I have always been a fan of industrial design. Maybe it’s the structural engineer talking, but I love spaces with exposed structure and ducts. For our home, we’ve chosen a combination of rustic and industrial elements to pull together in our various projects. It gives us a sense of warmth, a lived in home, and lends itself well to DIY with the simplicity and imperfect finishes.
One thing that is becoming increasingly popular are mesh wire baskets. The prices reflect that popularity and I found myself hesitating to make the purchase. Today I’m going to show you how to make your own, in this case a small caddy for salt and pepper shakers. Big thanks to Four Corners Design for this tutorial I found on Pinterest or I would still be contemplating my basket purchases.
I chose this as my first DIY mesh wire (actually called “hardware cloth”) project because it was small and I had been eyeing caddies for a while now to place in our new kitchen. Size can be customized for your own shakers or for mini mason jar shakers (which this would be perfect for!).
What You Need:
- 1/4″ or 1/2″ Hardware Cloth (I used this one)
- Tin Snips (love mine!)
- Needle Nose Pliers (great price for these)
- Jute (whatever thickness you prefer)
Snip out the full size rectangle for your design. Mine came to 9.5″x12″. With the hardware cloth being a 1/2″ grid, it’s easy to count out my measurements instead of using a ruler or tape measure.
Snip out the corners. I wanted my caddy to be 3.5″ tall, 2.5″ wide, and 5″ long. So my corners were 3.5″ squares. At each connection, you want one side to be trimmed down while the other side you leave the ends so that you can loop them around to close the corner. On my next hardware cloth projects, I will be leaving the short sides of my baskets all with long ends and looping those onto the close cut long sides for symmetry.
A corner worked out perfectly for me to snip back one of the close cut sides to have long ends and fit as the divider for the middle of my caddy.
Use a straight edge to fold the sides up perpendicular to the middle of your hardware cloth which will be the bottom of the caddy. I admit that it’s difficult for me to completely straighten out the sides of the basket and that’s frustrating for me. If you find a good solution, please share!
Start looping. This was the part that was most satisfying for me. The end is near! Make sure to tighten the loops so there isn’t movement in your basket but don’t get cute with the bending, the wire can just snap.
Step 5 (optional):
At this point, the caddy was looking really plain so I thought a jute handle would be cute, but I wanted it to have a shape to it. The roll of hardware cloth was wrapped in a thin wire that I rolled up and saved, so I decided to use that as the base of my handle. I cut a length I thought would work, looped the ends from the middle top of each short side and twisted the wire onto itself for a strong tie. Then I knotted the end of my jute onto one side and started wrapping the jute around the wire handle until I got to the other side and ended it there by tying another knot and hot gluing the end. Looking back, I would definitely recommend doubling or tripling the wire in the handle or getting a thicker wire, but this worked out pretty well.
Like I said in Step 3, the hardware cloth comes rolled up and I couldn’t completely flatten it to make a perfectly squared caddy, but I still love the result. I’m thinking of adding something stiff for the bottom and a cute tag or two for decoration.
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