Picnic Basket Makeover

This summer is going fast and behind the scenes I’ve been cleaning out in preparation for a huge downsize headed our way.  With the downsize I’m doing my best not to bring more stuff home but sometimes I can’t resist.

So far I’ve donated about half of our home to my favorite thrift store, Twice Is Nice.

They seem to smile every time I show up but I’m pretty sure at this point they think I’m the crazy lady who is obsessed with getting rid of stuff.

Every now and then I like to step inside the store because they almost always have something fun that grabs my attention.

This last time I spotted a $3 gem, a picnic basket. It brought forward some neat memories and when the weather cools, Robert and I are going on a picnic.

Several picnics because life is short and sometimes you need to stop and enjoy!

So, for three dollars I couldn’t pass it up. But wait it didn’t look all shinny and crisp – the poor thing needed a makeover.

Here it is the sad little picnic basket, I had a plan and it didn’t take long to accomplish because the vision was simple, kind of like me.

Supplies were handy in the workshop so I got started right away.

The basket was dusty making it necessary to spray with the garden hose and air dry before beginning.

Project Supply List

  • Varathan Dark Walnut Stain – Home Depot
  • Ribbon – Hobby Lobby
  • Waverly White Chalk Paint – Walmart
  • Paint brush and Scissors helped put it all together

Dry Brush

I painted the entire surface and handle using a dry brush effect; this is so easy. You lightly add the paint beginning inside, follow with the handle and then cover the entire exterior of the basket.

As I was painting thoughts of childhood picnics transpired and then I remembered the fun nontraditional picnic outings with our own little family. Robert always made every moment more like an adventure, it was awesome!

My life has been filled with wonderful memories and many revolve around picnics.

Adding Stain and Ribbon

Presentation is everything so moving beyond the chalk paint was necessary.  The next step was to apply stain in and outside the lid.

I used a brush staining with the grain.  After drying a few hours in the hot sun the lid had this nice shine, so far we were on a roll.

The Ribbon Addition

The final step was to include ribbon, this consisted of one ribbon tie to each side of the basket handle, and this really brought everything together.

Well almost..

The last addition was to grab a table cloth leftover from my grandma.  My plan is to just keep this gently inside and use when Robert and I share picnics.  I just love that color!

Simple pleasures are another way we move forward with living a great life.  When I look at this basket I’m reminded of happy times, neat memories and the new adventures to come.

That really makes me smile and when cooler temperatures arrive in September I’m hoping to celebrate our anniversary in the country sharing a picnic at a new place we’re going to call home.

Take a Picnic Basket thrift store find and make it new with just a few simple tips. #PicnicBasket, #ThriftStore


  1. Karen King says:

    I love the new look of your basket, Carole! It looks so fresh, updated, and inviting. It’s been so long since we’ve gone on a picnic, and this makes me really miss those fun times. I have to say though that I’m not too eager for one until the temperatures drop a little. Sounds like a good fall activity though, and I’ve got another item to add to my thrift store watch list now. You got a fantastic deal! Thanks for the inspiring post.

    1. I like it too – was really surprised how it all came together because when I saw it mixed in with all the other baskets I wasn’t sure – I actually had to walk around the store a couple times to make sure I really wanted to make this purchase. A little crazy since it was only $3. My husband always says I’m one of the few people that go to the mall just to listen to music… I guess because I grew up with so much I don’t like to waste. So now I’ll await your picnic basket makeover. I’m really hoping cooler temperatures arrive in September..

  2. Tena Barke says:

    Very farmhouse and elegant! Thanks for the Fall E-Book too! It will be my coffee shop reading item!

    1. Hello Tena – Thank you so much for your sweet compliment I can hardly wait for temperature to cool… So glad you enjoyed your Fall eBook – Just a little something to help you prep some fun! Have a wonderful weekend.

      1. Tena Barke says:

        Thank You Carole! I’m looking forward to fall as well! Hoping the hot humid temps will start to dissipate this weekend so I can get started on my fall/winter garden. Michigan summers are thick as thieves for air humidity!
        New to homesteading in an Urban sort of way.
        Love your site and grateful to have found your site!

        1. Humidity – we have it here too and it’s a kicker!! Excited for you – homesteading is a lot of fun – if you have any questions please know I’m here to help. Happy to have you here too!

  3. nature gurl says:

    Looks faboo! Picnics are a long ways off here, I’m sorry to say. Maybe we need to have one indoors…Enjoy your weekend!

    1. This was a pretty fun project – I don’t normally make stuff like this so it was a nice change. It’s super hot here right now too. So I’m hoping by the end of September we’ll get back to cooler temps but you know it may not be until October. Hope you have a great weekend too!

  4. Jane Peet says:

    perfect farmhouse basket! Your basket would be great to display bundles of lavender. I also love your photos and a peek at the farm in the background.

    1. I like it too – I just realized completely forgot about that picture of all my animals. Its been so hot I don’t think my brain is working very good. LOL

  5. Botanic Bleu says:

    Growing up, my family often had picnic outings to nearby small creeks. My mother loved picnicking on Saturdays.

  6. bettynz says:

    We bought a second-hand picnic basket that we use a lot. Yours looks a lot better! I really like how it came out.

  7. Lisa says:

    Carol what a beautiful makeover! I love the stained top. It’a beautiful!

  8. Jenna Meon says:

    Wow, this is kind of crazy, I just did a makeover on this exact same basket, painted it and tied a ribbon on the exact same way!

    1. That is crazy! This project was a whim – not planned when I spotted it though I was flooded with neat memories so I couldn’t help but grab to go for $3. Then the rest just came together because it’s what I had in the workshop. I’ll have to go find you so I can see your basket makeover.

  9. Leanna says:

    This is a really great simple makeover. What a great find.

  10. What a lovely redo. Thanks for sharing this. You sound like me. I donate alot too then buy more! I enjoyed visiting from the Homestead Blog Party. I singed up for your emails and following.
    Come over for a visit! Oh. I linked too. Enjoy your weekend!

  11. Stacey Keeling says:

    Your picnic basket is so cute! We always went on picnics when our kids were little and that’s something I’d like to bring back.

    We’ve been donating and selling things. Less stuff in the future!

    1. Thanks – this was a fun project and pretty quick too. Picnics were huge growing up – felt like we packed up the entire kitchen to eat outdoors at the beach. So we simplified with our kids and just grabbed something at a drive through before heading to our destination. Then at some point life got busy and the picnics ended. Less stuff – can you believe I’m still removing stuff – I told my husband the other day why don’t we just get rid of everything and start over with a clean slate.

  12. Joyce Olson says:

    This is beautiful, Carole! What a lovely transformation and do you know that I love picnics too!

    1. Thank you Jemma – nice to see your smiling face over here. I’m looking forward to these fall picnics, I’m thinking of even building a new picnic table at our next place.

  13. Teresa Cabrera says:

    I have a Longaberger picnic basket and would love to try your paint technique, but I paid a lot of money for the basket and not sure if I should paint it.

    1. Carole says:

      Hello Teresa – This was such a fun project. Maybe try this paint technique on an inexpensive basket first before taking the plunge. Hope that helps!

  14. Barb says:

    Using this as a sewing basket would be wonderful, if you do not go on picnics. The divider would allow for stacking several items.

    1. Carole says:

      That’s a great idea Barb. I build lots of fun box projects that would also work great for sewing stuff. Browse around you may like some of those projects.

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