Decorating With Country Baskets
Country Baskets are probably the most prominent design themes in basketry. Baskets can come in several different sizes, shapes, materials and colors, yet still be considered within the country theme. Baskets throughout history have been utilized for transportation and storage, and remain a storage staple. Today baskets are used much as they always have with one glaring exception: baskets have become frequent design essentials. Many homes, businesses and store displays rely on baskets and basket elements to create just the right look.
What is a Country Basket?
Country baskets are typically a tad kitschier than other basket styles. Any basket can be embellished to fit into a country theme. By adding fabric liners, baskets can be rejuvenated and matched to fit into any color scheme. Most bright floral or gingham style fabrics work well for this purpose. Stencils are another way that any run-of-the-mil basket can be transformed into the perfect country design. Ducks, roosters, apples and sunflowers are typical stencil designs that have been used to add country flair to any décor. Any Americana style is also compatible with the whole country theme. The idea here is to bring just a touch of country to your décor without going overboard.
Materials Used for Country Basket Designs
Traditional basket weaving materials are rattan, wicker, reeds and cane. Modern baskets can be made from nearly any materials available. Many times, wooden boxes, stiffened fabrics and even cardboard boxes in unusual shapes become baskets of sorts. There are also many interesting wire basket designs out there that are easily dressed up to any style. It is almost as if the addition of a handle to any type of vessel will magically transform it into a basket. While these unorthodox “baskets” are not actually baskets by the traditional definition, they are becoming increasingly popular in country and Americana styles of decorating. Some examples of non-traditional basket materials are:
- Old paint cans that have been decorated with anything from paint to fabrics.
- Fruit boxes with braided wire handles
- Cardboard boxes covered in satins handles of ribbons.
- Antique wooden tool boxes with Flowers and bows attached to the handles or stencils of country designs or flowers painted inside.
- Any style of basket that is lined in calico print fabric.
- Quilted and starched fabrics that have been molded into a vessel shape.
- Yarn such as in knitted or crochet works.
- Country embellishments such as lace, buttons, flags, vegetables and fruits are often used for decorations.
Creative Uses for Country Baskets
In addition to using baskets for storage, many creative designers have come up with interesting uses for these versatile pieces. More often baskets are being used as design elements simply to communicate a particular feeling in a room as opposed to filling a storage need. Creative uses for country baskets include:
- Table centerpieces- fill any basket with fruit, flowers, marbles, or even candles in a bed of colored sand.
- Wall sconces – cone-shaped baskets can be attached to the wall with imitation flowers or foliage draping out of them. The basket can also be lined with heavy plastic to allow for dirt potted plants or real flowers to be used.
- Yarn or other needle work- decorative baskets can be filled with yarn or fabric.
- Flower pot covers- Line a basket with heavy plastic and place potted plants inside.
- Serving pieces for items such as utensils, napkins, bread, whole fruit or vegetables
- Carry food for a picnic- any basket can double as a picnic basket, providing it is large enough to hold the desired meal.
- Gifts- Fill a basket with themed goodies, such as for a baby shower or bridal shower.
- Magazine holders- a nice basket will take care of the clutter of newspapers and magazines.
- Firewood- Large, sturdy baskets can hold kindling or small firewood near the fireplace.
- Placed on a mantle or hung on the wall as art
- Laundry hampers- Though commercially made wicker laundry hampers are available; any large basket can be used for a decorative laundry hamper.
How to Decorate with Berry Baskets
Where to Buy Country Baskets
It is not difficult to find baskets for sale. All craft stores have very large selections of baskets in nearly any style imaginable. Home accent stores also are great places to find baskets in a variety of styles and sizes. Arts and crafts fairs are just brimming with baskets and new ideas for materials and uses. Garage sales and flea markets are also great places to find them. The internet is a wonderful place to find baskets to fit any style or use.
If the perfect basket just cannot be found, decorate a plain basket to make it perfect. This option allows for creating a basket that is just the right size, color and style to fit any desired theme. Another option is to make a basket out of unique and individualized materials. Just about any box, basket or vessel can be embellished and a handle attached to create one-of-a-kind baskets that are also works of art.