I was recently on the hunt for an industrial component (read: wire baskets) for a room in my home but became a little frustrated at the limited options. Either the baskets weren’t the right size/dimensions (mostly the case), or they weren’t the right style, or they lacked character and charm. The options seemed a little expensive for my budget, as well. It was determined that industrial style wire baskets aren’t actually all that complicated, and I could customize the size and shape I wanted…for pennies, really.
If you’re in the market for an industrial-type wire basket or two, here’s an easy-to-follow guide on creating your own. The materials are simple, and the process is easy, and it will probably take you well under an hour to create your own perfectly sized masterpiece. Here’s how.
DIY Level: Beginner
- Wire mesh, fencing, or any type of cut-to-size wire grid (example uses 2”x3” wire fencing)
- Tin snips, or metal cutters, or nippers
- Measuring tape, protective gloves, and pliers
Before you begin, you’ll need to know the dimensions you want your finished wire basket to be. This example shows how to create a basket 8”d x 14”w x 8”h, although those measurements can of course be customized to suit your specific needs.
Flatten your roll of wire fencing, and measure out your first length. This will be: height + width + height.
Note: You’ll actually need your dimensions to work out with your wire fencing so that there’s a “finished” edge along your basket. Snip the wires OUTSIDE this measured length (in this case 8+14+8=30”), directly next to the perpendicular wire.
Next, you’ll need to cut the back side of your wire fencing at the place where height + depth + height is. Again, be sure the measurement ends up along a solid wire.
Snip your wires along this measurement (in this case, 8+8+8=24”).
You should now have a rectangle (or square) with all sides of solid wire.
It’s time to create the actual basket. To do this, we’ll need to cut out the corners of your wire fencing rectangle. Measure in from one edge the height you want your finished wire basket to be (in this case, 8”).
Lay a board directly across this spot to assist you in creating a clean, 90-degree bend in the wire.
Push the wire snugly against the side of the board to create a crisp angle.
Do this for the other side of your basket; measure your height (in this case, 8”) in from the opposite end, place your board, and bend the wires along the board.
You should have a sort of U-shaped wire fencing form now.
Turn your U-shaped form sideways, and measure your height (in this case, 8”) in from one end. It should be noted that these measurements needn’t fall directly onto a solid wire; they can “float” in the middle of the fencing grids and be perfectly okay.
Take your tin snips and cut the wire 1” further out from your measurement (e.g., where the red arrows are in this photo, NOT where the tin snips are). So, for example, if you measured 8” in from the end of your form, you would snip the wires at 7” in from the end. This will allow you to have 1” of wire to connect to the other side at the corner of your wire basket.
Only cut the wires on the side itself; don’t cut any wires along the bottom of your wire basket, even if it’s a wire that’s at the corner.
It’s now time to cut wires along the corner of your basket until you reach your height-minus-1” (in this case, 7”) mark. If this happens to fall along a solid wire, cut on the OUTSIDE of the wire. Remove the section of wire you’ve cut out.
Repeat for the opposite corner.
Place your board at your height mark (in this case, the 8” mark) in from the side of your basket.
Bend the wires to create the side of your basket.
Flip your basket over, and continue pressing the wire bends to create 90-degree angles.
Align your basket sides together. Determine where, on both sides of the corner, the wires should meet.
Bend the protruding wires at the corner joint point. I’ve found that it’s better to err on the side of leaving a little extra length before the bend, because the wire connection will naturally pull the wires a little tighter.
Wrap the ends of your protruding wires tightly around the connection points. Don’t worry if there’s a little extra wire sticking out; these points will be trimmed later. Use pliers when necessary to get the wire wrapping tight and snug.
Repeat for both sides of your wire basket. You’re almost done, and it’s really starting to take shape, isn’t it? Looking great!
Repeat the measurements and snips and wraps for the other side of your basket.
Use tin snips to clean up any bits of wire sticking out.
Throw some towels (or whatever) into your new industrial wire basket, and you’re done!
If you’re looking for a piece to add to the industrial vibe (or create it from scratch) of any space, including the bathroom, this DIY wire basket is just the thing.
This is actually the perfect size (chosen strategically) to easily house two or three folded bath towels.
Sometimes (often) the simplest pieces are the ones that pack the most visual punch. Wire baskets, crates, or boxes are just such a power piece.
And if you like the look of this DIY industrial wire basket on these chunky floating shelves, you can learn how to make floating shelves yourself, here! (Hint: They’re not as hard as they might seem.) Enjoy!