How to "Waste" Papercomments (14) January 19th, 2009
For years I had used an old wicker basket as a trash receptacle beneath my craft table. I believe the piece began life as a small porch stool or side table, but when I found it curbside in New York many years ago, it looked like a basket to me so I rescued it and christened it a trash can.
From the beginning it was an unhappy relationship. To start with, the piece had been painted many times so it was thick with globs of latex and not a very attractive thing to look at each day when I entered my studio. Furthermore, everything from dirt, eraser residue, and pencil shavings went right through the bottom and always left a pile of messy debris to be swept up off the floor. Flecks of paint would fall off it whenever I touched it, and I would end up tracking these all over the house. Worst of all, the wicker had started to come unwoven along its edge, which meant I risked getting stabbed each time I reached for it.
Over the holidays, a friend remarked that my basket would make a perfect complement to some patio furniture he'd picked up at a flea market. Happy to pass the piece along to a new home, I reached down to hand it to him only to have it thank me with one final, very painful sliver that I am still trying to work out of my thumb.
A few days later, still sporting a Band-Aid, I went off to the store to see if I might find a replacement trash can. All that was on offer were neon-colored plastic models or chintz-patterned fiber-board pieces. If the styles weren't deterant enough, the prices certainly were: The least expensive one among them was $26; the most expensive one was more than $60. For...a...trash...can! For a small trash can!
So home again home again, I came, brow knit with indignation and jaw set with determination. I rifled through my tool box and poked around my closets until I came up with an idea and ample materials to do the job myself. The result is a vast improvement over my old wicker basket and, as crafters everywhere know, there is little that comes close to the satisfaction of making something for yourself. That I was able to do so without spending a dime made me doubly happy.
All you will need to mimic my success is an old magazine (one with good-quality, high-gloss pages works best) and a grommet setter. If you don't have a grommet setter—and don't want to invest in buying one—nearly the same results can be achieved using a hole punch and some plastic zipper-ties similar to those used to bind together wires and cables.
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