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Vintage Dirty Laundry Basket

Do you ever pick something up that you don't need, but feel like you could find a purpose for it just because it's a good price and you kind of like it?

Of course not, I'm the only one.

You can't fool me, I know you do it too, maybe at Home Goods or Target, something ends up in your cart because you can't pass it by?

Well that's what happened to me a few years ago leaving a flea market with some friends. I saw a vintage basket and stand combo marked twenty bucks, and I briefly thought on it and said sure why not, and it came home with me.

First it sat in the garage for a year collecting saw dust. 

Then it went to the shed o'schidt for a couple more years compacting the dirt on it's facade.

And then last week my washing machine broke.

Vintage Laundry Basket On Stand, stenciled makeover,

The man with the tools said he wasn't gonna spend a couple hundred bucks to fix a ten year old machine - the price with him doing the fixing - so I better get a new one.

I wasn't about to insist he fix the old one when I heard the words 'get a new one', so 24 hours later the new machine was in my laundry room reporting for duty.

It was also time for a long over due cleaning and purging of the cabinets, and once all the mounds of clothes were folded and sent to their rightful owners, I realized we no longer had a dirty clothes hamper in there.

Where that sorting hamper went I may never know. It was the kind on wheels with several canvas bags to sort the white clothes from the blue jeans, which never ever happened by the way, so really I won't miss it. All the dirty clothes just went in what ever bag had the most room, and so it was that the tighty whitey undies were washed right along with the blue jeans.

I like the look of those cute vintage metal wire-ish laundry room bins that I see in all the magazines, but those cost more than I was willing to spend on something that would hold smelly socks, and that no one would see unless I started entertaining in my laundry room.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

I scanned my memory bank for what I might already have that I could recycle, and I remembered the vintage basket combo that I picked up those three years back. Why buy new when I had something I could update that would serve the same purpose, and I had the perfect laundry room stencil for it from Old Sign Stencils.

But first I had to get up close and personal with the combo.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

In Minnesota during the winter it's not as easy as turning on the outside hose and spraying off the accumulated dirt on something, so I put the basket and stand in a stall, stripped down, and the three of us had a hot shower.

After the good scrub and while the combo dried, I decided on paint colors...... Fusion Mineral Paint, in Ash, Picket Fence, and Little Lamb.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,
First I spray painted the outside of the basket and the base black, so I didn't have to double coat it with my more expensive paints, and also because spray paint gets in the nooks and crannies of baskets easier.
The inside of the basket was sprayed gray, then it got a coat of Fusions Little Lamb. If I knew how to sew I think a fabric basket liner would look terrific, but that talent skipped a generation.
Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,
While walking the basket out to the garage I discovered Anne Fillmore had marked her territory.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

I wondered if Anne filled it with more babies, or more laundry? I'll never know, but I left her signature intact on the bottom of the basket.

The size of the basket and of the stencil was like they were meant to go together, and I made quick work of merging the two of them.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

Click here for the LAUNDRY stencil. 

I also decided to make a little wooden sign clarifying that the basket was for DIRTY laundry. 

I attached a couple little clothes pins to each side of the sign, and then glued the sign right to the basket with  E600. I clamped it for good measure.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

The Citrasolv method was used to transfer the word 'dirty' to the wood piece that I painted white first. You can read  a detailed tutorial about how to transfer with Citrasolv {HERE}. I wanted the dirty word to be dark and not a worn looking so I went over it with a black sharpie.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

The wheels still wheel smoothly around, but I don't expect I'll be moving the basket anywhere other than maybe over to the front of the washer. You can see I did distress the paint on the base slightly and I like how the original blue or cream shows through.

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

On the weaved designs around the top rim and bottom of the basket, I used wax in antique brown to get in the nooks and crannies.

The basket is a nice size, it will hold a couple loads worth of laundry. 

Below is my fearless canine Abe. He was whining at the door to come in while I was taking pictures, he didn't want to miss out on anything exciting like laundry I guess.

He strolled in and promptly sat down right in the way. So I took his picture!

Vintage Laundry Basket Stand, stenciled makeover,

If only Abe or Anne Fillmore were available to keep up with my laundry then the basket would never over flow.  Probably a better chance that Abe would help than Anne, because I'm betting she is long gone to the laundry room in the sky. 

But her basket lives on.

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  1. What an amazing transformation and so cool you kept the original's name on the bottom. My son attends school in MN so loved reading the reference. laura in colorado

  2. Omg! I so Love this! What a wonderful,idea!

  3. Abe is gorgeous.
    Congrats on the new washer. :)
    Love that you left Anne Fillmore's name on the basket bottom.
    Adore the visual of "so I put the basket and stand in a stall, stripped down, and the three of us had a hot shower."
    Isn't it wonderful how the laundry stencil was the perfect size? :)
    I love the added sign and the net result. Fantastic!!
    Give Abe some ear rubs for me.
    Stay warm and Happy New Year!!!
    ~ Christina

  4. LOVE this! it turned out so cute! sometimes we just have to pretty things up, even if we're the only ones who are going to appreciate them! i happen to own a bassinet very similar to this, although i don't believe the legs collapse, but who knows! mine has been 'in storage' since purchasing it at least 15 years ago! thanks for the inspiration! i can't wait to make mine happen!

  5. This is awesome! Love the transformation!

  6. Thanks for the good chuckle and way to start my day! My favorite part is where you "stripped down and took a shower with the basket"! So funny! Definitely an amazing transformation that would make Anne Fillmore proud!

  7. LOL. As much as I adore this project, and well, really all of them, your stories are what I come for!

    Now time to make a bar in that there laundry room because this beauty is worth entertaining around and showing off! Epic project, Blissy!

  8. You crack me up, "so I stripped down and the three of us had a hot shower". Thanks for starting my Saturday with a laugh. What a great idea repurposing a vintage baby bassinet into a rolling laundry basket!


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