The Longaberger basket was one of the most recognizable beloved home use and decor items within American culture in the early to mid-nineties.
A national icon, the Longaberger basket was associated with the quaint pleasantry and sweetness of picnics, homemade meals, grocery shopping, stuffed fruit baskets, home-baked pastries, and confectionery.
Longaberger baskets evoked and still evoke a sense of well-being and comfort that can only be associated with home and community.
Made of maple and crafted by hand, Longaberger baskets made their way into many homes, but the popularity of the Longaberger brand has since dimmed.
Changing tastes and trends have made the Longaberger basket a novelty relic and many baskets lie dormant in storage since the current generation has almost no relationship with the maple baskets either in decor or in utility.
In almost every home, there are Longaberger baskets languishing in storage.
The Longaberger baskets were made of excellent materials and were excellently crafted to last decades in sturdy condition.
For this reason, it makes more sense to repurpose them since they will not simply deteriorate into disuse.
What to do with those Longaberger baskets
There are many ways to repurpose Longaberger baskets and below are a few.
Paint Them All White
The iconic brownish color of maple that is associated with these baskets could be limiting you psychologically, making it hard to repurpose them effectively.
White is a universal canvas. Stain or paint your Longaberger baskets all white inside and out and use them as decor items for your living room, the foyer, kitchen, fireplace, and bedrooms.
The white color allows them to fit anywhere and blend with any other colors that the style of your current home has.
Most laundry hampers today will be made of plastic but if you are still holding on to your Longaberger baskets, turn them into laundry baskets.
Repaint them blue, purple, or even a floral pattern and place one in each bedroom and one in the laundry room. It will surprise you how handy these baskets can be.
The Longaberger baskets you have in storage will make perfect garden planters for your kitchen garden and your flowers.
Their brown color is an excellent background for this but if you wish you could repaint them to add whichever touch of charm you would like.
Longaberger baskets hold potting mix very well and the spaces in the basket drain water excellently. Plant your flowers in Longaberger baskets on your lawn and allow yourself the freedom to make stunning displays.
Use smaller baskets as hanging planters and create a wonderful kaleidoscope of natural colors on your lawn.
Every home needs organizers and time only makes this need grow. Longaberger baskets can be the solution here.
Take out all your Longaberger baskets sorting them according to size and assign each a specific storage purpose. It could be books, table cloths, toys, remote and game controls, chargers, sports items, spices, etc.
Depending on what you assign each basket, paint each basket to match the room or any other preference you may have. The charming pattern of Longaberger baskets will add a beautiful quality to the newly installed organizers and make your home both neater and prettier.
Paint Them Black
If your current choice of style is contemporary, you may be at an impasse on what to do with your Longaberger baskets since the traditional feel of the Longaberger baskets does not gel well with the lines and spaces of the contemporary design.
Some black paint or stain may be the answer. By painting two or three coats of black on your baskets, you will diminish almost completely the traditional feel of the brown basket and the black baskets will work much better with the contemporary style of your home.
At this point, you can use them as decor items to place other decor items in or as storage cases for various items such as throw pillows, blankets, flowers, books, electrical gadgets, fruits, confectionery, stationery items etcetera.
This is a DIY project that could be just fun to try. Creating furniture from baskets may seem outlandish but it can be done.
Medium to large baskets with an even shape will work best for this project and though it may take some effort, the end product will be stunning DIY lawn furniture that also adds charm and beauty to your patio, gazebo, or lawn.
You will need lots of foam or sponge, needle and thread or textile glue, leather rolls, nails, a nail gun, and fabric.
Make a pocket using fabric, similar to a pillowcase but in the shape of your basket whether a cube, cuboid, or a ball. A ball-shaped bag would work for any shape of a basket if you are unable to fashion any other shape.
Place the case in the basket and fill the bag or case with foam or sponge filings and stuff it to the brim making sure it is firm all around. Eliminate as many air pockets as possible so that the case can withstand the weight.
Allow the case to fill above the level of the basket just to be certain and seal the case. You can use textile glue to reinforce the seal.
Apply the leather to cover the basket all around and secure using the textile glue.
Using the nail gun, enforce the seal using nails but get the right size of furniture nails to avoid destroying the basket.
They should be short and would look more like thumbtacks than actual nails. To finish off, you could add color by painting the basket exterior in a color of your choice.
Make several of these and arrange them around a table on your lawn or porch making a perfect relaxing area for you and your family.
The options above are just a snippet into what you can do with your Longaberger baskets instead of relegating them to storage. There is no end to what you can do to repurpose and reuse your baskets.
Since trends tend to cycle back and forth, we may see a revival of the beloved basket in the future.