Friday, 11 September 2015

DIY wire laundry baskets

I am so happy!
I've taken my own advice from my last post, and prettified some of my laundry essentials: I've de-cantered my laundry detergent, fabric conditioner and stain remover into some pretty bottles and jars, and even treated myself to some new wooden pegs that I'm keeping handy in  a nice storage basket...It is a good start...and doesn't it look good?

But the stars of my new look laundry station are these DIY wire laundry baskets.
Not only do they look good, but they are also super functional, as they are on castor wheels, making them easy to move around.
And of course, being a DIY, they are custom made to fit that little space under the shelves in my mini-hallway just outside the bathroom!

In today's post I will show you how I made them.
Of course you should make them to fit your own space, and maybe you can think of another use for the, other than laundry...They would also make great craft or toy storage, I think!

Super useful!
It took me 1 day to make two of these laundry baskets, but as I have done all the hard work of figuring out how to for you, it shouldn't take YOU that long, making this an ideal weekend project!

Here's the step by step:


Piece of wood, cut to size (I used Plywood)
2 X Galvanised mesh panels (or you could use chicken wire)
Canvas (I used some that I had left over, but something like this would also look nice)
polymer clay (you'll need 2 packets)

Jigsaw/wood saw
Drill and drill bits
Wire cutters
Sewing machine and thread


When deciding what size to make your laundry basket, obviously keep in mind the space it is going to be in, but also , to make life easier for yourself, consider your materials...
For instance, the size of the mesh panels I bought for this project made me change my original measurement when I cut the wood for the base, so that I knew that two of these panels would be sufficient to fit around the wood, and with a little (Ca 1cm) to spare...

This will make more sense to you further down this tutorial.

Now lets get started:

So baring in mind what I mentioned above, cut your wood to size, then use some sandpaper to remove any splinters or rough edges.
Attach the castor wheels to the corners of the wooden base. Make sure you drill pilot holes into the wood before screwing the castor wheels in place.
The reason I attached the castor wheels on to the wood before I got started with the with the wire mesh, is because the height of the wood with the wheels attached would help me decide how tall I wanted the wire basket to be....

And considering the space I wanted my laundry baskets to fit in to , this helped me determine the measurement to which I cut my mesh.
Using wire cutters, I snipped the mesh as close to the previous square in the mesh as possible, this way avoiding any sharp sticky-outy bits!
I then used my pliers to bend over (by ca 1cm/1 square) and flatten the top of the entire length of each cut-to-size mesh panel. I did this for two reasons: To minimize any sharp bits of mesh along the top of the basket, but also to add a bit of strength to the structure...

I Then folded each of the panels, by pressing along a square edge, to fit around the wooden base.

This is where my earlier advise will come in handy:  If you considered the length of the mesh panels when you cut the wooden base to size, two of these panels should fit perfectly around the base, with a 1 cm/1 mesh square extra lip at the corners where the two panels meet, for attaching them together.(More on this a little further down...)

Starting at the corners, where the mesh panels are bent, use your staple gun to fix the mesh to the base. Try to get the staples to form a nice, neat pattern, if you'll look nicer!
Use a hammer to gently tap any protruding staples flat to the wood..
NOTE: Make sure the two mesh panels are level with each other at the top of the basket before stapling in place!

At the corners, where the two mesh panels meet, use your pliers to bend the little overlap into place all the way up to the top of the basket. Then attach some florist wire near the base of the basket, by twisting using the pliers, as shown above. Use the wire to "sew" the two mesh panels together where they meet. Use your pliers to tighten  the wire throughout for a neater look...

That's it: 
You're Laundry basket is almost done:

Now, all you'll need to do is make a canvas lining, so that your laundry doesn't get snagged on any protruding mesh or wire we may have missed:


I am, as often stated here on Nostalgiecat, NOT a sewing expert, but the canvas lining for these baskets are really easy to make, and require hardly any skills with a sewing machine.
The trick is to make the pattern do most of the work for you, so that all you'll need to do is stitch it together in 4 places.
I simply laid my canvas out flat on the ground, then drew up the pattern, below, on to it and cut out...

Insert your own measurements , taken from the inside of your basket, to this pattern, and you can whip this basket lining up in no time...
The extra 15 cm to the height of the canvas lining compared to the height of the basket, will form a nice fold to the top edge of the basket...

No need to hem up the top edges of your lining , as you can simply fold it under when placed in the basket.


If you like the look of my little basket labels, these are also really quick and easy to make:

In a similar fashion to what I did HERE, I simply rolled out a ball of white polymer clay, and stamped the words into it...I used a butter tub as a template for the shape, then cut out....and I used a straw to make the holes in the clay....
Ovenbake according to the instructions on your polymer clay and leave to cool...

 I then just neatened up the edges with a bit of sandpaper, and used a pencil to color in the wording..

Then I attached the clay labels to my laundry baskets by tying on with a bit of twine...

Simple and stylish...

The perfect solution if you have an awkward space, like me, that you are struggling to find a use you can squeeze a little handy storage in!

I love how they've neatened up this space in a useful way...Goodbye junk-space, Hello beautiful linen baskets!

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. But if you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you asap. And if you like this or any of my other DIY tutorials, please spare a minute to give me your vote for best DIY and craft blog in the Amara interior blog awards, by clicking on the link below:

Please vote for me for best DIY blog
Oh, and if you like the look of my DIY laundry labels on the pretty bottles and jars, sign up for my weekly newsletter, by entering your e-mail address in the minty-blue bar at the bottom of the page, as I will treat all my subscribers to a free download of my design + instructions on how to apply them to plain glass jars in next weeks newsletter!

Next week I am hoping to announce a very important project I am involved with...
...stay tuned , you don't want to miss it!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Beautiful Laundry Essentials

Image from Indulgy
Last week I talked about how choosing nicely designed house keeping and cleaning essentials could improve the aesthetics of your everyday home living, and I investigated classy storage options for these, no matter how much space you've got in your home, can help you keep organised.
This post is a continuation of this subject, as I will be talking about THE LAUNDRY.

Anybody with a busy household will know that keeping on top of your laundry pile is a never ending task, and inevitably, your washing will be a visual part of your home life....
If you are lucky enough to have a room  in your home dedicated to your utility and Laundry needs, you may consider your utility room as one of the most used spaces of your home, so in this post I am sharing some images from the www. of some beautifully designed utility rooms that are both functional and stylish for your inspiration...

But even if you, like me, are not fortunate to have such a room in your home, there are lessons to be learned from these spaces: 

Image from Pottery Barn

My washing machine is in the kitchen, and without any designated area for my laundry essentials, it ends up all over the house.
As it is at the moment, Bigger laundry items , like towels and bedding invariably gets hung over doors around here when the weather does not permit outdoor drying...Installing a wall hung airer/drier will free up valuable floor space and give you a more flexible option when hanging your laundry to dry, especially in the winter months...

Image from House and garden
I keep my detergents and other laundry essentials in my already cramped cupboard (this is also where I keep my cleaning supplies) under the kitchen sink, but decanting these into pretty jars and bottles, would mean that it wouldn't look so bad if I was to leave them out on the worktop...
Image from country living
Using pretty baskets to sort the laundry in, in or near rooms like the bathroom or the bedroom , would make it easier to carry the washing loads to and from the washing machine, as well as looking a lot better than a pile of dirty clothes on the floor...

Image via Clean and scentsible
And of course, choosing nicely designed storage and essential tools for the Laundry, like a ironing board with a nice cover, will make it less of an eyesore in your home when in use...

I've picked out a few useful, yet good looking products, below to help you keep your laundry storage and the job itself more stylish:

1/ House by John Lewis laundry hamper 2/Nomess Copenhagen gold clothes hanger 3/Black washing tablet box from John Lewis 4/Ferm living clothes pegs in a bag 5/Garden trading peg bucket 6/Brabantia Black Dunes Ironing Board 7/John Lewis Beech Wood Airer 8/Iris Hantverk Clothes Brush 9/Brooklyn Laundry Liquid

Lastly, I love this cool and useful poster, below, explaining all those washing symbols that you may find on your clothes tags:
Laundry symbol poster from Lettered and lined
Perfect for dressing up the walls in (should you be so lucky) laundry or utility room!

I was planning on covering office and paperwork organisation and even kids toys and storage in my BEAUTIFUL UTILITY blogpost series, but as I am currently very busy working on what is probably the most important project I've ever undertaken  (All will be revealed very soon) and loads of other creative projects and collaborations, I am going to leave it here for now....
I have loads of interesting news to share with you all soon, and I am so busy at the moment, sometimes I'm just spinning around on the floor wondering what to do next (LOL)...
But I will try to squeeze in another Utility based DIY for you all towards the end of the week, as I am attempting making my own super functional Laundry baskets!
So do pop back for that!

Oh, and please spare a minute to give me your vote in the AMARA INTERIOR BLOG AWARDS for BEST DIY AND CRAFT BLOG, by clicking on the link below:

Please vote for me for best DIY blog