If there's one thing I'm always needing more of, it's cute storage options. It's just not always easy to find exactly what I need in the right size or style for the right price. I decided to try my hand at making my own wire baskets out of galvanized mesh wire from the outdoor section of the hardware store. My sizes were only limited by the width of the mesh wire, but I didn't need anything wider than what was offered and had plenty left over after making the three shown.
I added some decorative leather tabs just to dress them up a bit and used colors that feel like spring because it's dreadfully cold and frozen outside right now. I also think these would be beautiful in gold or copper with pink leather accents! I love the color and texture they add to my studio workspace.
– 2' roll of galvanized hardware mesh wire
– wire cutters
– leather or vinyl
– metal ruler (not shown)
– leather needle (not shown)
– waxed linen or embroidery thread (not shown)
– spray paint
– work gloves
Step One: Decide how wide and long and deep you'd like your basket to be. The only limitations are the width of your mesh wire. I cut my first and largest wire basket out first by counting twelve squares in from each corner and then cutting twelve squares down. I then repeated on the opposite side to cut out the other corner. Shown above is my narrow end. I then measured from the new negative space corner about 20" and made note of where I should cut my next two squares.
You're basically making a swiss cross shape, but you can stretch the length or make the edges shallower, etc. Note that I trimmed the edges to be mostly flush on one flap but left the long ends on the side flaps. This is just for a cleaner finish when you fold the sides up. Also, I suggest using work gloves as you cut through this wire as it can be sharp. If you have a sharp edge that didn't get cut close enough, you can can bend it back and forth near the seam line with your pliers and it should come off pretty easily.
Step Two: Place your metal ruler (or something else that is tough and straight) along the long edge where you want to fold your side up. Think of the long wire as your seam. I did my best to fold my edge up without bending it out of shape. Repeat with the opposite edge and then the last two edges.
Step Three: Once your edges are bent up, you'll want to maneuver things so that your sides meet. Gently bend the long ends of one side around the outside of the other edge and fold under. Repeat with the other edges.
Step Four: I love the utilitarian look of galvanized metal but I also love a colorful workspace. Emerald green has always been a favorite, so I went with that knowing I could easily use these baskets in my studio or either of the kids' rooms for when they're needing a little more storage space. Also, remind me to wear my gloves next time I'm spray painting on the porch in twenty degree weather! Sometimes a girl just has to move fast to make it happen!
Step Five: Cut two 1.5" x 5" handles from your leather or vinyl. If you don't have leather on hand, you could also use felt wool. Fold each in half and poke four holes through both ends of your straps as shown. Awls are sharp, so be sure to protect the work surface under your leather. Use a self-healing mat or push through over a rug.
Step Six: Thread your needle and fold your strap over the edge of your basket. Make sure it's centered and with about 1/2" of a tab above the top of your basket. Start from the holes on the inside of the basket and create an 'X' shape as shown on the outside. You'll finish your thread on the same side you started. Tie a double knot and trim your end. Repeat on the opposite side of your basket.
You're done! You can make a variety of the same size or a trio of baskets in different sizes. This specific mesh wire is sturdy enough to carry whatever would fit in the smaller two sizes shown but the larger size isn't quite strong enough to physically carry heavy things in. It's more for corralling those larger items and designating a space for them.
I could see a large one in a bathroom for organizing hand towels, a medium one in a kitchen for displaying cookbooks, and a small one would be lovely to make a gift basket for a friend, or darling with a plant friend hanging out inside. Where would you add some wire baskets? –Rachel