DIY Laundry bins/baskets – Small Project Saturday

Laundry Bins

laundry bin diyI know you all think I’m crazy because I never sit still… but I can’t help it.  It’s part of who I am.  I have to constantly be creating, from photography to home decor to gardening.  I need to be working with my hands and vision….

I discovered an irritation of mine that needed fixed.  Laundry baskets.  They are so ugly.  I do laundry all the time and hate that I always have a basket sitting out whether it be in the hallway or even in the kitchen.  They look terrible especially the plastic ones, but I don’t like the wicker ones either – something about the sound they make and they never hold up.

You may have seen my laundry makeover that I still love but I hadn’t expanded to the bins until now.

If you follow my instagram, you see little projects popping up here and there usually on the days that I do them but I wanted to share on the blog, the finished product and what I recommend not doing ;)…. so I have tried it out first before I recommend it.


On Instagram, I shared this.  I had leftover hardware cloth/wire from when we built the chicken run.  I thought this would work well, and I wired it together into a tube and sewed fabric in a way that gave me a bag inside and covered the outside.  They looked fine.  This was leftover fabric that I like, but don’t love but it didn’t clash with the house but it didn’t match it either.  No worries, I was happy.  Until…. our rescue kittens that are growing up decided that this makes a great tube when knocked over to play in.  they pretty much bent the wire to heck because of the weight of their bodies.  This didn’t work as far as I’m concerned.   I have since made them their own cat play tunnel that they apparently love to sleep in and I think I need to make them a few more for around the house – they really do keep them busy.

I decided not to share that project as I had to come up with something that worked better.   I looked through what I had in storage and found I had some extra welded wire (this is not hardware cloth- understand the difference before buying).  Welded wire is heavier and doesn’t bend as easy.  It’s harder to cut; however, if you want something that will withstand a bit more abuse, choose welded wire over hardware cloth.  Use either 1/2×1, 1×1, or 1×2 inch mesh.  I’m using the 1/2x1x 24″ for this project.  I’ve purchased from Tractor Supply and on Amazon.  Tractor Supply does not always have it in stock and doesn’t always have the quantity I need.  You do need some sort of tool to cut the welded wire.  They have fencing pliers, etc. but I have used tin snips for years.  These are great tools to have around if you garden, have chickens, or overall do small home improvement projects.  I don’t recommend using them to cut tin after you have cut welded wire as I’m sure it affects their sharpness, but it works.  If you check out the link below, you can see they also sell them left cut and right cut which is great if you want to get a really close cut.  I just use the straight cut.




I also found quite accidentally, round wood disks at Home Depot.  I could have cut these out myself but I was out for something easy.  These were around $6 each.  They are around 17″ in diameter.  This is a perfect bottom for these laundry bins.

wire laundry basket diyThis is just too easy.  Put the wire around the disk, cut off to length needed.  Use wire to secure the two sides together, and then screw it to the wood round using washers so it holds.

I purchased some burlap that was supposed to be oyster colored for a table runner in my dining room.  I consider the color oyster to be a very pale gray.  This was cream.  I couldn’t use it for what I wanted so I decided to use it to make the bins opaque.  I didn’t want an actual bag made out of the burlap but just a tube to hide what’s in the bin.  However, a bag works as well.  If you haven’t sewn a bag or a tube, it is very very easy.  One seam for a tube, and for a bag, just look at how a pillowcase is put together.

rustic laundry basketThe important part is that you  have the fabric flipped over the top edge of the bin (I finished off the edges just by making a hem around all parts that were cut) and use grommets on both sides of the welded wire so that you can put rope (in this case, some sort of sisal that I had left over from making swings for the chickens…. yes… indeed… now you really think I’ve lost my mind)

wire laundry basket

If you have never put in grommets, again, it is very easy.  You can get a grommet tool kit and follow the instructions.  It involves a hammer.  that’s it.

… anyway, put the rope through and tie in order to have the support on both sides to lift.


laundry bin on wheelsAdd wheels.  These laundry bins are not light but not terribly heavy unless you stuff them like I do.  If you add wheels, consider using quiet rubber casters.  I chose to be cheap and use these rubber casters but consider quieter ones unless you don’t care about noise.  Rubber is important if you have  hardwood floors.



how to make laundry bins

I’m happy with the way these turned out and even if they are sitting in the foyer ready for someone to carry them upstairs, they aren’t an eyesore if we have to open the door for visitors.

laundry bin diy rusticAnd of course, the cats love them but they cannot destroy them… as of now at least…….


About Jodie Otte

Maryland Newborn Photographer and Child Portrait Artist, Jodie Holstein-Otte, specializes in unique photography of newborn babies, kids, and families. She works on location in Harford, Howard, Cecil, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and other areas throughout Maryland. She uses both both natural lighting and soft studio lighting techniques.

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