Refurbishing Baskets and Clay Pots

Many times we run across baskets and clay pots at yard sales or in a thrift store for pennies. We may hesitate on buying these used containers, but should not. Maybe they are a little dirty. Maybe they are not shiny and new looking like we think they should be for our shop. It is very chic to recycle. There are many ways to update the look of baskets and clay pots, so that they may be used in a new style. Keep on the lookout for these bargains and get creative. You will be designing something unique while adding to your bottom line in the accounting department for your shop.

When purchasing used baskets do make sure they are structurally sound and are not coming apart. It is okay if they look a little dull and uninteresting. You get them to your shop. Now what? First of all, think color! Lots of bright colors! Get out the spray paint and get busy. Florists have available floral spray paints that can be bought for refurbishing wicker. Design Master is the brand name. This paint is available at your local wholesaler and maybe the larger craft stores. This spray dries very quickly and does not have a lasting paint smell. The paint dries to a satin sheen. There are over 50 colors with 4 metallic hues. Design Master Paint complies with all environmental regulations. I like to use the glossy wood tone spray to make any wicker basket look new again, while maintaining the naturalness of the basket.

Begin with a dry, clean, dust-free surface. Spray lightly building up the paint as thick as you would like. Once painted, your basket can be sealed with a sealant for an even shinier look. Spray your project lightly for a whitewashed look. Once painted your thrift store find will look just like new. You could keep going by adding dried flowers and ribbons to the basket. By adding a waterproof liner your basket can be used for a basket garden full of green house plants or herbs. Use newly refreshed baskets for gift baskets. A trunk overflowing with newly painted baskets of many colors can be an eye-catching display. For a festive look try the glitter spray, along with the metallic colors.

Frequently, we find clay pots in a second hand store or a yard sale. I used to shy away from used clay pots, but not anymore. I thought the water stains were not cool. The ideas to refurbish clay pots are numerous and cost-effective. Before restoring clay pots to their new look, once again, wash and scrub pots thoroughly with hot soapy water to clean and disinfect. Dry them well.

I have three refurbished looks for a creative end product that can be sold in your shop… The first is applying a crackle finish. This is where you apply a base coat of one color, then apply a crackle medium, and finish with an alternate color. The crackle medium cracks the paint allowing the base coat to show through. This technique could also be topped off with by decoupaging a rose or other picture of your choice onto the pot. Check online for a book on painting techniques for detailed instructions.

The second technique I use involves tissue/wrapping paper. Select a pretty floral pattern, checks, or stripes. Whatever sparks your creativity! Dip the paper in a mixture of white glue and water. Apply to the pot in a semi-orderly fashion. Apply to the inside of the pot to at least halfway. Let dry. Apply a sealant. Wrap with a French wired ribbon. The recycled clay pot is ready for a fragrant herb or maybe even a topiary design. Make plenty of them just to have for sale all by themselves. They are very attractive and French Country.

The last method is more of a natural method. Once again, be sure to scrub the pots thoroughly. Many used pots have natural water stains from the minerals in water. Do not worry. Go with it. The used, discolored look is very stylish. Put a sealant on the clay container. Add some moss here and there, maybe a sprig of preserved evergreen and a dried rose. Play up with whatever you have to work, be imaginative! Your pot is now ready. Fill with natural bath toiletries. Make a garden pot by adding flower seeds, garden gloves and a small shovel and trowel. There are endless possibilities. Relish in the fact that you have recycled. You have made something old, new again. You have extended the life something that is so quickly tossed. Have fun!! You are adding uniqueness to your shop.