I apologize to those of you who thought you might find more craft room projects today, as had I promised last week. But this idea popped into my mind at the beginning of the week and I couldn't restrain myself from trying it out. Then it ended up coming out so well that I couldn't help but share it a little earlier than later. Hope you don't mind too much!
I saw this jute webbing in JoAnns a few weeks ago and just feel in love with the beautiful texture and the fun red thread running throughout. I bought a few yards, unsure of what I would use it for, but knowing that it would end up somewhere. I kept envisioning how cool it would look all intertwined, but just didn't know exactly what I would do with it. Then I remembered this old cooler. You probably have one lying around somewhere in your garage or basement, and if not, check your parents or grandparents' garage or basement-they're the types of things that always seem to be just lying around somewhere. Or buy one at your gas station, they're cheap.
I ran lengths of the jute webbing down the sides of the cooler under the bottom and up the other side, keeping it slightly loose the whole time, and secured the ends with pins.
I made sure that the pins were pushed into the cooler at a downward angle as opposed to straight in. This kept them from pulling out as I wove the webbing.
I then ran a length of webbing down the shorter side of the cooler, weaving it through the bottom pieces and then up the other side, again, securing with pins.
I took a length of webbing and wrapped it around the outside of the cooler, and trimmed it for length. I then pinned the end underneath one of the pieces of webbing that was running vertically down the cooler, and then weaved it under and over the other pieces until I had worked my way all the way around.
I trimmed the webbing so that both ends would be hidden under the same vertical piece of webbing and pinned them in place.
Now that my basket was completely woven, I took the slack out of the lengths of webbing. I started with the vertical pieces, adding a second pin at the top for extra support, pulled each strand until it was taut, and then re-secured the end with pins.
I then moved onto the pieces that were running horizontal on the cooler. I grabbed my glue gun, and glued the ends of the horizontal webbing to the vertical strand that they were hiding behind, pulling them taut and trimming as necessary. Now that my whole basket was assembled, I took my glue gun and ran a thin line of glue behind any pieces that were pocketing to get them to lie completely flat.
I then got my fabric stiffener and applied a thick layer with a sponge brush. I didn't worry about it soaking through to the bottom layer, I just focused on getting the top layer saturated. I left the top ends (where the pins were) without any stiffener, because I wanted to fold those down later. But everything else got a good dose. (The red dye from the red yarn ran a little bit, so I tried to apply the stiffener in the direction of the pattern, as to not spread red dye over top of the brown webbing.)
When everything was dry I discovered that I couldn't pry the cooler out, so I decided to just break it off piece by piece. It was really secure in the bottom corners, and I was worried about warping the now stiffened jute webbing that I had worked so hard on! Luckily I won't miss that cooler.
I left the bottom piece intact, because I want to use the basket as a planter, and want to protect the bottom of the basket from any excess water that runs out of the plants.
I layered up a fun red vignette and popped it onto my front porch. Hello fall!
The size of the cooler, and therefore the basket, was perfect for 2 small mums, which were perfect for my front porch. But it's lightweight and fun enough to be used in the house as well.
In retrospect, had I known that I was going to be throwing the cooler away at the end of this project, I probably would have just covered the entire thing in webbing, hot gluing it onto the cooler as I went, and then I wouldn't have needed any fabric stiffener. But the basket would be larger, and a bit bulkier too. Oh well, just a few more options for you I guess. :)
I'll be linking this around to these great parties this week. Check them out for some beautiful fall inspiration.
And check back with us later this week for a great giveaway!
See you next Monday!!