Aging "New" Indian Baskets to Look Old

15 Minutes

I'm a fanatic for vintage Indian baskets...but who can afford them? I find similar baskets made in Mexico and India at import shops almost daily, so I thought I'd try my hand at making them "look" like the vintage ones. I started with 2 colors of wood stain, and applied each to created a layered/aged look. Now I'm passing this VERY easy process on to y'all.
Now my baskets look like treasured family hierlooms that have been around for decades.
These are simple "Indian Style" baskets from an import store.
I used 2 different stains, a light one (gunstock) and a darker one (Jacobean)...they could be any colors that you might have on hand.
I started with the Gunstock stain to darken all my basket made the most impact on the cream areas.
Be sure to wear protective rubber gloves...or you will have stained finger tips. Be sure to work the stain into the cracks of the weave. These dry baskets will soak up quite a bit of stain in the begining.
After the first stain dried, I skimmed the surface with the darker, Jacobean stain.
Here's a close-up of how the darker stain looks a little smudged and time-worn.
Perfect place to drop the remotes in our den.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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3 of 7 comments
  • Comet
    on Feb 8, 2014

    How did I know this was yours???? Very clever---you can also paint these to look like a specific pattern---I could not afford a Man in the Maze (Road to Elder Brothers House) basket so I used a sticker I had with the pattern printed on it--this was on a clear background--- as a template and sketched out the pattern on the basket and painted it on. Prob $5 for a plain flat basket. These days with there being so many clever programs to add and print and size on copiers you could do almost any pattern. I will def be more on the "lookout" for these brighter ones tho---add to the actual real ones I have managed to score! I think I am the only non-Navaho who actually GOT a Wedding Basket for her actual wedding------

    • James@TheCavenderDiary
      on Feb 8, 2014

      What a great idea! I've been thinking about stenciling on Navajo patterns and recently saw a Pinterest post where they dipped plain brackets halfway in white paint.......and I love that you got an actual wedding basket as a wedding gift....

  • Susen Gail
    on May 30, 2015

    I've been needing this idea! Thanks so much for sharing! susen

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