$7 Vintage Picnic Basket Makeover

Beautiful friends, thank you for stopping by today! I’m always so thrilled when ya’ll visit! I am continuing to work through the second small group of pieces I pulled from my storage room.

On Thursday I shared the first piece, a night table I had painted back in 2013 that was in need of an update, and today I’m sharing what I did with this vintage picnic basket I picked up for $6.95:

Ya’ll know I am a sucker for baskets, but picnic baskets are my favorite!

This thang looked like it had been banged around for years, but it was all intact, so it was definitely coming home with me! I think it was ready for a little TLC. I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love. 

I decided to go white with this one (surprise!) to start and gave it one coat of Dixie Belle’s Cotton on the bottom and two coats on the lid…

I chose to brush the paint on with a brush instead of using spray paint this time. Chalk paint has a texture that you just can’t get with spray paint.  One coat wasn’t enough for solid coverage, but I love the look after a good sanding when only using one coat. I used a 150 grit sandpaper this time to roughen it up a bit more than usual.

I just love the look of white painted baskets!

Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer

Oh but wait…what’s that on the top??

I decided this needed more than just a coat of white paint, so I decided to fancy it up a bit by adding something special to the top!

Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer

This is a transfer by Redesign with Prima and it is called White Fleur. I ordered this from Dixie Belle a while back, but unfortunately, they no longer have it in stock. I was unable to find it on Amazon either. Perhaps an Esty or eBay search will yield better results.

I had hoped to carry a few transfers in my shop since Dixie Belle sells them, but they sell out so quickly, and I didn’t want to offer what I couldn’t deliver. I do have several in my booth if you are local though!

This was a large transfer that came in three pieces. I chose to use the parts with the yellow flowers since I thought they were perfect for the top of a picnic basket!

Applyng transfers really couldn’t be easier! Here’s how:

  • First, I cut the top piece just an inch or so wider than I needed and peeled the backing off of the whole piece.
  • I lined it up with the top edge of the basket top and rubbed it across to hold it in place.
  • Then I used the included burnishing tool to apply pressure across the entire transfer until the image had completely transferred to the top of the basket.

Applying a transfer to the top of a basket

  • Before peeling away the top film, I used a razor blade to trim the excess off.
  • I cut the second piece the same and pulled the backing off.
  • I carefully lined it up with the pattern on the first piece. (As opposed to willy nilly slapping it on ha ha.)
  • Again, I used a razor blade to remove any excess before removing the top film…

How to apply a transfer

  • Then I gently pulled the top film away…

If any of the transfer still remains on the top piece, just lay it back down and burnish that area until it sticks to your surface. I also ran my sandpaper across the surface lightly, and around the edges, but that is not a necessary step at all.

The inside got a quick coat of spray primer:

I sealed the top with Dixie Belle’s Clear Coat in Satin using their blue sponge applicator and spray-sealed the rest of the basket using Rustoleum’s clear matte spray.

Dixie Belle Clear Coat in satin is perfect for sealing the top of the transfer.


Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer


Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer

Honestly I would love it even if it was just painted white…

Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer

I just love the texture of a white painted basket that has a little distressing…

Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer

But the transfer sure does add a sweetness to it!

Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer



Picnic basket updated with paint and a transfer

BUT wait, there’s more! 

I’m sharing another basket from this group as well since it just got a very simple makeover. Here it is before:

It was $1.95 at the thrift store.

I painted it at the same time as I painted the larger one above, so it was also done in Dixie Belle’s Cotton, applied with a brush, but this one got two coats inside and out.

As you can see I removed the little painted wood slice on the front.

I found these numbers at the thrift store for 45¢ and knew I could use them for something:

After sanding the basket, I decided to add one to the front.

Painted thrift store basket

I had to pry the clothes pin off the back first. Then I used my favorite drill to drill a small hole on either side so I could attach it to the basket with craft wire. I took a photo this time since a few of you asked how I had attached the sign to this basket a few weeks ago…

How to add a small sign to a basket with wire.

I just pushed the wire through the front on one side and use my needle-nosed pliers to twist it into a circle so it wouldn’t go all the way through. Then I pulled it out the other side and secured the wire the same way.

How to add a small sign to a basket with wire.

I sealed inside and out using Rustoleum’s clear matte spray.

This would be cute on the counter in a guest bath or in a guest bedroom holding fresh towels for your guests:

Painted thrift store basket


Painted thrift store basket


Painted thrift store basket


Painted thrift store basket

And that’s two more done!

If you missed the night table, it is no longer blue and you can see it HERE!

And Guess what?? I’ll be back TOMORROW too! I’m joining the Seasonal Simplicity tour once again and I am using one of the above items for a Fall craft…this basket:

UPDATE: See what I did with this basket HERE now!



Don’t Miss a Thing!

If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along!

Email * Facebook * Pinterest * Twitter *Instagram


Never miss a thrifty makeover! Receive my new posts right to your inbox!

* indicates required


  1. Denise V Cox says

    Christy… Lovely!!!
    I have always been a person of color (and still am!)) However, since reading my blogs, I have learned to appreciate a neutral pallette.Now, I also really enjoy the white, beachy distressed finishes.

    Thank – you for bringing these lovely transfers to us!! I am so smitten with them! And the flowers you chose are perfect… (of course, that’s my Christy!). Would you give me the address of your place of business, please? Who knows… one of these days when the weather gets cooler, I may get up there to visit you… 😛😘😋

    • Thank you, Denise!! I used to love color as well, but I have learned that the neutrals and whites have really stood the test of time! I bring in color with a few accessories now when I want it. I’m glad you enjoy the transfers…they really add a special touch. My booth is in the Virginia Beach Antique Mall on Bonney Rd here in Virginia Beach! 🙂 XOXO

  2. Mary Kaiser says

    Adorable not, and I just saw an exact match at my thrift store yesterday. I am going back today to get it. It is so amazing. I think I can wait for tomorrow to see that, I think you will use the hat box with the handle on top from the photo!

  3. Janice Holt says

    Love the baskets. They can be used for so many things. The transfer on the top of the first one looks so pretty.

  4. Judy Lincicum says

    As usual, you never disappoint! I swear you are at genius level! I look forward to each and every post the the makeover queen yourself, because each one has the special touch that only you can provide! Thanks so much Christy for sharing all you do. I love each and every piece.

  5. Ange Mills says

    I so ❤️ what you did to the top of this picnic basket. It really dressed it up.

  6. Love the baskets and how you repurposed the number. My eyes will have something else to watch for while thrifting! I am a bit in love with furniture transfers and noticed the soft look of the lid right away!

  7. Mikki Gilmore says

    Good Morning! Once again, a beautiful makeover. I have a funny for you. I don’t recall who did this, but one of my blog friends spruced up a basket like the small with the number two. She also put a number 2 on her basket, and put it in her bathroom with toilet paper in it. She commented about the #2, toilet paper… Hahaha! Happy Tuesday.

  8. LOVE both baskets! the transfer and the #2 really make them special!
    i have to ask though, is that fabric or a stencil in the window pane in your staging photo? it looks so pretty too!

    • Thank you, Gwen! That is actually a thin piece of decorative metal sheeting my hubby had left over from a vent project! 🙂 XO

  9. Sue Mellette says

    Christy, You always amaze me with your creative ideas. I love, love the basket with the transfer. So pretty and just the right touch. And the other basket really does “shine” with the coat of Cotton Dixie Belle paint. I have painted several baskets myself, but they never turn out as beautiful as yours! Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Debbie in TX says

    The transfers on the picnic basket are awesome and elevate the piece to a whole new level — so, so beautiful. Girl, your creativity rocks!

  11. Mary Loveland says

    The baskets look great and you always do such a nice job staging your pieces. Very nice!

  12. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Christy! You did it again!!! Another adorable makeover. I am opening a booth for my very first time in a place called Junque in the trunk, where I will be selling my painted furniture and some smalls. Thanks to you I know what looks pretty and you have inspired me from day 1. Thank you Christy and if you have any words of ad ice please give them to me. I am clueless.

    • Thank you and YAY!!!! That is awesome news! I wish you all the success with your new booth and I am so excited for you!! I hope you’ll keep me updated with how it’s going. You might be going into a slow season right now, but things should pick up closer to the Holidays. And actually, January-March and June-August are my busiest times so be patient at first. You might remember seeing this post, but these are things that have helped me: https://www.confessionsofaserialdiyer.com/10-tips-to-a-successful-booth/ Good luck!!! XOXOXO

      • Cheryl Atkinson says

        OMGosh, Christy you just saved me from so much stress. I love you so much! May i ask what you would sell this basket for? That is another hard part for me. Pricing. I hope you are safe from Dorian. She missed me here in Florida. thank you so very much and i will keep you updated.

        • You are so welcome! I will probably price this somewhere around $45-$55, considering I added a pricey transfer to the top. Pricing is always hard, but you can always start a bit higher and come down if need be. If your pieces start flying out of your booth, they’re priced too low. Have fun and keep me posted!! I’m glad Dorian missed you guys! It’s headed this way in the morning…ready as we can be. Thank you! XOXO

  13. Love a good thrift store makeover! These turned out GREAT!! That transfer is beautiful on the basket!

  14. Cecilia from Georgia says

    Just wanted to put my 2 cents in and praise you on another winner! The first basket does look good with the wood peeking through and the transfer is such a beauty! I still have mine in the box and don’t want to use it until I find the perfect piece. XOXO

  15. So pretty ! Who doesn’t love a beautiful basket?!? Any time I think “just paint it white” is getting boring, a nose around here reminds you otherwise! : )

    • Aww thank you, Becky!! You know I would seriously paint everything white if I could! White doesn’t have to be boring though, and sometimes the base needs to be white so the accessories can be the stars! XOXO

  16. Tonya S King says

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful projects i love seeing all of the colors and your beautiful work ❤️

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.