Monday, February 8, 2016

A tisket, a tasket

When we bought this house, I searched high and low for an organizational piece for the entryway.  We have a hall closet but it is inserted very tightly between the upward staircase and the front door.  It's not particularly user friendly in a house with this many kids, so I needed some place to hold the kids' most accessed coats and accessories (and, let's face it, a place to dump things when we walk into the house.

I did not have a lot of square footage to work with, but finally I found something that fit the space reasonably well.


Only, lets be honest, it didn't always look like this. Until about a week ago, the top shelf usually looked more like this (only with a higher pile of crap, completely obscuring the light switches).


For awhile I searched for baskets or fabric bins that would fit the dimensions of the shelves.  When nothing presented itself, I just kind of gave up.  Until it occurred to me two weeks ago that, duh, I could MAKE baskets to fit.  Seriously, how did this not occur to me sooner?


I used this free tutorial to make the baskets, only I switched up the dimensions and the way the top of the baskets was finished. Changing the dimensions wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, so the three baskets represent a bit of trial and error.  


The ribbon-trimmed one was the first I made, and it is actually a bit too big for the shelf, but as it is just made of fabric and Pellon Craft-Fuse interfacing, I was able to jam it in there.  (Feel free to skip the boring dimension information - it is just for my reference, should I decide to make more of these later.)  My shelf is 24" long and 8" deep, so I was aiming for baskets with a 7.5" footprint.  For this first basket, I cut my rectangles 16" wide and 15" high, and cut 4.25" squares from each corner.  The resulting basket ended up with a 9"x7" footprint and 8.5" high after a 2" hem.  

So it's too big, but it does hold a LOT of hats (I think there are about eight kid hats in it at the moment).


For the second basket I cut my lining fabric rectangles 15" wide and 13.5" high, with 3.5" square cutouts at the corners.  I cut the the interfacing and outer fabric pieces 12.5" high, though, since I knew I was going to fold over the lining fabric to make the hem.  This basket ended up with a 7" square footprint, but it feels a little too tall.  It easily holds 10 pairs of kid mittens.



I cut the third basket's lining pattern pieces 12.5" high and 15" wide, with 3.5" square cutouts at the corners (again I cut the interfacing the outer fabric a little shorter to allow for hem turnover of the lining).  For this one, I used a gorgeous teal blue wide-wale corduroy that was sent to me by a lovely friend in Australia.  I lined it with some fabric left over from a circle skirt I made Natasha two years ago.  My intent was to make three identical teal corduroy baskets for the entry shelf and use the green ones elsewhere.  But then I lost basket-making steam.


So this is what it is for now.  Looking at this pictures really makes me wish all the baskets were teal corduroy though, so maybe this blog post will be the push I need to make the last two.


Even if the baskets don't match, they sure make the entryway much tidier!  I have found myself happily picking things up around the house - things that, when found lying on the kitchen floor or bathroom vanity, would normally make me grit my teeth and breathe heavily through my nose - and depositing them into their assigned basket with satisfaction.  If only I could get the kids to do the same.

11 comments:

  1. I need that piece of furniture for my entryway! Can you tell me where you got it?

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    1. I got it at Overstock.com 18 months ago. It is a lot more expensive now: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Functional-Multilevel-Wall-Shelf-with-Hooks/8682892/product.html. But they have lots of similar things.

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  2. ohh, looking good. That's a clever basket tutorial, thanks for sharing

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    1. Yes, it does come together nicely!

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  3. Awesome!! Everyone needs a "landing strip" as they call it on Apartment Therapy (and yes, yes, I do get a raunchy chuckle out of saying that) - a place to gather the crap we have when we come home. My kids now each have their own bin for socks, shoes, and misc (hats, etc.). The bins themselves are kind of a mess, but at least it's not all in the open. I have my own space for shoes and slippers - now, if I could just get Steve to put his keys, wallet, and sunglasses in the space I specifically created for him, instead of spreading them all over the house. He misplaces them every. single. time. Alas, you can lead your family to the organizational waters, but you might not be able to get them to drink.

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    1. Yep, it's just a never-ending stream of crap ...

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  4. The baskets are looking great!! I am too lazy to bother with things like that... but most often than not when I see someone on blogs showing off their handmade baskets and I always love the end result and want to make some for my home!! Love yours!

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    1. Honestly it is not the sort of sewing that generally excites me (which is why I probably will never make the matching baskets) - but it is so useful to be able to do when you need something a particular size!

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  5. Love this! It's perfect for the foyer! We have tall skinny shelving unit by the door that has baskets in it for gloves/hats in the winter and flip flops the rest of the time. But we need something else as the kids walk in from school and drop their backpacks and kick off their shoes as soon as they walk in. Drives me nuts!

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  6. They are brilliant!
    I hate that 'crap at the door' that seems to happen with children. These are so pretty and practical.
    xx N

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  7. I have to admit that large fabric baskets have been on my list for too long. Like your family, hats, shoes, school bags and paper seem to clutter up our hallway. Sometimes I feel embarrassed opening the door to visitors!

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!