antique trapper basket | christmas decorating

by | Nov 21, 2021 | Decorating, Holiday, Winter | 29 comments

For one of my freelance articles this year, I needed to share an alternative to decorating a front door with a wreath.  I immediately pictured some kind of a basket. Maybe bike basket, market basket, wall pocket, a woven backpack, but what I was really hoping to find was an antique trapper basket.  I knew it would make an amazing statement.  I searched around on Etsy and eBay for a few weeks and finally purchased a beautiful antique trapper basket.  I had such a wonderful time styling it for the article in a few different ways. I’ll share a link to that article when it’s live on HGTV.com.

antique trapper basket | nordic mittens | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

(I bought these Nordic knit mittens from THIS Etsy shop.  I have it on my to-do list to knit a pair myself this winter.)

Anyway, It was perfect for the photo, but I didn’t want to leave it hanging on the front door all winter.  It was honestly just a touch too big and I didn’t want it to be subjected to the wind and extreme cold here in Rochester.  But, I loved it so much that I wanted to find a spot to hang it inside.  I walked around, holding the antique trapper basket out, trying to imaging it in different places in the house.

I set it on one of the chairs in the living room while I thought about it some more.  I actually really liked it just sitting in the chair…

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

But, I knew this would happen and a cat was batting at it in under a minute.  It needed to be hung somewhere the kitties wouldn’t mess with it.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I had an idea that was a little unconventional…

nordic style tree | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

And I thought it was just perfect hanging on the butler’s pantry.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

The antique trapper basket works so well here because the lower counter sticks out beyond the basket.  When hung on the wall, it felt like it stuck out too far and would be in the way.  Hanging in front of the open upper shelf, it adds some texture, warmth, and a little festive touch for the holidays.  And no one will bump into it and the cats, in theory, won’t mess with it.  They haven’t so far, anyway.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I love these moments in decorating when you just try something and then you feel giddy about it.  It’s like you hit a really great note and you wish someone was around to hear it!  So, I took lots of pictures.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seedantique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I scattered a few brass sleigh bells from JSH Essentials to the shelf for a little shine.  I originally bought them to hang from the front of the basket, but I liked them better on the shelves.

brass christmas bells | miss mustard seed

Oh man, this antique trapper basket is just so pretty.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

And I just love it against the painted green shelves and white ironstone. To me, it’s simple and classic.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

Those are dried limelight hydrangeas I clipped from my garden.  There are currently fresh greens in the basket, but I think I will have to swap those out for some artificial greens.  Fresh greens just do not like it in this house!  We’ll see.  I’m going to try not to touch them and see how they do.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

antique white ironstone | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

antique white ironstone | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I hope my use of this antique trapper basket gets your creative wheels turning.  Maybe it’s not a trapper basket, but a bike basket, a French market basket, or a woven backpack.  There are so many possibilities of things you can hang and fill with some pretty seasonal greens or whatever you can forage from your yard.

If you’re interested in creating a similar look (and you don’t already have something that would work), I sourced a few new, vintage, and antique options from $18 on up…

29 Comments

  1. Jo

    Everything is perfect and beautiful. I have given up doing any decorating in my house – for anything!!! I have 5 cats and they will not leave anything alone. I haven’t had a tree for years. I can’t even have candles out because they will knock them down. So, I enjoy decorating vicariously through you!!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I get it! I didn’t have a Christmas tree for about 8 years because our cats at that time would knock the whole tree over and they broke so many ornaments. These cats are playful and will get into things, but they are much less destructive.

      Reply
  2. Lee Ann

    LOL! … “and the cats, in theory, won’t mess with it. They haven’t so far, anyway.” What this means to me is … the cats haven’t noticed it yet!! Give them time! (But the basket is gorgeous!)

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, it’s possible!

      Reply
  3. Laura F

    How Unique! It looks great where you placed it too

    Reply
  4. Betsy

    Thank you for the picture of the basket sitting on the chair. It gave me a good size perspective.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, it’s a large basket!

      Reply
  5. Raes

    I just ordered the exact same basket from Ballard Designs. I knew it was large but didn’t know what to fill it with. Hydrangeas are perfect with the greenery. I have plenty dried and waiting to be used. Your pictures are a great source for copying. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! This basket is actually an antique, but I bet it’s a nice reproduction!

      Reply
  6. leila

    What is a trapper basket? You left that part out.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It’s a kind of basket that trappers would use to carry catches from their snare lines/traps. You wear it like a backpack. They are usually splint baskets and come from the Adirondack region.

      Reply
  7. Christine Irvine

    Hi Marion.

    In New Hampshire, there’s a father and son team that make them and they call them “foraging baskets”, mostly for foraging wild mushrooms. They are gorgeous. Some have lids, some have side “holders” for an axe, or other implement, and the strapping can come in different colors. Even the baskets will have different colors woven in by them dying the reeds. I love them but they’re hundreds of dollars. I’d like to learn basket weaving some day, but it used to be the thing a woman would do in a mid life crisis, or by a person who needed to find themselves, as in: “I am going to Vermont to take a basket weaving course this weekend.” You’d feel sorry for the person. But now I think it would be great! Maybe I am having a mid life crisis of a good kind.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      That is so funny! I would love to take a basket-weaving class one of these days. I mean, why not?

      Reply
      • Christine Irvine

        I am sorry I misspelled your name!

        Reply
  8. Susan

    Oh Marian!
    the basket is so rustically beautiful! You were so spot on to take lots of pictures. I scrolled through slowly, enjoying every detail of the ironstone pieces. particularly those amazing ironstone cake pedestals. Did you build in this hutch? Or, did you tweak it with moldings and paint? Thanks for your sharing these posts!

    Reply
  9. Nan, Odessa, DE

    I just purchased from Halls d for greens on the door. Couldn’t you add a container with water in the bottom to keep fresh greens? What chicken s the evergreen with blue berries? Do you have a source for good looking faux blueberries? What I have ordered are too tiny to show up. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • Nan, Odessa, DE

      PS. What tree is on the stool by your steps? Height, size freezer holding tree? Details please. Do you have a source for tree or one similar?

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        Yes, the tree is on a stool (just an old kitchen stool) and the tree is about 3′ tall. It’s an artificial one I got from Target a few years ago and they no longer carry it, sadly! I’ll have to see if I can source anything similar.

        Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, you could certainly add water to a container in the bottom of the basket. It would just make it heavy to hang and might be a pain to change out.

      The hutch was already built-in and we modified it. Just search “butler’s pantry makeover” and you can see how much it’s changed! We added beadboard, moldings, and painted the whole thing.

      As far as the green with the berries, those are live juniper. I just love mixing those into evergreens. I found some artificial ones a few years ago, but haven’t found any since.

      Reply
      • TAG

        It is definitely hard to keep fresh greenery with forced air heat. I use a product called Wiltpruf outside on my boxwoods to protect them from the cold winter air. It can also be used on cut Christmas trees and greenery. I have not tried it but it might be worth trying this product.

        Reply
  10. Teddee Grace

    Oh, yes. I just went to my storage units today and started pulling out winter decor and I have a basket much like this and way too many faux greens so should be able to do my own version for my apartment door. I even have some hydrangeas in a similar color. Thanks for the inspiration. I like its placement.

    Reply
  11. Lisa

    Would you mind sharing how you secured it to your shelf? Given its size I wasn’t quite sure how do you might have done that. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Pictures will be in the HGTV tutorial (I’ll share the link when it’s live), but I used a piece of florist wire between the two backpack straps to hang it. I filled the bottom with crumpled-up paper grocery bags

      Reply
  12. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    Marion, your basket is beautiful and so are the greens and the hydrangeas! It’s perfect hanging there!

    I love your brass bells, too. They look so pretty on your shelves!

    Enjoy!

    Reply
  13. Mary S

    Oh my gosh!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that basket!! GORGEOUS!! Oh my,,, I’m going to have to see if I can find one… Incredible !!!!!

    Reply
  14. Kelly Allaire

    Hi Marion…I love these trapper baskets. Just passed on a beautiful one at an antique store which was very hard to do !!! I have used the water tubes that florists place on roses for my greens and it helps them stay nice true the season. Also try misting them every few days.
    Wishing you beautiful holidays.

    Reply
  15. Victoria

    I place clear glass vases in a vintage fishing creel to hold flowers. At Christmas it is red roses with a wide ribbon tied in a bow around the top of the basket and it looks beautiful resting on the bookcase or dining table.

    I also have a lovely old basket designed and painted to look like an English cottage and I used glass vases within that to hold flowers too. That one is mostly used in spring when I fill it with daffodils.

    Reply
  16. Judeth

    Love the basket, but I truly loved admiring that nice Ironstone collection you have. I am still holding out for a cake plate, cannot find one in my price range. Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  17. Marilyn

    Could you please tell me the paint color you used on your butler’s pantry. I am redoing my kitchen cabinets and this is such a pretty green.
    thanks

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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