The day I decided to make spray painted numbered baskets…..

…..was the day all the turtles in the county decided to cross the road.

I’m still not really sure what prompted the mass exodus to the other side of the street….but they were everywhere.

Little ones and big ones and tiny ones.

All making a trek across the black top.

Have you ever seen a turtle in the middle of the road?

It looks just like a rock.


The whole thing was totally a precarious situation.

The other day, I stopped the car and held up traffic waiting for one..  It inched along….sticking its neck out and laboriously lifting its foot….one after the other.



Putting one turtle foot in front of the other.

People honking.

A line of cars.

Me….silently cheering him on.

All of us waiting for one turtle to cross the road.


But I had to wait….because you see….I completely understand.

I can totally identify.

Some days I have to channel my inner turtle….

….just to make it from one side of the road to the other. 🙂

In honor of turtle-crossing-the-road-day….

…here’s an easy tutorial on spray-painted numbered baskets!


I started with plain baskets from Wal-Mart.

I spray painted them gray long ago.

Back when it was turkey-crossing-the-road-day.


Here’s what they looked like at Christmas.




But they needed a little something more.


Step 1:  Print number off computer

I printed off numbers on the computer

I used Ariel Bold enlarged to 500.

1-IMG_8958Step 2:  Cut out number

Using scissors….cut out the center of the letter.

Now you have a customized stencil.

1-IMG_8959Step 3:  Tape to basket

Decide where you want the numbers to be.

Tape number to basket.

Spray with spray paint.

Spray straight-on to prevent the spray paint from bleeding.


Step 4:  Repeat for second number

Spray paint second number using above steps.

Remove paper.


It was such an easy project!

Each basket took me about 10 minutes…..start to finish.

Much faster than it took the turtle to get across the road. 🙂

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  1. Image for Tammy Killough Tammy Killough

    Hahahaha....I love that you can take an ordinary occurrence and make it a spray painting story! you are too funny!! Thanks for sharing...the project...and the turtle story! I'm glad you waited...turtles need love too! :D ~Tammy

  2. Image for Jean w Jean w

    I can imagine you holding up traffic for a turtle. I did a similar thing with an eagle, believe it or not. It refused to drop its prey and was dragging his lunch across the highway. It was one of those things that you wished you had a friend along to share the moment. Hail turtle guards!

    1. Image for Ann Collver Ann Collver

      I learned the hardway, you stop for wild turkeys, you don't honk at them! They take off flying and that's really scary!

  3. Image for Barb @ The Everyday Home Barb @ The Everyday Home

    I'm sorry, I just don't have the patience or time to sit and watch the turtle cross the road. So, I park and get out and pick him up and carry him across. :-D I am such ann "enabler." Love the baskets, love the numbers, but I really LOVE the hutch. I WANT that Oxford Street sign. As in want, WANT, WaNt! Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. xxoo

  4. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Love the natural feel with paint. Now I am brave enough to spray the hoards of baskets I can't let go of. They were kitchen storage from the PO (among others) and in great shape, but need cleaning and I didn't want to personally use them. How do you think I can clean without weakening them, then spray? They have an old cooking smell to them. And how do others keep their baskets clean in a kitchen? I was second in line of a dozen cars waiting for a mother goose and her babes to cross a busy st. At first I couldn't figure out why the guy in front of me stopped so quickly for nothing....loved this stranger for doing so. Not sure what the rest of the car line up thought, some were honking. Nice to know there are others who respect our wildlife, it was a nice adventure of the day.

    1. Image for Ann Collver Ann Collver

      I used to get a tub of warm sudsy water (dish soap for cutting grease works well). Take it outside, slosh the baskets around in the water then rinse off with the hose and leave out to dry. A sunny, breezy day is best. Then I sprayed mine with Pledge to help keep them a little cleaner, shellac probably would have been better.

  5. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    My Hubby had a great idea...bumper stickers..."learn to channel your inner turtle"!! What do you think?? We had a double giggle this morning!! He even drew a little picture...! Have a great weekend Karianne! ;)

  6. Image for Tracy B Tracy B

    Karianne, as always, you crack me up! But here's the weird thing... There was a turtle crossing the rode yesterday in Georgia on my way home! Do you think some cosmic wave went out in turtle-land saying "This is it! We make for the shore on May 23rd!"? Some sweet person had pulled over on a busy road while the rest of us straddled the turtle (sorry! I didn't know it was there until I was on top of it!). Luckily, no one hit it and it was curled up in it's shell. Once the man had a break in traffic, he jumped out of his car and grabbed the turtle and put it on the side of the road. I love nice people....

  7. Image for Lynn in Florida Lynn in Florida

    So....inquiring (nosy?) minds want to there a significance to the numbers? The number of turtles in the county? The number of days you need to channel your inner turtle? The number of bright red lipsticks you own? Just wonderin'...! Love this easy, affordable, doable project!

  8. Image for Heather Heather

    Love your spray painted baskets KariAnne! And #21 is my age too - what a coincidence!! Haha!! ;) I'm a turtle-crossing-the-road cheerleader too! Great post!

  9. Image for melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    My youngest has always had a special place in her heart for turtles. It stems back to when she was 2 and we first read The Tortoise and The Hare to her. We had to read it several times a day. She loved that book and has loved turtles ever since! Love the baskets! Life to the full! Melissa

    1. Image for gina gina

      I have a great appreciation for the quote "Slow and steady wins the race!" from the Tortoise and the Hare. So true! We have road-crossing ducks and egrets here. They are so not afraid of cars!

  10. Image for Kimberlee Kimberlee

    Love those baskets, you are amazing!! :) Your turtle story brought back so many memories. When I was little it was my job to move the turtle to the other side of the road. My mom would stop the car and I would hop out and get it safely across. What was she thinking?? I guess traffic was lighter then!

  11. Image for Susan Susan

    Okay, there's got to be a joke in this story somewhere..."why did the turtle cross the road...!" Love the idea of painting the numbers on the baskets, clever and quick; my two favorite things!! XOXO

  12. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    Love this story. I have never experienced this but it had to be a site. I am trying imagine the poor thing trying to make it across the road. Great that you were patient! Love these baskets. Have a great weekend! Cynthia

  13. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I love this project. I have those very same baskets. I was thinking of selling them in my yard sale but now I have second thoughts. I just added one more project to my list of projects for the summer. Love that you waited for the turtle to cross the road. I waited for a group of calves to find there way back to the field It was just starting to get dark and I was so afraid the poor little things would get hit by a car. It's not every day you see calves standing in the road. You think the turtle was slow? These guys took forever to find their way back home.

  14. Image for Gee Gee

    Luv the story and can sooo relate. Living in Florida we have the endangered tortoise. I helped on over a busy street one day and got 'squirted on' for my efforts. Hahahaaa.. Luv the baskets KariAnne. Monogrammed numbers and all, sitting in an orderly fashion on your beautiful hutch. Beautiful. Hugs, Gee

  15. Image for Candace Bertalan Horner Candace Bertalan Horner

    I have seen so many turtles crossing the road around here too in the past couple of days!! They must be like locusts, and have that "inner clock" that tells them when it's time to move. I always stop and help them to the other side, I can't help it. And there is really nothing, nothing worse than to see one that, well, didn't make it :(.. Love your baskets!! I make my own stencils too, they are FAR from perfect, especially the Coca Cola one (IMAGINE!), but I just couldn't wait to order one, and they can get pricey!! I'd love to have a Silhouette machine one day to make my own, but we love to DIY, don't we??? Have a great great weekend!!

  16. Image for Steph Steph

    Cute basket and story. The reason they cross roads in the spring is it is mating time and they go back to where they were hatched.

  17. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I would have waited, too. I hear people talk about stopping to pick them up out of the road, but I really don't think I could do it. So I would wait! :) Pretty baskets! Happy long weekend!

  18. Image for Lisa Conforto Lisa Conforto

    The baskets look really catchy! very nice touch, can't help to notice that top color of your hutch very pretty color What is it? And I am the one here close to the everglades that gets out of the car stops all the traffic and picks up the turtles and safely bring to their destination. I would hate to see what would happen if I didn't help my wildlife friends. We also shushhh the bay deer back into the woods of the highway.

  19. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I often feel like a turtle crossing the road, I want so badly to do something, but I just cannot quite get to the place I need to be in order to do it! This does look really simple, it would be a good summer project, a day when I can do it outside. Have a great weekend, my friend. And thank you for your sweet comment s on my blog. Hugs, Cindy

  20. Image for Flower Patch Pam Flower Patch Pam

    I do love baskets and have plenty but they are in different colors, I did not think to spray paint them to make them coordinate better. Thanks for the idea. I have lots of spray paint in my studio, now to find the right color....

  21. Image for bj bj

    Waaay too cute. I'm going to Walmart to see if they have these some GRAY spray paint and some off white...I THINK I may can do this....

  22. Image for debbiedoos debbiedoos

    Love this the baskets too. Of course, spray paint is my friend most of the time, so I can see me copying this sometime in the future:) They look super. Have a great weekend!~

  23. Image for Shirl' Anderson Shirl' Anderson

    LOVE the turtle story and the baskets!...and i so love your stories! Hope you have had a great weekend and Memorial Day!

  24. Image for Linda Jarraf Linda Jarraf

    Love the baskets. I was wondering what color gray you painted them? Did you give them a heavy coat of paint or light?

  25. Image for Laci Laci

    Karianne! ~~~~Please, if you can, tell us what the numbers mean because they jumped off the page for me! I had a dream about all 3 numbers but never understood what they meant. Is there a reason you chose those specific numbers or was it totally random? I really love your style! Thanks so very much!~~~~

  26. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Love your numbered baskets...I remember that hutch when you posted about being late for the "book club" of my favorite stories ....

  27. Image for Sylvia Marie Sylvia Marie

    These are a few of my favorite things! Baskets and Buttons,This was a wonderful post.I agree a basket and turtle day indeed. :)

  28. Image for Debbie Esparza Debbie Esparza

    You have such great ideas and are so talented! I think you are pretty darned funny too! I would love to have a cup of coffee with you one day.

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