Decorating Ideas

The Art of Decorating With Baskets At Home

Colorful wall of baskets
Intricate weaving, distinct patterns, color, culture and purpose –  Why don’t you use baskets to decorate in your home.

Basket weaving is an art form that dates back centuries to the early origins of man.  As soon as ancient man learned to braid, weave or fasten fibers together to create a holder the basket was born.  Soon after baskets became an essential item in everyday life because they have been used for everything from carrying water, food, seeds, as well as for transporting and storage.

BaTonga Nongo (pot) baskets, Zimbabwe.BaTonga Nongo pot baskets, Zimbabwe

Zulu_Wire_Plate basketZulu plate-basket made with telephone wire

Beaded Snuff Vessel from KenyaBeaded snuff vessel from Kenya

Early baskets were usually made from plant fibers using various weaving techniques in different parts of the world.  It is believed the explorers, the men who traveled discovering the world, facilitated the transfer of basket making techniques as a natural outcome to carrying goods and trading them in baskets.  I believe this influenced not only new methods but artistic expression as well.

Many cultures in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and India, as well as American Indians have distinct basket making techniques and styles.

Ethiopian vessel w cowrie shells

Ethiopian vessel with cowrie shells

Hausa Cowrie shell basket (Nigeria)A Hausa cowrie shell basket from Nigeria

BaTonga Nongo (pot) baskets, Zimbabwe.

Raffia baskets tightly weaved to carry liquids

Because of it’s history basket making has been recognized as an ancient art form worthy of museum preservation and study.

Today baskets are being made from a variety of materials including paper, wire and even trash such as plastic bags.    Some are adorned with beads and other embellishments.

Beaded gourd Yoruba people of Nigeria

Beaded gourd from the Yoruba people of Nigeria

Beaded Nigerian basketBeaded Nigerian basket

Morrocan baskets


Morroccan  colorful basketsColorful baskets from Morocco

Baskets can be found at almost any price, size, shape and color.   Basket are for function and for artistic expression.  Their unique beauty makes baskets perfect items to use in home decorating.

Here are examples of different types of baskets and how you can use them to decorate in your home:

 South African weaver, Angeline Bonisiwe MasukoSouth African baskets by weaver, Angeline Bonisiwe Masuko

Ukhamba' basket Zulu people of SAA Ukhamba basket by the Zulu people of South Africa

Living room w African Baskets


Felt BasketsFelt basket made in the USA

using baskets for storage


Using baskets as wall decorA simple wall of baskets makes an impressive statement like art.

Yellow basket Kavango Weavers

basket Kavango WeaversThese baskets by Kavango Weavers would be beautiful on a wall

Baskets as decor VT Woven MagNatural fiber low profile baskets on wall

So, the next time you travel to a place where basket making is a handmade craft consider visiting the market and buying some baskets.  They make affordable and wonderfully unique additions to your decorating and you’ll remember your trip.

I hope I’ve helped you discover a new way to think about baskets and you will look at them in a completely different light.

Until next time …

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  • Jamala

    You’ve shown some beautiful’s amazing how they weave them and make such beautiful designs and patterns. I love the picture with the baskets covering the wall..

    • Elle

      Yes Jamala,
      Basket weaving is an art craft that is often under-appreciated. I find it fascinating how the weaving techniques and colors change as different cultures around the world make them. They are an inexpensive alternative to use as art on the walls.

      I’m glad you like the idea and the beauty of this century old craft.