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Ok… already starting this post off with a lie. I didn’t really weave anything. I used a glue gun.

But, the cheap-o thrift store basket I re-found a few weeks ago (and then began using as a trash can in the laundry room, the one that inspired a photo of me in a wig) is now looking a little swankier with some manila rope.

First off: I didn’t know there was more than one kind of rope to do a project like this. I thought sisal rope was more of a generic phrase rather than a specific kind. And then I realized that there was a darker version… manila. Also, sidenote… how my brain apparently works:  the name of the rope doesn’t immediately make me think of envelopes, which would be somewhat logical; it makes me think of funny names to market fragrances to dudes. Manila. Manana. Bacon (because that name is already manly enough).

So, now that this post has reached its quota for weird, let’s move on to the project:  take a basket like this one.

Permanently glue the first line of rope to the base. I used E-6000 because I didn’t want there to be any chance it would come undone (which is a possibility with hot glue). The rope comes bound at both ends to keep it from fraying; I left it on.

Once it was secure, I switched to hot glue and just wrapped it around and around, gluing every few inches. It took an entire year (another lie, but countless episodes of Scrubs to estimate the approximate time, so I’m going with what it felt like… which is a year).

Once I got to the top, I wasn’t sure what to do with the handles. So I snipped them off (hmm… suddenly my reasons for still being single are becoming quite clear). And then, I added my own.

And continued to wrap until there was a small lip around the top (which looks kind of nice, actually).

I can’t say the handle part is really finished. I just kind of gave up and called it good, and stuck it back in the laundry room.

I may do something more to it at a certain point. Maybe paint the top like this or just add a different kind of rope to the handles (since there is an obvious line between two separate samples of rope from the same box!). I’ll wait for the inspiration to strike and make my move. Until then, my new basket is now not only functional, but more my style.

before after basket

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Love it! I saw the beginnings on a flash of your instagram pics here on the blog and thought “clever”. Looks really good. And I went to HD the other day looking for some rope/sisal/whatever to wrap some styrofoam balls in different textures and fill a basket to fill a space. We’ ll see how long that project sits, but yes, there are some ropes to chose from. I picked up a smaller sisal rope but I may wrap some in nuetral bakers twine, or perhaps nuetral yarns..not sure. In the end I just hope it doesn’t look dumb–which is why it will sit for so long.

  2. I love it and the handles. Very clever. The basket looks so much more hearty now – it makes the before look kind of wimpy. It looks really good as it is, but I like the painted ones, too.

  3. That is adorable! And I like the way the handles look. I mean, how often are you going to be picking it up anyway?

  4. This is an awesome idea! I love it. I bought some of that rope to make a scratching post for my cat, but that has not happened yet. Now, please excuse me, I have to go look for a basket.

  5. I love this. In fact, I have a plastic lined basket that I was using to put a potted plant in but I really thought the basket looked kind of chincey. This will solve that problem nicely! I think your handles look great. However, another way to possibly do them would be to poke holes into the sides of the basket and put the rope through and tie a knot on either end. The knots could be hidden under the top rim. Thanks for this idea!

  6. I made a scratching post for my cat with sisal and it really tears your hands up working with it. I really like the basket. Looks much better after than before.

  7. You have more patience then I ever could. It looks great though. After reading the other comments I’m thinking you need a cat.

  8. No UNDERWATER basket weaving?!?! Surely your glue gun is waterproof! :)

  9. Where did you find that rope? I did a project earlier and had a hard time finding it and when I did, it was expensive. I think I ended up at Lowes. The rope you used is perfect! I really love this project!

    1. I got mine at Home Depot. Lowes didn’t seem to carry as many varieties in my area (and they are sold either in bags for the thinner stuff and by the foot for thicker rope, just fyi).

  10. The best ideas about home are simple, but fantastic! I wonder whether it peels off after some time or not?:)

    1. Doubt it (there’s plenty of glue on there!), but if it does, it’s just a thrift store basket anyway, so no harm done :)

  11. Excellent! I’m concerned that you didn’t immediately think of envelopes or Philippines when you saw “Manila.” You’re fabulous anyway. ;) Love the basket’s new look!