapping peoples gifts in newspaper to a whole new level! Another good job, Hattie. :)

Tracy's mom said...

I really like the look - it goes with everything since it's black and white (and read all over). Couldn't resist. :) I like them just as they are - I'm with you about the board games. Even though we have room to hide them in our closet, I have been tempted to take them out of the original boxes and put them into a huge game container - never thought about individual containers. I love the way they have started making the classic games wooden and the pieces fit inside. Wish someone had come up with that a long time ago. Thanks for keeping the awesome creative ideas flowing our way.

Jessica said...

I heart the homemade baskets!! It might look even better if you organized the books on the other side by color. I did that to mine (and my DVD's...it's an obsessions) and it looks SO good. And 'twas free!

Anonymous said...

You could glue newspaper to the end of the game that faces off the shelf or paint the box end white and label in black lettering. You could paint the baskets white with gesso to protect them also.