Design Inspo for DIYing Your Own Wicker Flamingo Basket
My fiercely fashionable sparklemuffins, some of you truly march to the beat of your own bongos - and I love you for that. But when you love to stand out, you may be concerned about running into someone with the same wicker flamingo basket or bag…
While Wicker Darling designer handbags have always been extra-special and limited-edition, you now have the perfect way to ensure absolutely no one else on EARTH has the same purse as you.
I’ve toyed with the idea of DIY offerings for a while now, and I have polled my loyal Wicker Family about the prospect. I’ve discovered that yes, indeed, there is a desire for DIY wicker goodies.
I started with a small offering - some DIY-optional mini bag charms. But it was clear that you were more than up for a larger and more artistic task.
Some of you have been quietly (or rather loudly) customising your wicker bags to make them truly suit your style, and I want you to know you are SEEN. Not only do I see you, but I LOVE YOUR WORK - and now I want to give you an opportunity to go all-out.
And so, may I present a DIY flamingo basket?
Don’t be fooled by her demure facade - this DIY flamingo basket can be anything you want her to be. You can paint, glue, stitch, be-dazzle, and mod-podge to your heart’s content!
You may choose the perfect colour scheme, style, and outrageous adornments with which to bedeck your handbag. In short - you can make your DIY flamingo basket perfectly you, and perfectly unique.
But what is a DIY designer bag, exactly, and how does one decorate said accessory properly!?
I’m here to tell you all about our DIY flamingo basket, and help you get those creative juices flowing with design tips and inspiration from the Wicker Family who braved altering their purses before it was all the rave.
Introducing our lovely DIY flamingo
For anyone who loved our OG Chile flamingo wicker basket (and I assume that’s quite a lot of you since there was enough demand to start the Wicker Darling business), you’re in luck.
Our DIY flamingo basket is made with the same shape, style, and proportions as our very first Chile the Flamingo handbag. You know, just minus the paint.
This scandalously naked wicker flamingo basket stands approximately 13 inches from her base to the tip of her pompous little head, and 11 inches from beak to bottom. She is also 8 inches wide, with a purse opening of about 5 inches by 5 inches.
But DIY flamingo isn’t EXACTLY like Chile. She doesn’t come with leather handles, but instead some darling slim wicker ones, which makes her a decidedly vegan flamingo basket.
There are already so many reasons to have a flamingo purse, and now you have even MORE - because you can make this vegan designer purse your very own. I have even made the interior lining of this wicker flamingo removable, so it’s easier for you to dress her up however you please.
A DIY wicker flamingo makes a fabulous gift for a friend or loved one, but also a perfect treat-yourself gift. You can even purchase this designer flamingo basket for yourself AND a loved one, and have a DIY extravaganza together!
You can customise your hand-made flamingo basket however you would like - and don’t feel limited to just paint. Roll her in sequins. Douse her with glitter. Cover every inch of her with rainbow feathers. ANYTHING YOU DREAM OF, DARLING.
But, I do understand that, given the nice, designer nature of this flamingo basket, you might be a bit intimidated to - even worried about - really gussy her up. That is why I am here with some tips on how to care for wicker baskets and bags, as well as some approved DIY design methods.
Inspiration for your own flamingo basket masterpiece
I’m surrounded by artistic rebels. And it’s a good thing too, because now I have the perfect inspiration to share for your own DIY flamingo basket.
My best friend Skye (aka: the lovely Miss Hellpixie) has been so kind as to offer up her creative genius for the task. And THIS is the monstrosity she created.
Part nanna’s sewing box, part 80’s decoupage, part WTF WAS SHE THINKING!?
I love it. It’s so perfectly her, and so vastly different from my usual offerings. It’s so fun to see my dream pink flamingo purse morph into someone else’s perfect flamingo purse.
It just gives me the warm fuzzies - no matter how bizarre and over the top your creations might turn out! (We love the quirky ones extra hard around here.)
Speaking of quirky, I have yet another DIY flamingo basket to present to you, courtesy of the lovely Laura of Obscurio.co (you can thank her for all our fabulous silk scarf designs).
Laura wears a lot of black, and wanted something that would easily pair with her wardrobe. She also loves the colour green, so she thought - why not find the BRIGHTEST, MOST IN-YOUR-FACE green possible?
And then of course, by that point, she figured she might as well make her flamingo basket glow in the dark too. So here is the result: the perfect accessory for midnight bowling, a night on the town, or really ANY time. And it just SCREAMS Laura, which I love.
So now, maybe some of your creative juices are flowing, but you might be concerned about which paints or craft materials could mess with your wicker wonder. You might also want to know the best techniques for achieving flawlessly painted purses.
So it’s a good thing a few of us have tried this first! We’re here to help.
Advice for decorating your flamingo wicker basket
Here are some steps (and tips) to follow while decorating your whimsical wicker flamingo.
Step 1: Remove the lining
We want the beautiful pink lining of your flamingo basket to stay clean, so it’s important to remove it before any artistic licence takes place. Just place the lining somewhere for safe-keeping so you know where it is when it is time to pop it back in!
Step 2: Select your materials
You can use chalk paint, mineral paint, milk paint, urethane, or even oil-based paint on your wicker flamingo. Look for paints that say they’re water-proof or self-sealing when possible.
If you can’t find such a paint, that’s perfectly fine. You can use a sealant once you have finished your paint job (and in fact, I recommend this anyway just to be safe).
Don’t skimp on your products here. If you need to use a craft glue, make sure it’s a durable long-lasting one. Also, don’t be afraid to try different mediums like decoupage, glitter, sequins, or pom-poms!
Step 3: Use several coats
Now it’s time to start painting. Don’t be scared. You’re going to have doubts at first and think you have surely ruined your flamingo bag, but this is the epitome of TRUST THE PROCESS.
To make painting easier for you, use a small, fine, soft-bristled brush and take it slowly. There are lots of nooks and crannies to paint, and you want to get up in all of them! You may need multiple layers for full coverage - but, try to let the paint dry before you add another coat.
The main enemy of wicker is water, so you don’t want to be heavy-handed with multiple layers of wet paint. This could be a no-no for your poor flamingo. So just use a bit of moisture at a time to keep this bird unruffled.
If you have an airbrush handy, this would be the perfect project to whip it out for! (just make sure to tape off her beady little eyes first so you don’t spray paint on them too.)
Step 4: Add a sealant if necessary
If you weren’t able to get self-sealing paint, have added another medium (like glitter) on top, OR if you just want to play it extra safe, you might want to add a top coat of clear sealant to your wicker flamingo basket.
A sealant will help to protect your handbag from water and stains (although I would never, ever recommend taking your wicker purse out in a rainstorm). Your sealant will simply assist if you find yourself caught in a shower unawares and need to find cover!
Of course, you can always keep one of my wicker bag raincoats (ie: reusable tote bags) in your purse to make sure it stays dry at all times!
Step 5: Embellish to high heaven!
Once your sweet little flocker is completely dry, it’s time for the REALLY fun part.
If you want to add any gems, embroidery, fabric, tassels, or feathers to your flamingo, knock yourself out! There is no such thing as a flamingo that is too outrageous (but you can certainly try).
Maybe you would like to wrap some embroidery thread around the handles to personalise them, or add some wooden beads on top of them.
Perhaps you would like to attach a silk scarf or mini coin purse or fun decoration to your flamingo.
There is no wrong answer here.
Step 6: Put the lining back in
Once your flamingo has had a complete makeover, and is nice and dry, you can pop her lining back in. It’s as simple as that!
Step 7. STRUT OUT
Now, you have the most fabulous, personalised flamingo purse of all time - so you had better get out there and show her off!
And I would LOVE for you to hashtag Wicker Darling on your social media so I can revel in your creative genius. (Plus share your masterpiece with our entire following - but only if you give us the go-ahead, of course.)
Get started on the purse of your dreams!
Our DIY flamingo wicker basket will be available in VERY limited numbers, so if you want to get a hold of one, you’ll need to think fast!
Pre-orders will open from 8pm Monday, June 20, through 5pm Friday, June 24 AEST. That being said, things have been known to shift around slightly in these pandemic days, so please join the mailing list to be the first to know when our new flamingo merchandise drops!
Our DIY flamingos come with payment plans available, and free international shipping and tracking, so you can follow her migration all the way to your doorstep.
Best yet? Our DIY flamingo is not the only new flamingo purse we’re releasing this season, so you’d better come on over to the Wicker Darling website to see what all the fuss is about.