denim ottoman slipcover and a weathered wicker file basket

Last week on one of my thrift store outings, I came across a large wicker basket that seemed like it would be the perfect size for file storage for our office.

You might remember me talking about my love of Ballard Designs lidded $59 a piece- and even though it's a fairly new item in their catalog, it was out of stock almost as soon as they advertised it.

I was pretty excited when I picked it up, and was certain the width would accommodate file folders!
At $9.99, it was too good to be true.

I am pleasantly surprised at how much I like it since it's redo!!
And so much cuter than an ugly metal file cabinet.

Here's what it looked like when I started with it:

Just a basic, wicker basket. It was nice in that it has holes on the sides- making it easy to pick up and move.

I sprayed it with a white primer to begin with, and then mixed up some light gray paint and brushed it all over.
I am really loving the weathered, gray wicker that is popping up all over stores right now.

Once it was dry, I took a medium grit sandpaper to it, and aged it a bit to bring back up some of the original wicker color.
Next, I dry brushed some plain white paint over it to add some more dimension to the grayed, weathered look I was going for.

If you haven't tried dry brushing, it's pretty simple.  I just used a cheapy paint brush and dipped it lightly in the paint, and then quickly painted/scrubbed the paint into the wicker.  If I was working on a flat piece, the scrub would not be recommended- I just needed to soften up the white paint by really working it into the grooves.  It gives a very natural, weathered appearance this way.

I let that dry, and then thought it needed something interesting on it to add to our beach / surf theme.  Since we have some 1920's vintage surf prints over the desks, I decided to stencil some numbers on the side.

I printed off some numbers onto card stock and then cut out the middles. 

Using a really short bristled, stiff brush, I painted and stippled the paint onto the basket.
Once it was ready to go, I unloaded our file cabinet into the basket!  I still need to get the wire hanging rack, but it still works even this way for now:

I added a few accessories, and voila!
A side table for our reading corner, and a clever way to hide all of our files.

And speaking of reading corner, I did a super simple denim slipcover over a newly unused ottoman.  I had this in our living room previously, but in a recent rearrangement, I didn't need it in there anymore.  This was a super garage sale find several years ago! It think I got it for under $10.  The fabric is nice, but not in a style that works for me.

I wanted frayed edges showing at the seams, so I just sewed it opposite of how you normally would- seam side out.
I left a pretty hefty edge, so I could trim it close to the stitching.

(Bella looking at me while I'm working, "Hey! Hey mom! pet me!"...)

I trimmed up the edges...

...then washed the finished slipcover a couple times so that the edges would be frayed and fuzzy- like a pair of favorite beach cutoffs.

I am really liking how everything is coming together in here!  It's a slow makeover, but I know where we're headed, and it's nice that it's becoming more finished with each project!
Here's another look at the two pieces:

I hope this inspires you to look at something in a way that you can personalize and make for less!


  1. Very clever use of paint. The basket looks incredible and it's practical -- perfect!

  2. OMgosh Denise this is so cute and I love the stencil as well... Way to go!!

  3. What great ideas! I was eyeing some grey wicker just last night at World Market. I love the stenciled numbers you added, just perfect!

    I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog last night and inviting me to your link party :D I'm now following and can't wait to see all of your other great ideas!


  4. That looks awesome! What a neat idea. I love seeing things that can be used for organizing that you don't expect!
    Thanks for linking it up to my Organizing Mission link party!

  5. Love your reading corner! From the rope shelf to the maps to the fabulous basket!! You certainly made it your own.

  6. Love the grey wicker basket for file storage Denise! The numbers came out great too!

  7. The ottoman and basket look wonderful. I have a basket I want to "weather". Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  8. Just love this room! Comfy, cozy and adorable. Great job on all your projects!

  9. Great idea with the basket. Love how it came out. Hey, i have the same bamboo concept in my master bathroom. But my square vase is taller and I have more pieces. But even the same rocks. Do I smell Ikea? :)

  10. That is a fantastic way to hide your files. Love the ottoman cover too. I am planning on doing a reverse denim pillow so it has frayed seams too. Very nice to see how nice yours turned out! Visiting from Show and Tell at Blue Cricket.
    {$15 Amazon GC Giveaway} 

  11. It looks great! I love the little rope shelf and I would never had thought to sew the denim with the edges out, but I really like the look! Great Ideas!!!

  12. Denise--great job on both pieces! I love denim.
    That trunk is awesome for the storage and now it looks fab!
    visiting from the circle of bliss!


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