Asked on Feb 22, 2014

How do you repair vintage wicker?

Cindy Barnes
by Cindy Barnes
I bought a vintage wicker bassinet for my son and his wife who are expecting a baby in August. The bassinet has two small places of damage that I think may need repairing, but only for cosmetic reasons. Should I repair it or leave it alone?
The upper end of the bassinet where it hooks onto the stand.
The other end that hooks onto the stand.
The bassinet sitting on the stand. The bar on the bottom middle stops it from rocking.
  13 answers
  • Megan Hantz Megan Hantz on Feb 22, 2014
    Paint the damaged areas white to hide it better and add a bow tied out of pretty ribbon or cute fabric to cover it up? You could also weave the ribbon/fabric through the wicker all the way around so it will cover it up and add a splash of color to the white. Maybe something that matches the inside blanket, or blue for a boy, pink for a girl....(etc). If you don't think that the family will care, then you can also play it off like it just adds to the vintage look. ;)
  • Cindy Barnes Cindy Barnes on Feb 23, 2014
    My husband and I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to repair or cover up the damage. We know what caused the damage and are considering how to prevent more in the future. Someone added a locking screw combo to both ends of the bassinet to prevent it from coming lose from the stand. It most likely was not there when the stand was built. The edge of the devise rubs against the wicker when you turn it to release the bassinet from the stand. I have been thinking about using some colorful duct tape to re-enforce the wicker. Does anyone think that will work?
  • Tammy Huiras Tammy Huiras on Feb 23, 2014
    I don't know if the duct tape will work but I don't think it would hurt as long as you don't use a lot of it. I liked Megan's idea. Painting over the area would help protect it from the elements. Mostly I just wanted to tell you how much I love the bassinet. I have some old wicker furniture that was my grandmother's and I just love it. But this bassinet is absolutely adorable! Congrats on the wonderful find!
  • Cindy Barnes Cindy Barnes on Feb 23, 2014
    I figured I would buy the sheet duct tape and cut small pieces that would reconnect the broken pieces of wicker. If I use white it shouldn't show since I am painting it white. What do you think?
    • Ol'ga K'osareva Ol'ga K'osareva on Feb 25, 2014
      @Cindy Barnes duck tape will not stay for long and then it will pill of with paint within 3-6 months.
  • Carol S Carol S on Feb 23, 2014
    I would try wood putty. It can be primed & painted. Mix it with Elmers glue for a little flexibility. It is a unique cradle, please use caution maybe take the wheels off or put Suare furniture blocks under them and make sure the bottom is solid. Best wishes to the expectant parents.
  • Cynthia Cynthia on Feb 23, 2014
    wow, I have a wicker backed rocking chair I stupidly left outside for a few years,,,it needs re finishing and the wicker is coming apart,,I will try to repair it and never do that again,,,I have painted it 3 times and scrapped off 6 coats of old paint, it is over 80 years old,,,should I give it a try??
  • Shelli C. Shelli C. on Feb 24, 2014
    Some craft or fabric stores carry wicker strips. You have to soak them in water prior to use because they are very stiff and you will need them to be pliable to work with. You may even try Home Depot or Lowe's too.
  • Connie Brady Connie Brady on Feb 24, 2014
    The Caning Company in Berkeley, CA (found online) carries supplies to fix wicker and rattan furniture. They are great to work with and when I called them they were very friendly and helpful too.
  • Peg Peg on Feb 24, 2014
    I would use a semi-gloss trim paint, like MAB rich lux in white. Can use two coats & is easy to clean..................
  • Cindy Barnes Cindy Barnes on Feb 24, 2014
    Thank you. I will look for some when I go to Hobby Lobby and Micheal's. I want to reenforce the area too. Any thoughts on that?
  • Kim Kim on Feb 24, 2014
    There is a basket weaving suppy shop called The County seat. You can order online the reed you need to make the repairs.Probably 1/4 inch flat reed is what you need. Start weaving the reed about 6 inches before the damaged area, going right on top of the exsisting reed, continue well past the damaged area. Paint it to match. It should come out fine. Always start with you end behind one of the verticle pieces to hide the replacement reed, also end with it behind. Please don't put duct tape on such a lovely bassinette
    • Cindy Barnes Cindy Barnes on Feb 25, 2014
      @Kim Thank you. I will look into finding a store that carries the reed I need.
  • Ol'ga K'osareva Ol'ga K'osareva on Feb 25, 2014
    Paint and pass strong silk ribbon through the line along the basket. To avoid more damage, you can intertwine silk ribbon whole around the area OR to secure(reinforse) area by applying two of 10 cm. wide wooden (or other matterial) plates of the basket high - 1) one on the outer side of the damaged area of the basket and 2) another on the inside of the basket and then, 3) attach/tie these plates one to another by screwing or steiplering these plates together (securing basket between them). 4) paint it white and wait for baby :)