In this Post: Learn how to turn an old plastic container into a basket with this easy DIY jute basket tutorial.
I don’t know about your household, but I have some family members that love their candy. I find little bags of Reese’s peanut butter cups and Kit Kat everywhere. When I open my pantry, there is always some candy stuffed between each shelf. If I open my hutch, I’ll find candy sitting in various containers. If I look in my dining room, yup you guessed it — there will be more candy.
You can imagine my shock when our family dentist said that no one in our household had any cavities.
Regardless, I wanted to find a place for all of these sugary gems. I am all about organization and even wrote about it. However, the organization is only step number one for me. I need whatever I use for the organization to also look nice.
Sure enough, after telling my household that I wanted all of the candy to be in a functional space that also looked nice, I came down to my dining room to find an old plastic bin sitting on the table filled to the brim with candy.
At the time, I made little fuss because at least the candy was all in one place, but I really found the old plastic container to be an eyesore. Sure enough, I realized the task of “design” was going to fall on my shoulders. Since a home is all about compromises, I was willing to manage the design as long as the candy stayed organized.
So, I thought to myself— let’s turn this old container into something more appealing. And then I had it, I was going to turn this old plastic container into a little DIY jute basket. I committed to only using supplies I already had at home to save money, and I wanted the basket to have little pops of color. My mind was whirling with ideas, so I got to work!
- Natural Jute
- Mod Podge (Make Your Own! DIY Tutorial)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Paint Brush
- Extra: Colorful Yarn & Tissue Paper
I took some natural jute out of my crafting cabinet and started to untangle it. I like natural jute because it has a very organic texture and feels. Then, I plugged in my hot glue gun and gave it some time to warm up as I set up my workstation.
I have a bunch of cardboard boxes laying around from all of my Amazon deliveries. I always save some extra boxes to use as my crafting workstation. This allows me to make a mess without worrying about ruining my table or other accent pieces.
Once the hot glue gun is warmed up, you can start by taking your old plastic container and gluing a straight horizontal line across the exterior. While the glue is still hot, quickly wrap the jute over the areas that you just glued.
Working with Jute
When creating your DIY jute basket, you will want to make sure that the jute is placed as close to the row above it. I recommend gluing the jute all the way around the container before starting your next row. In other words, instead of focusing on one side of your bin at a time, wrap the jute around all four corners and work your way around and down.
I used one singular very long piece of jute, but some people also cut out perfectly sized pieces and work one row at a time (I just think it looks a tad unnatural that way). Whatever you decide, just make sure you have your jute ready and placed on the container before the glue cools down.
As you can see from my example above, the jute definitely had some visible gaps as I moved downward. Even though I glued the jute very close to the row above, it naturally showed some gaps. Do not worry about perfection here! Your DIY jute basket will have a handmade charm, and the little imperfections make it unique and pretty on its own.
Also, note— even though there are some gaps in this basket, they will be hidden by the end of the project.
You can easily unravel pieces of jute, fill gaps, and stretch sections out to fix any imperfections. When this project is done, it’ll be hard to notice/see any gaps!
DIY Jute Basket Exterior
When gluing your basket, remember to wrap the jute in a circle all the way around. Things might start to get a little tricky when you get to the very bottom of the container.
After you are about a quarter away from the bottom of your DIY jute basket, I recommend flipping the container over. This will allow you to wrap the jute around more effectively.
When you make your way to the very bottom, you will need to create hot glue circles and stick your jute onto them. The bottom of your DIY jute basket should look like multiple circular rings.
At the very end, cut the jute cord, and hot glue the last bit onto the very most center of the basket. Now it is time for some mod podge & decorating!
Decorating your Jute Basket
After the exterior of your DIY jute basket is complete, it is time for some “cleaning up” and decorating! Start by grabbing some scissors and cutting any of the rough fiber stems sticking out of your basket. After you have given the basket a nice haircut, it is time to work on the interior.
Now, there are many ways you can design the interior of your DIY basket. If you have extra jute, you can line the inside of your basket as you did with the exterior. This will give your basket a holistic basket look and feel. Some people may also choose to line the interior with colorful fabric.
Since I was committed to using what I already had at home (to save some money!), I decided to go with deep blue tissue paper. Tissue paper with mod podge will give the interior of the basket a paper maché look. I personally like the rough, texturized interior as it compliments the rough jute exterior.
However, if you are someone who prefers clean lines, then you are better off using fabric or continuing the jute into the inside.
Mod Podge & Wait
If you decided to go with the tissue paper maché look like I did, then be ready to embrace the crazy. You will want to cut pieces of your tissue paper (any shape or size), and mod podge it onto the interior of your plastic container. Basically, you will cut and glue over and over until you have created a thick multi-layered colorful sticky mess.
Yes, this will not look very pretty initially! But, once it is dried, it will have a nice paper maché texture, look, and feel.
Once you are done mod podging the interior, you can hot glue some additional jute to the lip of the container. This will hide any irregularities with the tissue paper.
Lastly, you will want to get your paintbrush and add a thick layer of modge podge to it. Now, don’t be shy, and cover the entire exterior of your basket with the sticky thick modge podge! This will allow the jute to set to the container and will help hide any gaps. Also, any extra-pointy fibers will stick to the basket instead of into your hands. When you are done, the entire DIY jute basket will look like a sticky slimy mess. But now comes the most important yet boring step — wait for everything to dry!
Optional: Additional Decor
I think watching glue dry is like a form of torture, especially when you want to complete a craft. So, I decided that I was going to add some pom poms to my DIY jute basket to give it a nice pop of color, and to kill time. Making pom-poms is actually super easy to do!
Step 1: Wrap yarn around your fingers. The more yarn you use, the more fluffy your pom-poms will be.
Step 2: Pull the yarn bundle off of your hand and fold it in half.
Step 3: Tie a knot at the center of the folded bundle.
Step 4: Cut between the loops of the yarn and keep cutting down until you have a fluffy ball!
Step 5: Add the pom poms to your basket!
I personally think making yarn pom poms is a therapeutic experience. I pop on my AirPods, listen to an audiobook, and make little fluffballs. I would say that is way better than watching glue dry. Once the pom poms are done, hot glue them to your basket and wait for 8 to 12 hours for the entire DIY jute basket to dry.
After your DIY jute basket has dried, you can use it as decor for all areas of your home. You can use these lovely baskets to hold extra toilet paper in a bathroom or store clutter in your living room. I am using mine as candy storage for my dining room table. The multi-colored wrappers look nice with the vibrant blue exterior and the colorful exterior pom poms. This basket also goes well with my Moroccan blue living room and helps bring multiple places together.
I also love that I can remove the pom-poms and change the color schemes. If I was feeling extra ambitious, I could even add a different colored tissue paper to the interior and change it up to match different spaces in my home.
This DIY project is great because it is super easy to make, and the end product is super versatile! I also just love the look of jute, so I smile every time I see it. This is definitely much better than the plastic container that was initially sitting on my dining room table!
Now, it’s simply a test to see if candy actually makes its way into this instead of everywhere else! Fingered crossed!
What do you think? Is this DIY jute basket cute or what? What would you use it for in your home? Share your thoughts and ideas below! As always, thanks for reading & supporting Crafts and Bolts!