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Inexpensive, But Decorative Storage Baskets

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Looking for ways to affordably organize smaller items in your home in cabinets using decorative storage bins, boxes and baskets? Don’t settle for style-less plastic bins and boxes. You can readily tweak handled baskets found for a dime at the thrift shop into really cheap decorative storage baskets to help you organize your home in style… and no DIY skills are needed.


My fall nesting self is starting to surface. You know when you want to get everything in the house decluttered after the summer and ready to go for enjoying the cooler months of the year inside the house. I call this process “upping the comfy-cozy factor” of the house.

Organizing our homes is never once and done. It is a continual process to keep the contents of closets, cabinets, cupboards, shelfs, and drawers more organized.

I organize all the time and always seek better arrangements to improve upon past organizing efforts, especially if they are not working.

White farmhouse furniture below a wall mounted TV

This is the case with the white sideboard I added to my living room back in the spring.

White buffet turned changed to into Tv wall mount furniture that will hold the TV components

I purged the contents of what I wanted in the cabinet and set things up in stacks. It looks organized in the photo, but in real life it is hard to find a CD title and when I would pull out one, the whole stack slides out of the cabinet and onto the floor.

Two weeks ago I had to drive into Columbia, SC. It is the nearest city to me and is about a 45 minute drive on the interstate. When I was returning, I followed my phone’s GPS to get me home. It took me a on a route I had never traveled before. As I was driving and paying attention to my next turn, I passed a small building that looked like a thrift store as it had lots of junk outside.

You know I love thrifting and thought to myself, “Should I stop? YEA or NAY?” It was getting late and I didn’t want to get stuck in rush-hour traffic, but my curiosity got the best of me and I turned around to check out the new-to-me thrift store. I was glad I did!

The little shop was filled from top to bottom and was the most organized little thrift store I had ever entered. The prices were just right and the owner of the shop could not have been cuter. You could tell she was proud of her shop and went to great lengths to make it very pleasant.

A variety of baskets found at the thrift store.
Thrift store baskets that will be transformed into stylish storage.

I came out with a few white pitchers, a large ribbed glass Pyrex bowl with a white rubber lid (looks brand new) and baskets – 6 of them for a whopping $3. That’s an amount of cha-ching at the register that I don’t mind. :-)

Rectangular storage baskets can be easily found new at stores like Target, HomeGoods and more, but their price tags can run anywhere from $9 – $19 depending on their size. Handled thrift store baskets cost 50 cents to a dollar a piece.

You may be thinking 80’s country decor when you see handled baskets like these, but keep reading to see how to transform them into decorative storage baskets.

Storage baskets in a sideboard cabinet.

When you remove the handles on the baskets….voila! Stylish storage on the cheap.

But I didn’t stop here…

Storage baskets with laminated DIY labels arranged on the shelves inside a storage cabinet.

I added labels to each basket using my label making and attaching method that I have written about a few times before here on the blog.

Wicker baskets found at the thrift store inside a cabinet. Each basket was made into decorative storage with pretty labels.

Labels are the best way to make sure things can be easily found and then are placed back where they belong when done. That is half the battle of keeping things organized. :-)

How to Make a Decorative Storage Basket From a Thrift Store Find

Now when I go to grab something from my cabinet, I can simply slide a basket in and out to easily find the item I want without anything small falling out of the cabinet.

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How to remove the handle from a wicker basket to transform it into a stylish storage basket that can then be used alone or even stacked to create ultimate storage possibilities.

  1. Place Basket on Work Table


    Once basket is on a work surface, use sharp shears or a box knife to cut the handle off on each side of the basket.

    Cutting handles off of a wicker basket

  2. Remove Handle Base


    Once the handle is cut off, there will still be vertical reeds sticking out the top. These can easily be removed with a pair of point-nose pliers and a tug.

    Removing handle and shim reeds on a wicker basket that will be used for cheap, but decorative storage

  3. Check That All Shim Reeds Are Removed


    Look at the basket to see if there are any shim reeds running vertically in the weave. These usually are short pieces that will come out easily. Depending on the basket, some may even run vertically. You will be able to spot them if you look closely at the pattern of the basket’s weave.

    taking apart a thrift store basket so it can be used as decorative storage

  4. Fill With Your Stuff


    If using a few baskets inside one cabinet, play around to see the best fit. I tend to move mine all around and even try facing the sides of the baskets out if they fit in better.

    Transformed thrift store baskets with handles into stylish storage inside a cabinet.

  5. Use All Sizes of Baskets


    With most baskets, you will not see any damage after removing the handle. I have removed quite a few handles over the years, The center basket below is the first basket I have come across where there is open space left. But no need to fix it as a label will hide it. :-)


How to Make Pretty Labels For Your Thrift Store Storage Baskets

Supplies needed to make your own labels using In My Own Style blog's many free printable labels.

I have written a few posts about how I make and use my DIY labels. Here is the link to one of those posts to get the step-by-step directions.

For even more free labels to download, check out my: Free Printable Label Library and Member’s Free Printable Library for many more decorative labels to help you organize your stuff.

How to Attach Decorative Labels to Baskets

Once I have my laminated labels made, here is an overview on how I attach the labels to my thrift store baskets.

Steps showing how to attach a label to a basket and not just any label, but a label you can make yourself with many free printable labels found at In My Own Style blog.
  1. Find the center front of the basket. I sometimes use the long side of a basket if it fits into a cabinet better that way.

2. Push a brass fastener onto hole you punched into label and then through the weave of the basket until the pointed ends of the fastener come out the other side.

How to attach a label using a brass fastener to a storage basket.

Make sure you like the centering of the label, if not adjust and then spread the tips of the fastener on the inside of the basket to secure the label.

Wicker storage basket with DIY laminated label.

All done and now ready to help me keep my cabinets, closets and drawers more organized.

See how to use the DIY laminated labels on: Decorative Storage Boxes

How to Use Low Sided Baskets to Organize Small Items

Closet organizing ideas that are affordable and easy to do

In my recent thrift store finds, I also brought home 3 low sided baskets. I use these in my china closet…

How to line a drawer with paper or fabric

and in drawers to organize everything from teabags….

Computer paper storage idea in a craft room

to paper in my studioffice.

How to Clean a Basket

If you find a basket at the thrift store that is exactly the size you need, but it looks dirty, you should still buy it as baskets are easy to clean.

Fill a sink with hot sudsy water and let the basket soak for about 5 minutes. Next use a scrubbing pad to go over the surface of the basket. Rinse and then place the basket outside in the sun until it dries.

I now have the white sideboard organized to my satisfaction with cheap decorative storage baskets.

It’s time to search for a few larger baskets when I am next out thrifting to help me organize the contents of my party closet.

How to transform basic baskets with handles into decorative storage baskets.

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41 Comments

  1. Brilliant! Why have I never thought to simply cut the handles off? When you said 80s it was an immediate, oh yeah, that’s what they feel like to me and why I don’t use them…cutesy country. I know Columbia well as my aunt lived there 70 years, now I know your area of the state.

  2. Oh so glad you posted this! I just found a Longaberger basket at Goodwill for $1!!! Don’t like the handle, but couldn’t pass that up! Thanks, gonna try this!

  3. Can you tell me where the shop is and it’s name? I live in the area and it sounds great!

    1. Hi Brenda – I took the shop owner’s card and now I can’t find it. :-( It is a small store not affiliated with a church or big organization. I remember passing the Habitat ReStore and Lowes heading back to get on 26 Westbound. I am going to keep searching for the card and will get the name to you soon.

    2. Hi again Brenda – I found my receipt. On the receipt it says The Thrifty Gift Shop, 1937 Augusta Road, West Columbia 29169 I thought the name was different, but maybe not. At least you know how to find it now. :-)

  4. thank you so much for this post . I am so unorganized and I need to really put your suggestions to use

  5. Every time I go I “thrift store shop” I grab baskets. I even used your advise and lined the bottoms for ease in grabbing items out of them. Thank you

    1. This idea is simple and brilliant at the same time. I will have to get to my local thrift store before everyone else reads your post! I also have a few baskets with handles that I’ve never parted with because of their beauty. My husband will be thrilled when I find a use for them. Thanks for the idea!