Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without.

  • Old New England Proverb

I have a bushel basket in my living area that holds my chopped kindling. I like it but recently the bottom began to give way. There was a debate about retiring the basket and replacing it with something more modern and durable, but the old New England in me won out in the end. I gathered up a few paper bags, a roll of duct tape, and scissors. Here's how the project went:

Bottom of basket before repair

You can see the bottom of the basket had deteriorated to the point of no return. This was the result of overloading it with kindling and carrying it from the back deck into the house. I was constantly cleaning up the mess escaping from the holes in its base. My goal was to secure the base and patch the holes without making it look like a piece of junk.

Duct tape work on inside bottom of basket

I used duct tape to "weave" the base back together again. My boss taught me that duct tape can fix almost any problem. I wonder if there is a wood grain duct tape?

Duct tape work on outside bottom of basket

Here's the tape work on the bottom of the basket. The goal was to make sure it remained aesthetically pleasing - meaning - no one would be able to see the duct tape after I put the basket back into action. See how the duct tape is tucked in between the side layers so it doesn't show around the edges?

Inside basket liner

Next, using duct tape and strips of brown paper bag, I created an inner liner that would act as a reinforcement as well a catchall for wood debris.

Finished basket liner

Finally, I placed the liner into the bottom of the basket.

Finished basket repair

Here's the basket back in business. The project took approximately 1/3 roll of duct tape, two brown paper bags, and maybe 20 minutes of my time.

I suppose I could have purchased a new bushel basket but it seemed unnecessary and would have needed to be reinforced anyhow. Overall, I like the natural feeling of the bushel basket in my home and am happy with the results.