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Turn a Plastic Basket from DRAB to FAB with this Easy DIY Tutorial!

Posted on Posted in DIY crafts

DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert


We have kids in our house…let me rephrase that. We have several kids in our house…wait, wait let me rephrase that again…we have almost SEVEN kids in our house!

With this wild number of ankle biters if something is able to withstand the jumanji like playing games then that product is a winner in my book!

I was recently talking with a friend about products that are labeled “kid tested”. I told her how I sometimes laugh out loud because all I see is ultimate destruction imagining the item in our house. What am I getting at with this comical intro? At least I thought it was funny 🙂


You know those super cute canvas baskets that many folks love to place inside of their 12×12 cubbies? The ones with adorable chevron patterns, bright colors and the occasional super trendy burlap…we have bought and destroyed a graveyards worth of those things!

I don’t know why I kept trying them over and over again.

I think the last time I picked up a few of them my husband told me, “You know the kids are gonna destroy those by tomorrow.” Me being the eternal optimist that I am responded with a jovial, “Well maybe this time they’ll do okay with them.”


Totally destroyed and I was left eating my optimistic words…ugh!

Some time after that I spotted these baskets at walmart. I thought to myself how much more durable they were and how maybe they could withstand the craziness of our crew. So I grabbed a few. VERY reluctantly.

One of the reasons I opted for these was because of their price. They were super inexpensive and they were big! I liked how well they fit inside the cubbies too.

I brought them home and dumped the toys inside, slid them into their slots and hoped for the best! Guess what?? They totally held up! Can you believe it?! We’ve had them for over a year now and they haven’t cracked, broken or anything! Trust me there have been moments where I have walked upon a scene and thought, “That basket is done!” But we honestly haven’t lost a single one.


DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert


We started remodeling our mobile home in the summer of this year and I kept looking at those same baskets thinking about how much I didn’t care for the way they looked. I knew I was NOT about to get rid of them so I left my creative mind open to spotting ideas for what I could do to them to make them look more appealing to the eye.

I am sure you have seen those diaper box crafts people do where they take diaper box and cover it with rope or fabric and then use that re-done box as a storage container. It’s a great idea and if you don’t have a brood of hyenas living in your house you could totally do this same project using those boxes! I knew they wouldn’t work for us but I got an idea…


DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert



I knew walmart has some really inexpensive rope in the tool/home improvement section of walmart. For less than $5 you can get 100ft of this rope. It’s sturdy and gives a very farmhouse look to whatever you would put it on. I grabbed 2 spools and set to work.

I will warn you this rope has an odor to it when you first open it up. It honestly smells like my dad when he would come home from working at the mechanic’s garage. It disappears and you can’t smell it anymore once you start attaching it to the basket. It was just initially when I opened it I was like, “Oh my!”

DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert


  • 2 spools of 100ft of rope
  • 1 large plastic basket for a 12×12 cubby
  • hot glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • sewing machine
  • elastic
  • fabric

I knew I wasn’t going to leave the inside bare so I wasn’t super precise when I started attaching the rope around the top of the basket. I wanted to make a fabric insert with an elastic band around the top so it would be secure on the basket. I figured this way I wouldn’t have to worry about whether the little strings were cute and tied but instead, with the elastic, I could put them in and be done!


DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert


It’s also easier for kids to fix the fabric insert even when they’re little and not able to tie anything yet.

Gluing the rope on is a bit of a timely process. You want to make sure you are putting enough glue on so as to make it secure on the basket.

I would also recommend a fabric you are fine with taking a bit of a beating. It’s amazing the things you can find at the bottom of a toy box or basket…”Where did that PBnJ sandwich come from???” you ask yourself as you’re cleaning out broken and old toys.

I went through my stash and made this insert for this tutorial to show you the finished look. However I think I’m going to pick up a dropcloth from walmart and make an insert out of that. It will be nice and sturdy.


DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert


For making the fabric insert I simply measured the sides and base adding 1/2″ to the side measurement for seam allowance. When measuring from top to bottom I added 3″s because I wanted to give enough space for some overhang as well as the pocket for the elastic to go through. You could add more if you wanted to have a larger amount of material to hang over.

I encourage you to customize this however you would like! Make it match your decor in the best way possible so that you LOVE it everytime you see it. That is what creating a handmade home is all about right? Making the things you love so you can fill your home with them.


DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert


I hope if nothing else this DIY inspires you to think outside the box.

Just because you got some kiddos in your house doesn’t mean things can’t look nice and pretty. It just means you might have to approach decor with durability and then make it pretty along the way!


DIY Plastic Basket Makeover with Fabric Insert


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Until next time 🙂


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