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How to Decorate a Picnic Basket for Easy Summer DIY Home Decor

Looking for easy summer DIY home decor ideas? Today’s Pinterest Challenge is all about how to use baskets as summer decorations.

Vintage picnic basket with a floral arrangement, and vintage embroidered tea towel

For each month’s Pinterest Challenge, Cindy from County Road 407 picks a theme and then selects a picture from Pinterest to use as our inspiration.

Our job is to create our own version of the inspiration picture.

Pinterest Challenge Graphic

If you arrived here via Cindy of DIY Beautify, welcome! Cindy’s ideas for using baskets for summer home decor are sure to spark your creativity for decorating your home for summer.

Our Inspiration for This Month’s Challenge

Our inspiration for this month’s basket themed challenge is from Jamie of Anderson + Grant. Jamie scored a vintage picnic basket at Goodwill with a broken handle.

Jamie gave the basket a makeover and now it’s a great decor item that she enjoys using in her home.

Picnic basket with floral branches, plaid fabric and a clock

For my version of this challenge, I used a vintage picnic basket that I found in a trash pile back in 2013. I restored that gorgeous old picnic basket back in 2013 and we’ve used it for lake picnics both on our dock and on our boat countless times since.

This challenge was fun because it motivated me to use this picnic basket for DIY summer decor.

Picnic Basket Makeover

My friends know I can’t resist a trash pile. Back in 2013, my friend Elsie texted me letting me know that her neighbors had some good things in their trash pile that I would want.

I drove straight to the trash pile and scored a few vintage wooden tennis rackets, vintage baseball bats, and this picnic basket.

The tennis rackets were used to make a vintage tennis racket table and a vintage tennis racket basket. The table is extra special because we used one of Elsie’s father’s tennis rackets for the table base.

The trash pile found picnic basket was in great condition but it was extremely dirty and needed some TLC.

Dirty inside of a picnic basket found in a trash pile

I was excited to find this picnic basket, especially since it was in great shape other than being very dirty.

Dirty inside of a picnic basket found in a trash pile

See how I restored this picnic basket in this post.

DIY Home Decor for Summer Using a Picnic Basket

For some reason, I’ve never thought to use a picnic basket for summer decorating but it makes perfect sense. Who doesn’t think of picnics when they think of summer?

I used my vintage picnic basket to create a summer themed display in my formal living room.

Vintage picnic basket with a floral arrangement, and vintage embroidered tea towel

Our inspiration picture for this challenge included a picnic basket, floral stems, what looks to be a blanket and a clock.

I chose to decorate the top and side of my picnic basket rather than fill the inside of the basket like Jamie did.

Picnic Basket Summer Decorations

The first thing that I added to my picnic basket was a vintage embroidered towel that I inherited from my grandmother. Most likely this was made by one of Granny’s aunts.

Vintage embroidered tea towel on a picnic basket with a floral arrangement in an antique Ironstone dish.

Instead of using flowering branches as Jamie did, I made a summer flower arrangement using my grandmother’s lidded Ironstone serving bowl base.

Vintage picnic basket with a floral arrangement in an antique Ironstone serving dish, vintage embroidered tea towel, and a Mason jar

I’ll soon share exactly how I made the flower arrangement. I love having fresh flowers in my home.

After displaying the picnic basket, towel and flower arrangement, it was time to think of what I wanted to display along with these things.

Summertime makes me think of growing vegetables and canning so I shopped my basement for summer decor items with that theme.

Vintage picnic basket with a floral arrangement, vintage embroidered tea towel, three vintage canning jars on a depression era round cake plate, McCoy green pepper cookie jar, and a 1908 postcard

Three of my inherited canning jars were arranged on a depression era serving plate that my grandmother received at her bridal shower. You can see more of Granny’s 1938 bridal shower gifts that I inherited here.

I love decorating with these family treasures.

Vintage Mason jar with waffle grid design, Ball Ideal jar, Mason strong arm jar

Next, I added a vintage McCoy green pepper cookie jar that my former teaching assistant gave me. It belonged to her aunt and I was happy to give it a home.

Vintage Mason jar with waffle grid design, Ball Ideal jar, Mason strong arm jar, McCoy green pepper cookie jar, antique postcard, oval bird picture

The other night we were watching Weekend at Bernie’s and I noticed a green pepper cookie jar just like mine was as kitchen decor in the movie.

Some of Weekend at Bernie’s was filled at Smith Mountain Lake, so it was fun to see local scenes while watching the movie.

The postcard is from 1908 and originally belonged to my grandmother’s next door neighbor.

Vintage McCoy green pepper cookie jar with 1908 postcard

I love having this area of my living room decorated for summer with my beloved vintage treasures.

Antique chest of drawers decorated for summer with a picnic basket, flower arrangement, tea towel , Mason jars, a McCoy green pepper cookie jar, and an antique postcard.

Now that this area is decorated for summer, I need to get busy updating the décor in the rest of this room.

If you’re looking for more ideas for using baskets for home decor, check out these posts:

I am positive that I’ll get some great summer decor ideas from my blogging friends today. I can’t wait to see what everyone shares for this challenge.

Next up is Kristin from White Arrrows Home who is sharing not one, but two picnic basket ideas. Kristin lives in the Northwoods of Wisconsin on a lake and is a vintage lover just like me. She also hosts a podcast that I really enjoy.

More Basket Ideas for Easy Summer DIY Home Decor

Many thanks to Cindy for organizing this fun monthly challenge!

Click on the links below to visit each blogger who is sharing their version of our inspiration picture.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Vintage picnic basket with a floral arrangement, and vintage embroidered tea towel


    1. I love doing challenges with you as well! I’m glad to finally decorate with this picnic basket after only thinking to use it for picnics for years and years. I hope you are having a great Memorial Day weekend!

  1. “Weekend at Bernie’s” is the silliest movie but I can’t help laughing just thinking about it. The pepper jar is pretty cool.

    1. That movie is silly! Now I’m laughing just thinking about it. I was so happy when my former teacher assistant passed here aunt’ pepper jar on to me.

    2. I need to correct my blog post. It was What About Bob, not Weekend at Bernie’s that was filmed at SML Oops!

  2. I love the way you styled your basket plus the wonderful stories! I enjoy all the side links that you provide for us to enjoy as well.
    Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

  3. Your basket vignette is lovely, Paula. I always appreciate the stories behind your pieces and was especially touched by the gifted green pepper from your teaching assistant. xo

  4. Such a great idea to place the pretty flower arrangement on top of the basket instead of creating something inside. It makes a great platform. The hand towel is so sweet with the hand crochet lace and makes me think of all the hand work that my grandma created. So pretty Paula!

  5. LOL, I see fun stuff in movies too. I usually want the piece though and never see anything I already have! That’s so fun. And dang girl, you hit the jackpot with your trash haul. You have really revived that basket and it looks fantastic with the flowers on top. Great way to display it. Thanks for joining in. I love this time of the month too. Pinned

    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! The Pinterest Challenge is so much fun for all of us. Thank you for organizing it each month.

  6. Your picnic basket decor for summer is perfect for this challenge, Paula… and I can’t wait to see the tutorial on the flower arrangement. It’s SO PRETTY! Love that ironstone vessel, too! Pinned!

  7. I’ve been meaning to reach out to you since you finished your radiation treatments, I’m sure it felt so good to ring that bell! I hope you’re feeling well and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

    And I never knew part of Weekend at Bernie’s was filmed at SML!

    1. I’m going to have to correct my blog post. It was What About Bob that was filmed at SML. Oops!!

      It was great to ring that bell. I’m still recovering but feeling pretty good!

  8. I love a picnic basket theme for summertime decorating, and this is so sweet. Love how you pulled in the colors from your pretty bird pictures, and the fresh flowers in the tureen are beautiful:)

  9. Paula, I love that you used the top of your basket, too! I never thought to use a soup tureen this way. (I have two) It looks stunning with the flowers and sitting on top of the picnic basket!! So love that little towel… I need to pull out my linens and do a summer post. 😉

    Enjoy your pretty summertime vignette,
    Big hugs,
    Barb 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Barb! This is the first bit of summer decorating that I have done. I need to get busy!

  10. Great reminder a basket doesn’t have to be filled to use in decor. We used to have an old picnic basket from the family but not sure what happened to it.

    1. Thank you, Rosemary! I hope that someone in your family has the basket but you don’t know it.

  11. Paula, I love how you styled your basket. I have one done very similarly! I really enjoyed the story of how you rescued and refreshed it!

  12. As always, you used your vintage items and inherited pieces to create such a pretty display for summer Paula! That little embroidered piece from your grandmother looks so perfect hanging out of the picnic basket!

  13. PAULA first let me wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! This vignette fills me with delight. I adore your vintage basket. I have a soft spot for linens too!. That great pepper jar truly makes me smile!

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes! I am so thankful that I was blessed to be here to celebrate birthday number 52. Also thank you for your sweet compliment on my basket display.

  14. Hi Paula I just wanted to wish you a very Happy Birthday 🎂🎊🎈 all the best. Have a great Holiday weekend.

  15. This is so vintage perfect. I have a basket like yours on my craft table waiting its quick makeover, and always have a stash of vintage embroidery linens. I never considered using the basket for summer decorating, but its looks wonderful the way you displayed it. I learned something, thank you for the inspiration.

    1. I am so glad that I inspired you, Leanna. Now I’m wondering what your vintage embroidered linens look like. It’s a shame that doing embroidery is now pretty much a lost art.

  16. Hi Paula, I had to laugh about how you found the basket in the trash (trash digging is my middle name lol)! Great find and the price couldn’t be beat! Also, what a lovely floral arrangement you put together in the ironstone serving bow! You have such a natural talent for decorating and arranging! Your great aunt’s embroidered towel hanging out of the basket is beautiful! I have to tell you that I’m really drooling over those 2 vintage bird pictures on the wall! I looked but didn’t see a story about how you acquired them. You are very lucky to have so many wonderful things handed down to you. What a special grouping this all was and to hear how you acquired them is so interesting! Thanks for sharing!


    1. Wouldn’t we have fun driving around looking at trash piles together? My friend and I used to do that on runs and half the time we did, we both ended up running home with a treasure in our arms. We also had to hide things on occasion so we could come back later to pick them up. The bird pictures were found long ago at an antique shop in Appomattox, VA. I fell in love with them immediately.

  17. The way you brought this picnic basket back to life is amazing Paula! It looks so good. You know I’m totally bananas over the ironstone arrangement and all your vintage and antique touches too. You always inspire me to use more family heirlooms in my decor! Hugs, CoCo

  18. I never get tired of seeing all your vintage family treasures! That ironstone serving bowl with the pink flowers is simply stunning! And I have a soft spot for embroidered flour sack dish towels! Your whole basket vignette is perfection!

    Niky @ The House on Silverado

    1. Thank you so much, Niky! I am very lucky that both sides of my family did not throw things away and neither did their children. It left a lot for me to inherit and treasure.

    1. Thank you, Ann! And thank you for hosting a weekly party for both bloggers and blog readers to enjoy.

    1. Thank you so much, Christy! I loved what you created for this month’s challenge. Every time you share your porch, I picture the two of us sitting out there talking. We need to make that happen. 🙂

  19. I can surely see why you couldn’t leave this picnic basket behind. It’s such a stunning shape. It looks beautiful with the floral arrangement on top.

    1. I was about jumping for joy when I saw it in that trash pile. I am obviously a cheap date. Ha-ha This picnic basket has been so useful for both picnics and now as a decor item.

  20. What a sweet basket you rescued. Love the inspiration to use it as part of your decor. I am always happy to hear about about your family treasures and how you use them.

    1. Thank you so much, Marie! I am so lucky to have treasures from both sides of my family to use for home decor. I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend in Vermont. I can’t wait until our next trip to your wonderful state.

  21. I love the story behind your basket and that your friends keep their eyes our for you! I love how you styled it too decorating the side and top! It looks beautiful and sure inspires me!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristin! Your version this month was right up my alley with everything being vintage.


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