I’ve always liked the cool look of vintage gym baskets, even though I wasn’t much of an athlete back in school…I class-clowned my way through gym class!
They weren’t particularly inexpensive – in fact they were costly – but I was very attached to these because they were from Republic Steel in Canton, Ohio.
I come from a long line of steelworkers, several of whom worked for Republic Steel in the Massillon-Canton area, and I didn’t know if I’d ever come across gym baskets with a personal connection again, so I sprang for them.
This project cured for at least a year, but I knew what I wanted to do with these the whole time. My goal was to hang these in the kids’ bathroom to store towels & toilet paper.
So I drilled a couple of holes in my newly painted bathroom wall…a risk for sure, just in case this project didn’t work as planned, since I was ruining a perfectly painted wall. (In case you’re not familiar with various literary devices, this, my friends, is foreshadowing.)
Apparently there are absolutely no studs in my bathroom wall, or at least none where I needed them, so I used anchors to attach the screws and washers that would attach the basket to the wall.
Every time I’d tighten the screw close enough to hold the basket to the wall, the anchor would pull out from the wall. Plus, if I left enough room between the baskets to actually reach in & get the towels or TP out of the basket, the top basket would be at average adult eye level. Perfect for hitting heads and knocking already not secured baskets out of the wall.
Yeah, so that was a disappointment after curing and planning for a solid year.
Back to the drawing board. I patched the newly painted wall (so sad) and I brainstormed.
Since the baskets are just shy of 12″ x 12″, I realized that what I needed was a stackable cube-type system, and I could use the baskets as the drawers. So I ran out to Target and bought this ClosetMaid 3-shelf stackable organizer…
I put it together & voila! A viable solution…
It’s not an ideal solution for a couple of reasons, but it will do the trick for now. First, the middle shelves are adjustable, so they move when I pull the drawers out. And the baskets fit pretty tightly and will eventually mark up the white laminate. But for $20, I solved the problem and got the vintage gym baskets out of curing mode and into action.
Maybe someday I’ll go all Ana White on you guys and make my own cube shelving system. But until then, this works.
(Keeping it real with the toilet brush in the pic!)