This basket wall has turned our living room into my favorite room in the house. Probably also because it’s the only finished room in the house! The wall display is the main attraction, and it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. I’ve added a few pops of color to liven it up and here’s the latest update.
I found some colorful baskets in Albuquerque last fall when we went to the Balloon Fiesta. The oranges work so well with the rest of the room. Here are two of my new favorites:
Originally, I had been debating a photo gallery wall or painted wood installation, but hanging a basket wall is so much faster and easier. And talk about the WOW factor! Here’s how I did it, in case you’re dreaming of a basket wall in your space.
Gather Basket Wall Supplies
This project can definitely be done on the cheap – if you already have a variety of baskets on hand or good thrift stores nearby. I discovered a small shop based in Namibia that sells African baskets on Etsy. Perfect! I’m happy to support the local crafts-makers of Southern Africa because I taught English in Namibia in 2004, so I bought a variety of 10. They showed up in a couple of weeks, and suddenly, I had a great selection of authentic and beautiful artwork!
I’ve shared other beautiful baskets at the end of this post, if you want to shop online.
Plan the Basket Wall Layout
The best strategy I’ve found to create a basket wall layout is to do a mockup on the floor. Start with your largest statement piece(s) and then fill in the others around it. I tried to balance the colors and textures when possible while aiming for an asymmetrical layout. Honestly, this probably took me about 30 minutes to arrange, but I was obsessing a bit. I just kept moving the baskets around and around… until suddenly, it clicked! There’s no right answer, just rearrange until you like the layout.
I found it really helpful to take quick photos of each arrangement with my phone, for two reasons. First, you’ll be amazed how looking at a photo of your baskets helps you take a visual step back and see the overall impact of the colors and layout. Second, the photo will be your guide when it’s time to hang them on the wall.
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Determine Hanging Method
Here’s where you’ll need to get creative, based on the type of baskets you’re planning to use. If you have old, cheap baskets or thrift store finds with little sentimental value, you can just nail or push pin them to the wall. In theory. Because I don’t want to damage any of my baskets (or my walls!), I threaded transparent fishing line through the various basket weaves and and made loops in the back to hang on Command hooks. This is also a good strategy so you can easily move the baskets to adjust their placement.
If you have a more loosely woven basket, like the one above, you can hold it up to the light to see where natural spaces occur in the weave. Then just thread the line through a couple of those spots and tie it in a loop. For more tightly woven baskets, you might have to thread the line behind sections of grass or thread a needle through the weave. Here are two examples of this:
In the photo above, you can see where I’m using a needle to pick up the line. The shot below shows an Owambo basket where I actually threaded a needle, stuck it through the basket, and then tied the thread onto the fishing line to pull it all the way through. These baskets are so tightly woven that I couldn’t find any spaces at all in the weave.
Hang Your Baskets and Admire!
Finally, it’s time to get this artwork on the wall. Start by hanging the statement pieces first. Don’t forget about that phone snapshot of your layout plan. You’ll be so happy you can refer to it. It’s tricky to get your hanging placement just right with hooks, so you might want to have an extra piece of the sticky backing. I ended up moving a couple after I could stand back and look at the whole design. Another tip is to keep each loop fairly short so the hook will hide behind the basket (see below).
I love how the baskets now make a STATEMENT in my living room. This is the view when you step in the front door of our house:
(Minus some toys…) The visual impression is dramatic and the baskets add instant texture and warmth to this space. It’s starting to feel like my style is coming together.
Are you inspired to create a basket wall? Have fun! I hope you love it.