Decorating Details–Waste Cans and Light Switches

by Diane Henkler on 08/14/2011

I am a big believer in details – the decorative details.  They can make or break your best efforts when you are re-decorating all the way down to the color of the little toggle on the light switch.  It matters. The details are the fine tuning and you should give them the same thought and planning that you give to the major elements in the room.

My youngest was home over the weekend and loved the new bathroom.  It was so nice having her home – she left today to go back to school  :(   After she got home she showered and  went about getting ready to go out with her friends.  I was downstairs working on my laptop and then I heard  – “Mom, where is the waste can?”    That made me smile.   I called back up -“I am still working on that detail.  You can use a plastic grocery bag until I have it completed.”  You can see her in a photo of this same bath when we first moved into the house in my last post. She was 4.


I bought a brown basket at Ross last week to use as the waste basket in the bathroom. I didn’t like the brown color, but it was the right size and price and I knew I could easily change it to suit my style.

Before                                  After


I used scissors to cut off the twisted sisal woven to the center of the basket.


I then sprayedKrylon’s  Indoor Outdoor Primer on the basket.  When painting wicker – priming is necessary as the wicker  has a coating  and can be slick.  Once that was dry I painted the basket using Rust-Oleum’s Ultra Cover 2x in Heirloom White.


To make sure you are getting all the nooks and crannies when painting wicker – use spray paint and spray it on when the the piece is – upside down, right side up, and sideways.  This will ensure complete coverage.


To replace the twisted sisal I removed. I cut three long strips from the leftover fabric I used for the window valance.


To create a finished edge on the fabric strips.  I laid the fabric right side down and folded the edges to the center of the strip and pressed along the entire strip. Repeat the process on the other two strips of fabric.


The back side of each strip will end up looking like this-


The right side like this-


I then wove each strip around the basket where the twisted sisal was.  To start and stop the fabric strips I looped the end of each one around one of the vertical reeds. I folded it over to create a finished edge and hot glued it back down on the strip of fabric.  Repeat the process on each strip.


The woven fabric looks just as nice when you look down into the basket as it does from the outside.


The other detail I had to take care of was switching out the beige electrical outlet and light switch toggle to white.

Existing beige to new white – much better.


I have one more detail to show you that I am adding to this room. I will post it on Wednesday. Till then-




{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alison August 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm

The waste can turned out great!
Love what you did with the fabric woven in.
So cute!
Great tutorial.


2 Laura August 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

This is wonderful and your daughter is lovely.
I love Heirloom White and I have a few projects lined up this week.

Enjoyed visiting,

White Spray Paint


3 Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions August 15, 2011 at 6:55 am

Nice job, Diane! I learned that tip about painting baskets when I did the four I needed for my dresser redo. I finally left it because it was a weathered look that worked for the dresser. Your daughter looks happy in the new bathroom. I’ll bet you were pleased that she loved it! I agree about the light switch and outlets. An ivory can look horrible when you really need a white.


4 Candace August 15, 2011 at 8:21 am

I just love what you’ve done with your bathroom. Your daughter certainly looks happy too. She’s beautiful! You did a great job on that waste can. I would have never thought of that. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!


5 Lynne August 15, 2011 at 8:29 am

You amaze me.
I have visited you in the past three months since I began my blog and your ideas, tutorials, photos tell it all.
You are refreshing!
Your daughter is adorable!


6 susan August 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

very cute! love the bath it’s so bright and cheerful! susan


7 HollyG August 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

You are so right…it’s all in the details and you have displayed that perfectly with this re-envisioned waste basket. And so fun to see your daughter!


8 Lisa @ August 15, 2011 at 9:42 am

Such great details which really helps tie everything together.


9 Rachel Tatem August 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

So much cuter!


10 Colleen August 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I love the basket redo. Brown would have just be so out of place in your new room. I’m a total stickler for the outlet and switches. Usually what I do (especially for the outlets) is paint right over them. My rooms are usually a bright color of some sort and I don’t want to call attention to the outlets. Great job as usual!!!


11 Sheryll & Critters. August 15, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Beautiful daughter, you are not bursting with pride I am sure… grin. You are so very clever and so resourceful.

Thank you so much for your great and very accurate advice.

Just Us Critters.


12 The enchanted home August 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm it. A new business is born. Sign me up as a customer….great looking!


13 Simple Daisy August 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Your daughter is so cute!!!! You must be so proud:)
I love the trash can!!! Simple and cute change:)!!


14 Bettsi August 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Cutest waste basket ever! You’re right- those little details make all the difference!


15 Katharine August 16, 2011 at 7:05 am

I agree about the toggles making a difference. We turned our light switch from 2 to 3 in the living room to work with our new ceiling fan. Ok I was real excited about the ceiling fan but when I looked at the light switch, I was say “how come….” He chose to have a new box put in for the ceiling fan instead of replacing the whole thing. It looks tacky!!! I mean it probably is 50 years old and next to the new white one it stands out. I said why didn’t you replace the whole thing? I was really disappointed because I know our Contractor was just doing what he wanted. I don’t know how to fix it and he controls the money so I’m stuck. I think it was another penny wise pound foolish decision because in after 2016 we plan on selling the house. My motto (especially something this small) is get it done right the first time. Ok Thanks for letting me vent. lol


16 Diane August 16, 2011 at 9:26 am

Hi Katherine-

Please feel free to vent any time :) So many contractors skimp if you are not specific. My cousin had a new home built using the plans from the builder’s model home. When the house was getting finished and they could walk through it – they noticed he put in the cheap Luan wood doors instead of the white paneled ones that are in every new house today. They freaked and made him take them all out on his dime – as they were not the ones in his model. It is a game with them. – gotta be very specific as what seems obvious to you – is not to them.

If you get some white enamel paint- the little bottles that they sell to paint model airplanes with and a small paint brush you can paint the toggles white successfully.


17 Sheryll & Critters. August 16, 2011 at 9:31 am

Oh Katherine,

That is so very aggravating and I do not blame you at all for not being happy about it. I try to tell myself to ask how they would want it in their perfect home………… some can sure come up with *rap to say. lol.


18 Jen @ The Decor Scene September 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I have a white basket already that could use some re-doing and this is a great idea. Thanks for the inspiration. :)


19 Diane September 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hi Jen-

If you have a basket in the color you like you are half way done :)


20 Magali@LittleWhiteHouse September 16, 2011 at 5:26 am

I love it when even details are lovely… I spend many hours in yard sales, looking for the perfect compost bin for my kitchen… And my grand mother kept saying “why don’t you use a plastic bag like anyone else?”…


21 Lynda January 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

I love, love, love your blog. I subscribe to several but yours is the bomb. Thank you for so many ideas that I would have never thought of. Super!!


22 Diane Henkler January 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Thanks so much Lynda. XO I appreciate you taking the time to tell me that. You made my day.


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