Summer Sewing ~ Salvaged Basket for a Fancy Picnic

on July 28 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 27 Comments

Bethany does it again with her Salvaged Basket for a Fancy Picnic! Enjoy her great project idea and tips. Later this week we’ll share a patchwork blanket to round out your picnic fun!


My sister said she wanted a fancy picnic basket and I found a decent one at the second hand store, but it was a little worse for wear so I decided to fix it up.


I needed to cover some chewed up edges and some scratches and I thought it would be nice to make a padded lining.

To make the liner:

  • I measured the bottom and luckily it was a rectangle, so I just added an inch to the length and an inch to the width for seam allowance. If you have an oval, you might try tracing a paper template to make your pattern.
  • I cut one rectangle out of fabric and one out of batting.
  • Next I measured the depth of the basket. I took that and added half again as many inches.
  • Then I measured the girth of the basket at the widest part. I took that number and added half again as many inches and then divided by 2.
  • I cut two strips using these measurements.
  • I did a quick rolled edge on the ends.
  • Then these strips got a 3 inch channel hem on the topside…


    Lining hem.

    …And a baste stitch to help gather them on the bottom side. I gathered the fabric by pulling the basting stitch thread until the bottom gathered length was half the original circumference plus 1 inch for a seam allowance.


    Pinned lining.

  • I spaced my gathers evenly, and pinned in place, centering it on the end so the edges lined up with the handle of the basket. Then I did the same with the other side and stitched in place.
  • I sewed the sides up half way and fed ribbon through the channel hem. This was tied at the basket handles.

Decoupaged Lid:

  • For the decoupaged lid I just cut a cute motif from the lining fabric and a corresponding fabric. I coated the lid with a thick coat of Mod Podge and placed the fabric on top.


  • Then I applied another coat of Mod Podge on the top working from the center of the fabric to the outer edges. I also decoupaged on some rick rack trim. The rough edges were covered with bias tape, which I hot glued in lace because the decoupaged version looked pretty strange and the fabric bias tape made a better transition next to the fabric of the liner. I just went slowly and used the crease in the tape as my guide to place the tape on the very edge of the lid.

I am going to finish it up with some quilted beverage “cozies” (little quilts with adjustable Velcro tabs, to wrap around her tasty beverages) and some of the cute reversible napkins from the Sew Mama Sew Tutorial Contest in matching fabrics!

I hope she likes it!

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27 Responses to Summer Sewing ~ Salvaged Basket for a Fancy Picnic

  1. I think I will bookmark this thread

  2. Flo says:

    This would be fun to take on a picnic, or for carrying something to a local pot-luck supper. Thanks!

  3. Kim says:

    that is great! I’ve been trying to avoid getting sucked into the mod podge b/c I’ve heard it’s a little addictive. I have a feeling I’m going to be mod podging everything in the house here shortly 🙂

  4. Pat says:

    Thanks for the great insipration. I hae an old picnic basket and wondered how to dress it up. Now I have it. Thanks

  5. Nicole says:

    Great tutorial. Makes me wish I had a picnic basket so I could try it out.

  6. Margaret says:

    I love it! I especially like the idea of adding matching napkins and drink cozies. 🙂

  7. Rosemary says:

    I just love this idea!

  8. Allison says:

    What a cute picnic basket!

  9. Being a thrift store shopper next time i see one that’s not so great I’ll get it and try my hand at something like this.

  10. Samantha says:

    So very cute!! I like the lid a lot- the decoupage and applied edging.

  11. Kelli says:

    Too cute! What a great way to use something that otherwise would be wasted. I will definitely be on the lookout for baskets now. What a great gift idea!

  12. Lil' d says:

    How cute.

  13. Kerry says:

    I am so impressed with your ability to see a worse-for-wear basket and visualize something beautiful…and then make it happen! Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

  14. Heidi says:

    LOVE IT!! What a lovely way to keep the idea of picnics alive! Great job!

  15. micki says:

    what a great project!

  16. Christine Bolin says:

    Wow! You did a wonderful job. I know your sister will love it.

  17. jOi-C says:

    ooh too cute! I have the perfect basket that needs fixing too, got it last year at an antique store…is it hard to do tho? i’m a little intimidate by the curves.

  18. The Mommy says:

    Oh that’s just beautiful! It also looks like something I could actually accomplish, thanks to your easy to follow directions!

  19. ginger says:

    What a great way to dress up that picnic basket.
    Your so clever.Love that you can use Mod Podge .
    Just the right tounch ric rack.
    Love this!
    hugs ginger

  20. Erin says:

    Wow – what a transformation!

  21. Crisanne says:

    Very impressive! What a great way to fix up an old treasure!

  22. mj says:

    This is so fun!

  23. Michele says:

    Looks great!

  24. Julia D says:

    Beautiful! Next time I spot an o-k Picknic basket, I’ll snatch it up to make great!!

  25. Jen says:

    This is beautiful!!! What a great project and gift!

  26. Caitlin W says:

    What a cute idea! I love the idea of taking something old and fixing it up to make it look new again! I love thrift store finds, and this picnic basket sure gives me an inspiration!

  27. Tersea says:

    Your tutorials are all wonderful…my only problem is finding time to do them all! Thanks for the great stuff!

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