Friday, July 20, 2012

The Bohlken Baby Basket

When I was pregnant with Lydia, someone passed down to me a really old basket. It had been given to my mom by my dad's grandmother, my great- grandmother, Lydia's great-great grandmother. The idea we have is that great great grandma Barron used it as a bassinet for great grandma Bohlken, who may have used it with my dad and eventually gave it to My mom, who used it with all three of us kids.

Having just read some book all about how babies need structure, and being completely unprepared for what it is really like to have a newborn, I set the basket aside unsure what to do with it. It was painted a yellow color and was dirty from storage. Then I had Lydia and she was early and small and I couldn't imagine leaving her in the big crib up stairs. So, the basket was pulled out and wiped down and placed next to my bed and used for several months. It was the only one of Lydia's baby things that I did not fuss over and recover. Until now!

Knowing how much we used the basket with Lydia, I wanted to clean it up and cover it with fabric before Joshua was born. I started withe the paint. I wasn't sure exactly what look I wanted, but I wanted the old yellow paint gone. I started with a layer of white primer. Then I painted the whole thing a pale turquoise.

Next I started adding darker layers of Turquoise, but wiping them off before they dried to create an antiqued finish.

I really liked how this technique made the basket weave more distinctive. It also created shadows in the low areas that help hide some damaged areas.

In addition to just painting the basket, I wanted to add a fabric liner. Because the basket had handles, I laid the fabric over the edge of the basket to determine how long it needed to be and also how wide between the handles.

The basket tapers at the bottom, so the fabric needed a little tailoring to fit correctly. By laying the pieces in inside out, I could pinch and pin the excess fabric directly on the basket.

I ended up with a pocket created between the outer fabric and the lining, so I was able to thread a ribbon through the fabric and then under the handle creating a secure fit.

Here is the finished basket all ready for baby!

And here is baby, sleeping soundly in our updated family basket.

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