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Thrift Store Basket Gets a French Country Makeover

How many times have you seen plain cane baskets at thrift shops for next to nothing? I always grab them if I see a style I like as they're such great storage. I found this plain cane planter basket in an opshop and grabbed it, knowing it would be painted the first chance I got.

I wanted a worn french country look so after looking online at some examples I settled on a style that also had fabric labels.


White Lightening, Scrubby Sponge

Mister (with Plain Water) and a chux

Fabric of Choice (I used some old scraps that were a creamy colour)

Felt Tip Pen

Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks


First, I cleaned the Basket with my pre-made White Lightening mix (1 tbsp of white lightening to 1 litre of warm water) and my scrubby sponge. I then used my Mister with plain water and clean chux to wipe the cleaner residue away.


I selected Dixie Belle's Oval Small to use on the basket as the shape of the bristles allowed me to work the paint into all the tight groves in the cane basket. Any round or oval brush would do though. For this project I used Dixie Belle's French Linen Chalk Mineral Paint. I painted the whole piece and after it dried (about 30 mins) I added another coat. As I was painting, I used my Mister to help the paint move around.

When that was dry, I used a Dixie Belle's Premium Chip Brush to apply some Chocolate CMP. I just swiped it on as I wanted some of the French Linen showing through. I then came in with a clean Dixie Belle Mini Brush and after lightly misting the wet Chocolate CMP I used the clean brush to blend it in. If the Chocolate was too dark in areas I used my Mister to thin it out.

When that was dry I came in with my French Linen CMP again and lightly dry brushed some back over the surface to catch the peaks and create tonal contrast.

It's all about layering tones to get an authentic look. This will be to your liking and something you'll have to play with. You may choose to add more French Linen if the Chocolate appears to dark. You could also use wax to tone the paint further.


White the basket was drying I focused on creating vintage labels. I found some scrap cream toned fabric (old curtain backing I believe) and cut it to size.

I then pulled at the strands of fabric around the outside and frayed the edges. You could use any fabric you want, or even burlap for this part.

Next I traced out a simple design in pencil and went back over it with a black felt tip pen. You could put any design on these labels, maybe even herb names but I wanted to keep it simple so I stuck with numbers.

I wanted the fabric to look old so I used some of my Brown Best Dang Wax to age and tone the fabric. You could use any wax colour you like or maybe even do a light wash of paint if you don't have wax. Just make sure you do this step before writing on your fabric as your pen ink may run.

I then attached the fabric with my Low Heat Hot Glue Gun from Spotlight. You could attach these another way if you don't have a glue gun (craft glue, tying on with twine etc) but this was the quickest option for me.

This whole project only took me about an hour as it was a hot day. You could always speed up your paint dry time with a hair dryer or heat gun. See my video on facebook to see the process:

I'm very happy with the result and I hope this guide makes you look twice at your plain baskets and inspired to give them a make over.

If this has inspired you to create the same look please see the Materials section at the start of the blog for links to find what you need.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any questions please contact us on our Facebook or Instagram pages (@theprovincialfarmhouse) or via email at:

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