From Resin to Realism: Creating a Faux Woven Basket
By Deb Roberts
It happens all the time--sometimes we just find a miniature we like but it doesn’t look quite as real as it could or the color and style are all wrong. Recently I was searching for a woven basket to use for a pet bed but all I could find in the style I wanted was white resin. There was no way white resin would work in a Victorian room filled with walnut furniture but with a little paint and a little fabric and fluff, I was able to make a sweet basket bed that any cat or dog would love.
This is the bed that I started with. It’s a nice size and shape but the color was all wrong. I wanted a woven basket that looked real as well as a cushion that would coordinate with the rest of the room.
Begin with removing the “cushion” and set it to one side.
Using acrylic paint, give the basket one thin coat of nutmeg brown for the base coat and set it aside to let the paint dry.
Use the cushion that came with the basket and trace around it on a sheet of posterboard.
Cut out the oval and glue it to the bottom of the cushion. This provides a firm foundation for the build up that you’ll be doing on the cushion a little later. Cut another oval from a piece of quilt batting and glue that to the top of the cushion so it will be nice and fluffy.
The light brown paint on the basket looks nice but to give it a more realistic look mix the same light brown with a touch of yellow paint. To get a straw look mix the paints loosely so you’ll get a marbled look when you brush it on.
Using a light touch with the brush, apply the yellow/brown mixture randomly to the basket for a natural variegated look.
Setting the basket aside to let the paint dry, go back to the cushion. Cut a piece of fabric in an oval about 1/4” wider than the cushion on all sides.
Center the cushion in the middle of the fabric,
and use two straight pins to hold it in place.
Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut slashes into the fabric about ¼” apart. The slashes should go almost to the edge of the posterboard foundation.
Put a bead of tacky glue all around the edge of the posterboard foundation.
Push the fabric up and over the foundation, smoothing it with your finger. This gets a little mess so it’s helpful to have a damp rag on your worktable so you can wipe off your fingers.
Continue to push the fabric over the posterboard one section at a time. The fabric will overlap a little as it contours to fit the oval shape.
Set the cushion aside to let the glue dry. While that’s drying, add the last touch of paint to the basket. Dip a paintbrush into dark grey paint and then wipe as much of the paint off onto a rag as possible. Dry brush touches of grey paint here and there on the basket, especially around the opening and edges for a realistic appearance.
To give the cushion depth, use a needle and thread to add tucks into the upholstery.
Knot the end of the thread and bring the needle up from underneath in the center.
Bring the needle back thru the cushion as close to the entry point as possible and pull the thread snug. This creates the first tuck in the cushion. Repeat this process at random over the cushion to create about five tucks.
Tie off the thread on the back side of the cushion and then glue the cushion into place in the basket, leaving the front part of the cushion by the basket opening lifted up just a bit.
To make the bumper roll around the edge of the basket, measure the distance around the basket with a piece of thread and then cut a length of fabric about an inch longer. Cut the fabric about one and a half inches wide.
Run a thin bead of tacky glue along one long edge of the fabric and fold it over. Use this as the edge and roll the fabric into a semi-tight roll. Use pins to hold it in place.
Put another thin bead of glue on the edge. Remove the pins and continue rolling until you reach the end. Use your fingers to press the edge down firmly but without squishing the shape of the roll.
If needed, trim the two ends so they’re even.
Lift the front of the cushion and slide one end of the roll under it.
Place dots of tacky glue along the sides of the basket just above the cushion. Begin wrapping the roll of fabric around the inside edge, pressing it into the glue to hold it in place.
Push the end under the front of the cushion just as you did for the beginning end and press the cushion down firmly.
What a warm and snuggly bed for any cat or dog! Best of all, you’ve converted a white resin bed into a realistic woven basket with a soft cushion that you can coordinate to any room.