Customize Your Own Wire Baskets

Bring more color to your deskIf 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. 

Customized wire basket DIYI 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
– pliers
– leather or vinyl
– awl
– metal ruler (not shown)
– leather needle (not shown)
– waxed linen or embroidery thread (not shown)
– spray paint
– scissors
– work gloves

IMG_5495Step 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.

Step2Step 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.

Bend your wiresStep 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.

Spray paintStep 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!

Leather StrapsAdd Leather StrapsStep 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.

Stitch them onYou'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. 

Make your own wire baskets and then spray paint them in your favorite shade. Get the details at www.aBeautifulMessI 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

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • wao such an incredible small DIY project. This is really helpful for an Arborists who often required to keep their tools at a single place.

  • I have been looking at wire baskets and I’m always astounded at how expensive they are! I don’t know why I’ve never thought to DIY – this is on the list for the weekend. Thank you!!

  • I love the look of these, but I’m also terrified by the sharp ends poking everywhere…

  • I love it. All the wire baskets I have seen are way too out of my budget so this is a great solution! I am so excited!!!
    have a great weekend! Chaotic Itzi

  • These look cute, but you still have some sections sticking out. A bit of a hazard, any good tips for making sure it’s safe to handle? I think not needing to get a tetanus booster whenever handling a basket would be proactive! 😉

  • They may snag if you don’t cut the sharp ends down far enough. Maybe something else would work better for knits.

  • I just flattened it out carefully as I went and then laid something heavy on the opposite side on the one that didn’t want to lay flat. Good question!

  • I bought a huge roll of galvanized mesh when I turned an empty large frame into a jewelry hanger almost three years ago now… I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with all that left over mesh and I can’t tell you how absolutely PERFECT this will be. So excited – thanks Rachel!

  • any advice on how to get the wire flat like yours? mine always looks wonky after i cut it from the roll.

  • again, you truly think of it all! lol — what a cute, and rustic idea!

  • I love these. Just the other day i was complaining about how wire baskets were weirdly expensive. This is a great cheap alternative!

  • This is a really nice idea, they look so cute x

  • Hey Naomi! This is a genius idea. I never knew that making wire baskets would be that easy . I am surely going to try this out as I will be able to manage my things well. That too with the size of every basket according to me. How did you get rid of these paint marks?

  • I really like this idea. I’ve been thinking recently about options for storing mittens and hats once winter abates. Do you think these baskets would prone to “snagging” knit items?

  • This would be great way to make personalized Easter baskets, by adding silk flowers or other decorative elements to the tab! Could be a way to make gift baskets filled with gourmet foods, bath items, or dog/cat toys, treats and more for a newly adopted!

  • What a great DIY, as usual! How come I had never thought of this? The best part is that this look really easy to assemble.


  • This is so so cute! I love the bright colour you’ve painted them and the effect it gives x

  • Aww the leather tabs are so cute 🙂 And I love the green! Green is huge this year, for some reason.

    xo Ashley

  • Totes making these! I think they’ll go great in my bathroom (that I share with two guys)because they’re super cute but not too girly or masculine. They’re just right! Perhaps for my craft room I’ll line them with floral fabric. Hmmmm…

  • Love this! Such a simple and sweet idea! Love the green! 🙂

  • Oh wow I’m totally pinning this and doing it for my new room!

  • these are great! i know i’d be painting mine copper though…can’t get enough of copper lately, and have actually been looking for copper baskets in stores. i guess i can just make my own!

  • I love the green colour you chose for the basket and the blue for the leather. It looks so fresh and spring like 🙂


  • Love it! Never would have thought to make my own wire baskets, but I definitely want to try now!

  • love how you added the leather strap handle…these would make as a cute storage options.. pinning it!


  • I love wire baskets but for some reason I never would have thought of making my own! Now I’m dreaming of making a bunch of these in different colours and sizes to jazz up my work space.

    What a great project! Thanks for posting!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

  • Super cute! These look remarkably finished for just plain ol’ wire–love the finishing touch with the leather tab. Storage is crazy expensive, especially just to put other stuff in, so it’s nice to have an option for making custom sizes big and small and still having a pizza budget! 🙂

  • Same here, I love the industrial/totally cute look of them, but never once saw them in a shop (in Poland!). You have no idea how excited I got just now. I have some weirdly seized open cabinets in need of new wire baskets! Yay!

  • such a great and easy diy.
    definitely will be making these.
    thanks rachel!

  • I never realized how easy can be to make my own basket.
    I was planning to buy something to keep my sewing supplies organized. And don’t know why I was thinking in a wooden basket/suitcase.

    But this can be as good as it. And more affordable.

    P.S. I loved the leather detail. Gave a little of personality to it. 🙂

  • I had no idea you could make wire baskets! My boyfriend and I have been looking for some to organize the closet in the bathroom, but they can be kind of pricey. I never thought about making them though! We can’t wait to make a bunch of these! Thanks for sharing!

  • ok. I’m thrilled about this diy!! always wanted wire baskets in my house, but never founded here in Brazil. So guess what? i’m going to make it! uhu 🙂 tks for the post guys <3

  • These baskets are so cute!! I always just buy them at the container store and you are at the mercy of whatever colors and styles they have…which are always really neutral and boring. I want to try this with RED! Yay!

    Latest post: How To Stay Warm and Look Cute – Canadian Style

  • I ABSOLULTY LOVE this adorable DIY! Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to give these little baskets a try.

  • These are super cute! I love the color combos.

    Warm Regards,

  • I just can wonder about how creative you can be. I `ll never would have so many great ideas as you!

    Have a nice day!

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