Thursday, May 1, 2014

DIY: Hanging Produce Baskets.

No matter how much kitchen counter space you have it is never enough.  You begin with beautiful, clean, flat surfaces and before you know it you are shuffling and shoving objects around for more work space.  This is how our kitchen began:

And this is what it looks like now, for real.  I just walked in and took this photo without touching anything.  It's on the cleaner side but I can guarantee that whenever you see a photo of mine taken in the kitchen I have most certainly moved things around for a less cluttered frame.  Notice how you do not see the top of the cupboards.

I have wanted hanging produce baskets for a while now and keep my eyes open for them at second hand stores.  Yes, I know they are not expensive, Amazon sells them for about $10.  But I love projects, especially ones that are easy and save a little money, and my do-it-yourself hanging basket is exactly that.

Daiso is a large Japanese chain of ¥100 stores (they even have a few along the west coast of the United States) that I have mentioned in previous posts.  It's equivalent to the Dollar Tree stores but with a much better selection in my opinion.  I bought the 4 items needed for this project there, hence costing approximately $4.25 and an hour of my ample spare time.

I purchased three wire mesh baskets and a chain designed to hang a flower pot, the latter of which I already have but it's in storage somewhere in Texas.  To keep the integrity of the chain I used links from a jack chain to form small hooks to attach the baskets, thus making them easily adjustable as well.  I found them in my miscellaneous hardware boxes that I proudly love and care for meticulously; I've had them, and some of the contents, for over ten years.

With a pair of needle-nose pliers I attached three hooks around the outer rim of each wire basket approximately equal distance apart but didn't bend them closed in case adjustments were needed.  I began with the smallest basket, looping the hooks through the chain as high as I could while still being able to put my hand in to retrieve an item, which ended up between links 6 and 7.  Then I found the middle of the remaining chain length and looped the second basket at that location, between links 14 and 15.  The last and largest basket was then hooked on the last links, obviously.

However, when I lifted the entire unit it was a bit uneven, for two reasons I discovered.  First, there was one less link on one of the three hanging chains, 20 instead of 21.  To solve this I simply added an extra link from the jack chain I was re-purposing.  Secondly, my spacing of the three hooks around the baskets' perimeters was a bit skewed.  Since they had not been tightened closed it was easy to re-position them and level the baskets.  Once I was satisfied with the positioning I tightened the hooks.  Done.

To hang it from the ceiling I drilled a hole, screwed in an eye hook, and used some extra chain and a clip to hook it up (all from my hardware stash).  This makes it fully adjustable if I change its location around our current house and where ever we move in the future.

Here are some detail photos of how I hooked the baskets on.  Some of the "S" hooks are scratched up a little but they sort of nest in the other links and I don't notice it much.

The photo above shows the extra link I attached to make up for the chain that was one link short.  In all I am very happy with the results and imagine that similar baskets would make corners useful in multiple areas like the office or bathroom.  

While typing this out I had company with me, making sure I stay near and remember his dinner.

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