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Industrial Style Basket Labels from Bicycle Parts

How to make industrial style baskets from bicycle parts | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

The next time you go thrifting,

you might want to swing by the bicycle shop.

That is …

if you think you’d like to have some basket labels made from old bicycle parts.

I simply took a bag to the bike shop

and asked the bike mechanic for parts in their “throw-away” bin.

I had no idea what kind of parts I was getting

or how they could be used.

But, when I came home and dumped all of the pieces onto the floor….

it immediately became clear.


First, some old baskets I already had were painted using latex paint that I had on-hand.  After making a cold-water bath for the baskets, paint was sloppily smeared all over them.  Then, while the paint was still wet, they were dunked into the water.  I don’t know why I opted for this process.  I had never done this technique before.  In fact, I had never even heard of this technique before.  Oh my, is this even a technique? ;-(   But, I wanted the color saturated into all of the fibers using this paint.  And, this seemed like it would work.  And so, I dunked.  🙂


After the dunking, I used a small paint brush to smear the paint even more and force paint into the crevices.  I wasn’t concerned that the paint was dark or applied evenly throughout the weave.  I just wanted the color going onto every fiber.


Once dried, some of the baskets were painted and dunked a second time….or at least parts of the baskets were.  After the process was complete, the baskets sort of looked like they had been “dyed” using Rit.  Remember Rit?


The last product applied to the baskets was a left-over glaze in a very dark brown, almost black, color.

It was diluted and washed onto the dried paint on the outside of the baskets.


While the baskets were drying, the second part of the project got underway.


The cassette pieces (not all of the cassette comes apart) had to be degreased.  This can be done using Dawn dishwashing liquid or…..if the grease is really thick…. a degreaser.  Turns out, I had to use both.  But, after two good soaks and a scrubbing with an old toothbrush, the rings looked great.  So good, in fact, I elected not to paint them.  I just moved on to matching the sections I was using to the numbers.


These numbers were made from the standard font in Word called American Typewriter set to 100 and printed on good quality printer paper.  Then a plastic piece was cut from a clear box top to insert over the number.


Once the label was assembled, it was simply glued to the basket using Elmer’s Wood Glue.


It is such an easy project.  Ok.  The painting is a bit messy and degreasing the parts is ….. well….yuckie.  But, overall, it’s a very easy and very inexpensive way to get this kind of look. I didn’t have to buy anything.


And, remember, baskets and boxes can be painted any color you want.  I just happen to be planning for these baskets to mix with some aged copper so the color was chosen to work with that finish.  These tags would work with just about any color and style.


So…. the next time you’re out thrifting….

……….say hey to your local bike mechanic for me.

And, please, don’t forget to PIN ………..

Industrial-Style LabelsPinterest

Or share on Facebook……


Until next time,

Happy decorating,




#recycle #recycled #green #savetheearth #saveearth #gogreen #earthtweet #motherearth

#dothgreenthing #easy #color #cheap #fun #ecofriendly #upcycle #repurpose #ontheblog #industrial


  • Reply Beverly Roderick March 24, 2015 at 2:00 am

    What an interesting idea! This is a great recycle project. I’m also loving the technique you used to paint the baskets. Thanks for sharing on the Spring Craft Blog Hop.

  • Reply Melanie March 24, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I love that you just created your very own paint technique 🙂 And they look great, really fun use of the bike parts.

  • Reply tina roberge March 24, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Amazing! I like how the stain created a deeper used look.

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog March 24, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      TYSM. It was actually a stain that I made from leftover paint. I knew the paint stained my clothes…so I hoped the same would happen to the wicker. Thx for your kind comment. So much appreciate.

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog March 24, 2015 at 11:53 pm

      I just checked your site. SO BEAUTIFUL!! Look forward to coming for dinner. LOL!

  • Reply rachel621 March 25, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Wow! This is so cool and really clever. I love the labels! And I thought that adding the water was a pretty great solution to getting in all the crevices. I definitely remember Rit as I have used it for a few projects.

  • Reply 10 Tips for Making Pottery Barn Inspired Bookcase Accessories | The Chelsea Project March 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    […] A complete post explains how to make these baskets.  Here. […]

  • Reply Paula@SweetPea March 25, 2016 at 8:48 am

    This is such a clever idea! My husband and I used to be huge bike riders (like riding 2,000+ miles per summer) and I’ll bet that if I look in our basement, I can find parts to make my own labels. I really like this project.

    • Reply theChelseaProject March 25, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Thanks, Paula. Check out the bookcase in my son’s room, too. There’s a ton of gears and even a bent rim hanging on the wall. They way I see it, if I use these pieces in decor, I have a better chance of getting my car in the garage. LOL.

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