Upcycled Lloyd Loom Laundry Basket

Well, I’m afraid the post I had planned for this week will have to wait due to problems with my camera. After spending a good two hours photographing the dress I wore to the Dig for Victory Show, I uploaded the pictures to my computer and quickly realised that all of them were blurred, so were swiftly sent straight o the virtual trash can. So, instead I thought I’d tell you about a small project I worked on a few weeks ago which I’m really pleased with.

Goodies from Molly's Den

A couple of months back I bought this little haul from the fabulous Molly’s Den, a huge emporium of all things handmade, retro, vintage and antique, in Winchester. I first found out about Molly’s Den when I went for a spot of vintage shopping in Bournemouth as they have another one there. Molly’s was on my list of places to visit that day but we ran out of time and didn’t get to go. However, there are total of four emporiums across the south of England, with the other two being in New Milton and Bridport, so when I had a free weekend I looked to see which one was easiest to get to and Winchester won.

I was really excited to finally pick up a genuine mid-century Lloyd Loom laundry basket whilst I was there, something I had been after since I moved into the new house. In my old house I had a laundry bin integrated into a cupboard so when I moved I was putting everything into a giant blue Ikea bag before washing. Not exactly attractive!

Valspar Spray Paint

The Lloyd Loom laundry basket I bought was in very good condition, with no loose sections of weaving, no trims coming loose and no knocks or damage. However, the lavender colour was very faded and just looked like dirty dishwater with a purple hue! It needed an overhaul and one thing I decided it needed was some sort of inner lining because I was worried of delicate things, like stockings, snagging on any splinters. I didn’t really want to spend money on fabric to do this so had a good rummage through all my old stuff and finally found some beautiful bright pink and green floral Laura Ashley fabric I’d had for years and never used. Perfect. Now, all I needed to do was find a paint colour to match.

After a bit of research online I found out that the best thing to use was spray paint because you can get a much more even finish and it’s much quicker. I wanted a real apple green to match the leaves on the fabric and found the perfect shade in B&Q’s Valspar range. If you’ve never heard of Valspar before, or just think they’re B&Q’s own brand range, then you might be interested to know that it’s a company with a 200 year history in paints, stains and coatings and is often found on many vintage and antique items from tractors to grand pianos.

Respraying Lloyd Loom laundry basket

Once I’d given the basket a good scrub and left it to dry overnight to make sure it wasn’t at all damp I set about respraying it. As soon as I started I realised just how badly it needed it. After just one coat it began to look a lot more fresh and clean. It was pretty easy to do, literally spraying the whole of the outside in one go and making sure I really got it into every groove. I then, again, left it overnight to dry out fully before doing the inside of the lid, making sure the Lloyd Loom label was covered and not being painted over.

Sewing laundry basket lining

Whilst waiting for it to dry I got on with making the inner lining. As I said, I found what I was going to use in my huge haul of fabric, fabric I have had since I was at fashion college many years ago. The one I chose I’ve had since I worked as a visual merchandiser for Laura Ashley way back in the early 2000s. I used to get 65% discount, even on remnant fabric, so you could often find me scrabbling through their remnant boxes to find something I may use one day!

It was easy enough to make, just two pieces of material, one for the base and other long piece for the sides. I placed the dry laundry basket on top of the fabric to mark out the shape of the base and then measured the circumference of it to work out the length of the long piece. I sewed the long piece together along the short edge so it became a cylinder, then attached it to the base and overlocked all of the seams for a nice finish and to prevent it from fraying. Lastly I overlocked the top edge and turned it over to sew a neat hem.

Laundry basket lining

And this is how it came out. Isn’t the fabric gorgeous? I have the same design in red and green for the curtains in my spare room and I never grow tired of it. It’s so bright and cheery and always makes me smile.

Painted Lloyd Loom laundry basket

In the end I did about 4 layers of spray paint inside and out to get a really good bright green colour that was even all over and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The colour is really quite striking and goes brilliantly with the curtains I’ve chosen for my bedroom, which are a slightly more muted version. I really must get on and shorten them, but you know what it’s like, clothes are much more fun to make than curtains!

Finished Lloyd Loom laundry basket

Once I’d pressed the seams one last time on the lining I set about attaching it to the basket. I tucked it up under the frame of the rim and used a staple gun to secure it with a little bit of hindrance as the wood was quite tough, but eventually they went in if I held it in the right position. And voila!

I’m really chuffed with it. It’s the perfect size for me and neatly sits in the corner of my room looking pretty. I’m tempted to buy some foam to create a seat pad as it’s sturdy enough to sit on. I envision it covered in a matching bright print large sized gingham. Do you think I should go for it?


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. That’s really nice – you’ve made it better, not wrecked it! That’s the sort of makeover I like..

    My husband had a Lloyd Loom trunk and laundry basket as a kid, with Paddington bear on top. Unfortunately he made holes in them! So I covered them with fabric on the outside and they’re still perfectly usable..

    • Oh, that’s lovely that he can still use them today. Things were better made back then and built to last, I hate all the throw away, cheap stuff of today.

  2. This is a lovely makeover and I totally agree with Mim, you have improved it without ruining anything about it. The Laura Ashley fabric is the perfect pairing with the green colour. What an amazing discount you used to get, I would have spent all of my wages!

    • Believe me I did and the fabric was oh-so-tempting. I went through all my fabric yesterday and found piles of Laura Ashley stuff I’ve never used!

  3. I also found a lovely old Lloyd Loom laundry basket in a second hand furniture shop – it quite ornate compared to others I have seen and has a glass covering on the lid with brass fittings (and, of course, the precious label on the bottom). I have taken inspiration from you and will make it beautiful again. It is very dirty and I too would like to clean it before I start and renovation – when you say you scrubbed it – what did you actually do. I am afraid to wet it too much or damage it in any way. Plus, I wish I had your sewing skills (and fabric cache) to make a lovely lining – I can sew but lets just say I am not a patient stitcher!!!!!

    • Yes, I’ve seen the sort of thing you’re describing, I believe they were sometimes used as bedside cabinets. The trick is not to get it too wet, so I used a sponge that I put in water and then wrung it out as much as I could. I also used a tiny bit of washing up liquid in the water, but not too much as you’ll never get it off. Once scrubbed I wiped it over with a wet wipe, like an antiseptic wipe or baby wipe, just something you have to hand. Lastly I removed any excess water or suds using kitchen towel, then let it dry overnight with the lid up. Just don’t be too vigorous and know that it’ll probably still look a bit grubby even after you’ve done this, but the repaint will deal with it. Good luck with yours!

      • Thanks so much for the advice Cate. I will get cracking with my new project. Sally x

  4. Thanks for post this awesome!. I’m a long time reader but ive never commented till now.

    Thanks again for the awesome post.

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