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If you’re a pet parent, like me, you know that you can never have enough storage. Leashes, food, treats, grooming supplies and most importantly — toys — take up a lot of space. My older pup, Madeline, long ago lost interest in stuffed animals but my 3-year-old Schnoodle, Sophie, believes a girl can never have too much stuff.

Initially, I spent big money in pet stores on adorable, interactive toys she would toss up in the air a few times then happily destroy. After several months of this, I stumbled across a big box of 25-cent stuffed animals at a yard sale and haven’t paid retail since. After a thorough cleaning in the washer (hot water with a few drops of bleach) and extended tumble in the dryer, Sophie’s second-hand victims (um…toys) are good as new.

To store her stash, I bought a large wicker trunk, painted it black, added a bronze crest I found (where else) at an estate sale, slid it under a table in the living room and used it to keep Sophie’s toys within easy reach. For years the trunk worked fine but this spring my ability to find bargain toys exceeded Sophie’s ability to destroy them. Luckily, I already had a thrifted basket on-hand that, with a little makeover, would be perfect for containing the overflow: 
Dog-Toy-Storage-Basket-Makeover-Before

The basket was too tall to slide under the side table so removing the handle was the first step and I wanted to give it an antique look (I envisioned an old fishing creel) so it would better blend in. Here’s how I did it:
Dog-Toy-Storage-Basket-Makeover-Step-by-StepSteps: 1-cut ties holding handle in place  2-remove handle  3-thoroughly coat basket with spray stain (I used 2 coats) 4-choose an embellishment, I decided to repurpose an old belt  5-cut off excess leather at the top and bottom  6-attach belt to top of basket using super glue then clamp in place  7-flip basket over and glue a thin piece of wood to the bottom (I just snapped the end off a wood shim)  8-secure belt to wood with thumbtacks or nailhead trim  9-add felt pads to the basket’s bottom to protect your floor

And, voila, my once-plain basket now looks like it belongs in a house filled with antiques:
Dog-Toy-Storage-Basket-Makeover-Before-and-After

Best of all: the easy-to-access toy basket gets the Sophie Seal of Approval. Buh-bye little buffalo, looks like the bell has tolled for thee:
Sophie With a New Stuffed Dog Toy

MORE ADVENTURES IN ANTIQUING:
Adventures in Antiquing: Clinch River Spring Antiques Fair
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 1
Adventures in Antiquing: Charleston Antiques Show Part 2
Adventures in Antiquing: (Easy!) Beachy Candle Makeover
Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray
Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock Repurposed as a Frame
Adventures in Antiquing: Classical Busts
Adventures in Antiquing: Vintage Avon Bottle
Adventures in Antiquing: Salvaged Molding As Holiday Decor

17 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    The basket looks so good. Your home is lovely Camille.

  2. Erin E. says:

    It does look like an old fishing creel. Very attractive. Dog is adorable.

  3. Hgtvcamille says:

    Thanks Erin E! I've been on the hunt for an old creel for quite a while and the really nice ones are always out of my budget so I decided to fake it till I can make it. ;)

  4. Hgtvcamille says:

    Thanks Deborah! :)

  5. [...] your rooms personality — and — it will come as a shock to no one who’s read my Adventures in Antiquing posts that my favorite place to shop for accessories is at estate sales, flea markets and garage sales. [...]

  6. Marilyn says:

    I just found your blog yesterday, so I've been going through a bunch of your posts. I love your basket. I haven't heard of spray stain. Does one find it with spray paint? You've done a fantastic job with your sister's beach house. Thanks for all of the cool ideas. I might make some of those easy beach candles.

  7. […] for a while and cover a few of my coffee table books in leather. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m *all* about antiques and naturally wanted my leather books to look like they’d been around for few decades so I […]

  8. […] a while and cover a few of my coffee table books in leather. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m *all* about antiques and naturally wanted my leather books to look like they’d been around for few decades so […]

  9. MattDart says:

    It really is a lovely looking addition to the house. A lot of times, the most important first step to cleaning up the house is finding the right container. It's actually surprisingly easy to repurpose different things in the house for storage. DIY Projects are perfect for the family to get into too. Arts and Crafts, in my honest opinion, are a project better taken to than a spring cleaning session.

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...

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