Looking for DIY projects with baskets? Here’s a ten-minute DIY idea using wood beads to transform a yard sale basket.

DIY projects with baskets

What is a girl to do when she stops by a yard sale and this is sitting near the curb?

And there’s a little pink sign on the top marked $5.


You read that correctly. That is not a misprint on the blog.

Not $55.

Not $15.


And it was still sitting there when I showed up at 10:35 am.

What in the world? What were people thinking? Why had they walked through the yard sale and left this behind? That’s the mystery of yard sales. The broken Christmas tree missing its plastic feet flies off the shelf, but a treasure like this sits waiting patiently for a new home.

I scooped it up and brought it home and transformed it with a clever DIY hack.

And now?

It looks like this.

DIY projects with baskets back entry

Can you see it there on the dresser in the middle of my back entry?

You might not even have recognized it at first. Good thing I love projects with baskets.

All it needed is a little spray paint and some wood beads and a simple DIY distressing hack.


Oh? You’d like a closer look?

DIY projects with baskets tag

Here’s where it started.

A pink $5 price tag and a lot of hopes and dreams.

And now?

It’s sitting in my entryway keeping me company—living the high life and watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

DIY projects with baskets wood beads

Hello cutie.

Nice to meet you.

So happy you came home to live with me.

Here’s the step-by-step DIY you can use on a thrift store basket you probably have sitting around your garage or attic or basement or top cupboard.

DIY projects with baskets decorating entry

Wood Bead DIY Projects With Baskets


white spray paint

candle wax

wood bead

hot glue gun

sandpaper (100 grit)

DIY projects with baskets adding candle wax

super similar apron linked here for under $16 (and a 5% off coupon)

it has pockets and a cross back and it’s a linen blend

Step 1: Apply candle wax

This is the distressing hack I was telling you about.

It’s one of my favorite ways to make distressing a little easier.

Before you paint, simply take a candle (I’m using a taper here) and rub it over the places where you want to distress the basket. For example, you typically distress a piece on the edges, so with this basket, I rubbed on the handle, the raised rim, and some of the spines of the basket.

When we get to the sanding part later, the paint will just lift off the areas you added the wax to.

Step 2: Spray paint the basket

  1. When working on DIY projects with baskets like this, you want to make sure the basket is cleaned thoroughly. I used Dawn dish detergent and a scrub brush to get rid of all the dirt inside and out. Also, check for stickers or anything sticky on the surface and make sure to remove them before you spray it.
  2. Remember to spray lighter coats. It’s so hard when you are spray painting because you want to be in a hurry; however, if you rush you will regret it. Stand about three feet away from your piece (too close and you will get drips) and wave the primer back and forth in an even coat. Let that coat dry thoroughly before adding the next coat. When you are painting a lighter color (like this white) you’ll probably need about two-three coats.
  3. Drips. YIKES. There is nothing worse than spray painting something and you see a drip. The best thing to do is prevent drips before they start. The two causes of drips are spraying too close to the piece and spray painting when the weather isn’t optimal. You want to stand back about three feet and spray paint the piece in LIGHT even coats. Light coats are your friend. Too much spray paint in one area will cause a drip. You want to spray paint between 50 and 90 degrees to make sure your paint adheres properly. Do NOT spray paint in humid weather or direct sunlight. It can affect how the paint dries and it causes glumps. If you do get a paint drip my best tip is to blot it with a q-tip. I keep a stack of q-tips when I’m spray painting and if I see a drip, I blot it and wipe it smooth and then let the paint settle. Don’t paint a second coat until it’s dry.
  4. I like to have at least three to four hours between coats. Truth? Sometimes I forget about the project and spray paint another coat the next day; you just want to make sure that your first coat is dry before you re-apply another coat of spray paint.

(total aside: is glumping even a spray paint term?)

Step 3: Distress the basket

After the spray paint is dry, the next step is to distress.

Remember that wax?

It’s your new best friend now. Make sure to use 100 grit sandpaper—not too coarse, not too fine–just the perfect grit for this project.

Take the sandpaper and lightly sand the areas you added the wax too and the paint will lift off. You don’t need to sand too hard because the wax does the job for you.

Step 4: Glue wood beads

Lastly, take a wood strand of beads (or even individual beads if you don’t have a strand) and glue them around the middle of the basket.

This wood bead strand was about four beads short, so I just used hot glue and glued a few wood beads to fill in the gap.

Make sure to lay the basket on its side when you are gluing the beads so the glue doesn’t drip.

Here it sits.

Ready for primetime.

From the yard sale to my back entry.

And just in case you don’t have a basket?

Here are 9 other things you can transform with spray paint.

Hope this post makes your next yard saling adventure even more fun. 🙂

PS For everyone asking about the apron, here’s a super similar apron linked here for under $16 (and a 5% off coupon)

It has pockets and a cross back and it’s a linen blend. I like the light gray.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Kathy Kathy

    I don’t think I’d pay $5 at a garage sale for a basket either? Is this some special basket? Guess I’m lost on this basket..sorry to be the party pooper..but around here a $1 is high price for a basket, even at our 2 thrift stores.

    1. Image for Kathy Howell Kathy Howell

      I would pay 5.00 for a vintage basket. Especially that one because my Mother had one like that when I was growing up and it’s just the memories and its adorable.

  2. Image for Jan Petrucciani Jan Petrucciani

    Can tell you a secret? I do not like the trend with the wood beads draping around. I’m not sure where they come from? I’m a vintage and antique owner and I don’t know where wood beads would come from in the history, function of the past. I can understand beads being used as an edger because then it looks like an old piece of furniture if you have it blend with the material of said piece of furniture or accessory. I think the basket is darling! For me, I just wouldn’t put the beads on because I never would have bought them! And I did see your very cute pots with the flowers and the beads around the edge. That’s cute. But I don’t understand beads draping across trays and shelves and tables. But again your basket is darling and it looks wonderful in that exact place! I love it. Teach me about the beads.

    1. Image for Kathy Kathy

      Think it’s a boho look with the beads? I don’t care for them either, but that’s just my opinion..I’m just patty the pooper today..

    2. Image for mary mary

      my guess is we are too old to "get" the beads! They are quite popular in home decor right now. I do LOVE the basket.

  3. Image for Pam Pam

    I too found a basket identical to yours last year at An antique store for a mere 5.00! I was ecstatic! Love that the basket has a top. I used an antiquing glaze and have mine sitting lovely on top of my Armoire.

  4. Image for Carole Carole

    The photo of this yard sale basket took me immediately back to the 1960’s when I was a kid. My mother had a basket exactly like your new find. She kept photos in it. Thanks for the memory!!

  5. Image for Tammy Tammy

    The basket is a find! And hard to come by here in North Texas. You make me want to hit the garage sales- even in this heat! May I ask where you got your apron? I’ve been looking for some ne like it- but I’m short and it’s hard to find one that fits. Love the basket- great find and you took a plain basket and made her beautiful!

  6. Image for lois lois

    Karianne; I love reading your posts; I am going to find a basket and paint it like you did....You are so cute and funny,thanks for being you.

  7. Image for Kim Kim

    I love baskets and this looks amazing! $5 is a steal for an unusual basket like that one, and I LOVE the beads. Great job!

  8. Image for Diana Diana

    I love your posts. I could picture your excitement and that big beautiful smile on your face. your enthusiasm is catching! I love the idea of the candle wax. Good tip. As far as style we go with what we love and I think your home is your castle and if it fits your style you go with it! I have a lot of baskets. I like unusual shapes and this one is different. Happy garage saling!

  9. Image for Judy Judy

    Karianne, your tips on spray painting are fantastic. I really appreciate your instructional posts they inspire me for that I am grateful. Enjoy your basket find, fits perfectly on the dresser. Have a wonderful day.

  10. Image for Penny Thomas Penny Thomas

    The way you have repurposed the basket is phenomenal! It is gorgeous and I think it is beautiful in your entryway. I would notice it immediately because that kind of thing is just super cool!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Of course! You can get it here (affiliate): https://amzn.to/3c14B3v Under $20 and it's 20% off now too! Happy day! KariAnne

  11. Image for Susan Susan

    Karianne, I love checking my inbox each morning to see what your up to. Your posts make me smile and inspire me. The basket is beautiful!

  12. Image for Debby Debby

    Don’t paint when there is high humidity??? Haha…..that leaves me out in Lawrence KS from June-mid October! But the basket is really cute:)

  13. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I love the basket with the lid. 5 bucks for a lidded basket at a garage sale...all day long. Karianne, I love your house and everything about you. But Im with many others on the beads. The beads on the basket, not for me. But if you had used one of your cute stencils on it, Im in. But still the basket is a great find. As always, you make me smile with your excitement.

  14. Image for Tawny Stoddard Tawny Stoddard

    Oh my! It's absolutely precious...love it! I bet that little sweet basket just loves it's personal little makeover! KariAnne you are a miracle worker! Xoxo

  15. Image for Marie Denise Bertrand Marie Denise Bertrand

    Karianne , I understand your imagination , I love what you call Yard sales , In Australia we call Garage sales , I often have friends and family say to me what are you going to do with that, then when its done ,they say wow would not have imagined doing that with that , I tell them its called imagination , lets face it if it was not for someone's imagination of of what we call 1940,50, 60 and even the 1970 style and I am sure there were people through those era that just didn't get it ( new styles ), so hats off to you or as us Ozzies will say good un ya for starting a trend or just being an individual, love your blog Denise

  16. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Love that basket! And what you done with it... I would have that by my chair to put all my magazines in to be out of sight till I get back to some articles for another look. Love the apron also. could you please post links to Amazon so that I can just click on link and go there....when I copy I sometimes miss a letter and have lost it. Love your blog, always good info as well as a smile. Blessings,

  17. Image for Carrie Carrie

    I was driving by a thrift shop today and spotted what looked to be the exact same basket sitting on a table outside! I made my husband turn around so I could check it out. To my delight, I was right and it was $5.00 too (green sticker not pink)! The Thrift Store Gods were smiling down on me. I’m super excited to transform this awesome find!

  18. Image for Debbie King Debbie King

    First…you are so stinkin’ adorable the way you present information to us!! I loved how you transformed the basket and gave her a pretty necklace of wooden beads. Perfection! Now she sits on the dresser in your back entry waiting to greet everyone that comes her way. Bravo!

  19. Image for Nana Nana

    I have a basket like that and love it. Never thought about painting it but will definitely be looking in to it. I ama basket junky and I use all of them around my house. Absolutely in love tem.Thank you for showcasing them.❤️

  20. Image for Nancy Hunziker Nancy Hunziker

    Love the basket and the tip on distressing! I do see that type of stuff in my local area quite often. I just don't have the imagination to do anything with them. Now I will! Love your home and how serene it looks. I especially like the colors of your walls. I have repainted in the last 2 yrs. And painted all the walls Rafia Cream. Iiked it in my little offuce but not through out! I can't pick paint! Never could! It over whelms me! U thinking now I would like the whiter and brighter look better. I love the white you have chosen but also how you mixed other lighter colors with it. I don't know how to select them. Can you share the colors you selected in your home? They are really beautiful and more to my liking!

Comments are closed.