Trash to Treasure Picnic Basket

A found in the trash picnic basket gets restored, making it ready to use for years to come.

Trash to Treasure Picnic Basket by

The Story of the Picnic Basket

I had just pulled into the driveway after a long day at school when I received a text from a good friend letting me know that her neighbor had just placed a pile of junk by the curb. 

My friend spotted a wooden tennis racket in the pile and knew that I’d want it for my growing collection. 

It was about to rain, so even though I was tired, I headed to the trash pile to save some treasures before they got wet. 

There wasn’t much there of great interest but I did find a wooden tennis racket, two wooden bats, and a moldy woven picnic basket covered in grime and mold.  The picnic basket was gross but sturdy, so home with me it came.

Let’s look at one more pretty after picture before I show you the before.  The wooden top on this basket is really pretty and so is the wood that makes up the woven parts.

Trash to Treasure Picnic Basket by

The Basket Before the Makeover

This basket was disgustingly dirty when I brought it home.

Trash Find Basket Before
Top of Trash Find Basket

Note that the inside had quite a bit of mold/mildew growing on it.

Inside of Trash Find Basket
Inside of Trash Find Basket2

Cleaning the Basket

I started the rejuvenation of this picnic basket by hosing off the dirt and scrubbing it with made-for-wood oil soap

After cleaning the picnic basket, it already looked better.

Basket After Cleaning
Trash Find Basket Top After Cleaning
Inside of Top After Cleaning
Inside of Trash Find Basket After Cleaning

Restoring the Finish

I wanted to use a product on the wood that would bring it back to life and make it not so dry. 

We’ve been DIYing for twenty years and have collected a lot of products in the process. 

I’m not sure the project that Mr. SP originally used this Minwax Antique Oil Finish product on, but it worked great for restoring my picnic basket. 

Minwax Antique Oil Finish

The Picnic Basket After the Makeover

Look at the difference!

Trash to Treasure Picnic Basket by
Trash to Treasure Picnic Basket by

If I take this to the lake, it will be nice to hold serving utensils in place with the elastic band.

Trash to Treasure Picnic Basket by

I hope to soon load this up with hotdog and hamburger buns for a picnic at the lake!

Trash to Treasure Picnic Basket by

Thanks to Elsie for alerting me to the trash pile!  I’m lucky to have friends that know I like to trash pick with hopes of finding treasures like this picnic basket.


  1. Wow! A great transformation, you’ve really brought it back to life. It just show that with a little hard work ‘junk’ can be rescued and reused.

  2. I have a basket just like that one. Thanks for the info on how to restore. It has been a while since I have had time to check on blogs. I am so glad that I chose to stop by and see yours today! Hope all is well with you. Good Luck with your new school year! -Carla

    1. Carla – So glad you had time to visit. I’ve missed your blog and hope that you have time to pick it up again soon.

  3. Pingback: How to Choose the Right Picnic Basket | Scarsongs
  4. This is great! I have a few of these baskets that could use refreshing! Thank you for sharing this greata post! Didn’t even know I could put anything on the wood. Visiting from The Scoop and following you via Bloglovin’!

  5. I didn’t know something that dirty could be saved! My husband will NOT thank you for my newfound knowledge : ) But I will! Thank you!

    1. I love finding stuff in a trash pile and bringing back to life. My friends make fun of me but I’ve found some good stuff over the years.


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