Friday, October 18, 2013

bird.i.y.: decorative tribal baskets

a while back, i went thrift shopping with nora. while i love shopping with her, it’s always hard because our tastes are so similar that it can sometimes turn into a “who saw it first” sort of scenario. shoes and jeans are ok, because there is no way i’m fitting into her sizes, but tops, dresses, and housewares are always a free for all.

so, we were shopping that day and she happened to spy this amazing tribal basket. now, i have no need for more baskets, or really any more knick knacks in our house, but that has never (ever) stopped me from buying them before. when i saw that beautiful basket in her cart, i immediately decided that i needed one for myself….thus began my thrift search for the perfect tribal basket.  

well, to date, that search has been fruitless (fruitless basket), so i decided to try to make my own. and while mine doesn’t hold a candle to the one nora found, it will do for now while i continue my thrifting journey!

here’s how i made mine.
what you’ll need:
hot glue gun
bottles of various sizes (i chose an orangina (does anyone else think this is a weird name for a drink?) bottle and a carafe from my old church’s rummage sale)
black sharpie (not pictured)

to make the initial “basket”, i don’t really need to give you step-by-step instructions. basically i cleaned the bottles, put a strip of hot glue and rolled the twine around the bottles. what i didn’t think about was how extremely boring and time consuming this would be. if you will notice in the first picture, there are three bottles. skip ahead to the end, and you will see that i only completed two. hot glue dries very quickly, so i spent hours literally applying one ring of glue, and then wrapping the twine around the bottle just once. i eventually figured out just how much glue i could apply, and how quickly i could wrap the twine before the glue dried. in the meantime, everything around me was ignored. the kids got to stay up late because i couldn’t stop to sing them their bedtime song. my dog was whining to come inside, and i couldn’t do it. sorry desi, this glue dries too quickly! go chase a squirrel or something!

after every few lines of rope i glued down, i would push it all down so that there was no clear space between rope layers. this involved constantly pressing my thumbs against the hot (hot!) glue. after the second bottle, i decided i still wanted finger prints, so i stopped.

 fingerprint eraser

then came the fun part…coloring!! i knew i wanted sort of a tribal look for the baskets, so i took my big fat sharpie and colored away.

 and here is the end result…

happy friday!
megan bird 

ps, i would be remiss if i didn't stop to wish my smart, beautiful, caring, strong mother a happy birthday. mom, i love you forever, i like you for always.


  1. Gosh, you are so creative! Love it!

  2. Megan, you have so much more patience that I do! All that gluing seems like such a tedious task but it came out really awesome!

    The Tiny Heart

  3. Love the end result! These look great and easy :)

  4. I love how it turned out! And happy birthday to your mom. :)

  5. Very cool. I don't think I'm ready to go through the pain part of it though.


  6. These turned out really cute! I think you guys need to have a craft night, I'm just sayin.

    Happy birthday to your mom!

  7. these are so fun- perfect for my next DIY project :)

  8. Whoa! That was way easier than I thought it would be! Cool!

  9. YOu are so creative!!! They look brill! I am a total wimp when it comes to hot things! The hot glue guns were my MORTAL enemy at secondary school in Craft classes and I avoided them like the plague because I was so scared of them (along with soldering irons, bunsen burners etc!). I bought one recently after reading so many awesome blog posts about using them but am still too scared to get it out of its packaging!x

  10. Great idea with the permanent markers!!

  11. I love it! I think I may do something similar with out the tribal, I really like that rustic look!
    I've been wanting to spruce up my living space as well. I need new bookcases and some new end tables and a new coffee table and entertainment center. I need a DIY for how to make mismatched flea market finds look cohesive!

  12. Oh, say Happy Birthday to your Mom for me, please! These vases turned out great. They gave me a great idea for my Fall Decor in my home, too. Hot glue can be such a menace. I really try to stay away from it as much as possible. lol My ydd is always roping me into helping her with Christmas Crafts that involve hot glue and I ALWAYS get burned, Always!!! Y-ouch! I loved your description of finger print eraser. LOL

  13. Happy birthday to your mom!!
    This looks like such a cute DIY. I wish I was as creative as you!! I need to decorate my room a bit more!

  14. How cute
    I think it would be too much fun to go shopping with the two of you