DIY mini buoys, cage basket, rope frame.

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This article is incredibly old.  We don’t like the photos…we don’t even think the project is all that good.  But in the interest of full disclosure, we’ve decided to keep it up.  This way, you can see the growth in Nellie’s crafting and photography abilities.  So follow this tutorial loosely…and make your version better than ours!

I get that that is a long title. I did a lot of crafts. Which one doesn’t get their name in lights?

I saw this picture in Pottery Barn and loved it…

At first I set out to find some clear ornaments to use to copy these mini buoys.
In my neck of the woods…clear ornaments are only available around Christmas.
Rethink the plan of how to make those darn mini buoys.

I used…


Yep, Styrofoam balls.
I painted them a lovely turquoise pearl paint and then sprayed them with frosted glass spray.
I wanted them to have a beachy aqua color…



The worst part was those darn knots.
I was a Girl Scout. We learned how to sell cookies, and babysit.
We missed the knot tying lessons.
So, I Googled. But here are the pictures of the steps…good luck!


You have two pieces of rope. 1 is in the shape of a U. The other is in a loop with one end of the loop over the U and one under.
Can you see that?


Then you put the left side of the U shape into the loop. Hold the two ends on one side, the two on the other and pull.


If that isn’t clear…Google it. Ha.


Loop it around the “buoy” and use another piece of rope to tie them together.


There you go…a little Styrofoamy..but still cute. And cost for my mini buoys? All of $3.00 (I had the rope and paint).

Next up…

Well, not the rope frame. Because you can figure that out. Hot glue rope around,
and around, and around a frame…until every little hole is covered. Then make it cute.
I used pom pom’s and some red ric-rac. The end.

But, the wire basket…here you go. Step by step.


The supplies you need. Wire, wire fencing or chicken wire stuff, metal clippers, a needle-nose pliers


Cut your fencing to get the size and shape you want. Cut it to overlap itself. This is where you will attach it to itself.


Cut 2 pieces of wire a bit longer on each side then your overlapping size.


Bend over the ends of the wire to form loops.


Attach one side of the loop first to your basket, bringing it through both pieces of fencing. Open the loop on the other side to slip it in. Clamp both loops down tightly. Repeat for the second wire piece on the bottom of the basket.


Cut a piece of fencing the size of the bottom of your “basket”. Be sure to leave just a bit of an overlap.


Bend the overlap over and into the “basket”. This takes time. But, be sure to bend any poky pieces of wire over.


Cut a piece of wire the length  you want for your handle and bend the ends over to create loops.


Attach the handles to the basket by inserting the loop onto the basket and using the pliers to wrap it around.


Now, go around the top of the basket and bend down the poky wire bits that are sticking up. You are done!


And there you go!

My version isn’t quite the same thing. But, I think it’s better.

Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Inspire Me Heather

    July 5, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I love your buoys and you’ve really done a fantastic job putting that all together! I have this linked to my nautical post too this morning, for some seaside inspiration!

  2. Roeshel

    May 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Adorable! I love your version and each one is worthy of being in the title. Super job, girl!

  3. marilyn

    May 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

    LOVE the turquoise…how fun!

  4. Belle

    May 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Great idea! I love how you did the wire, I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that! I’d love for you to add it on my link party at: http://printabelle.com/?p=3188 Thanks!

  5. Tausha

    May 8, 2012 at 9:19 am

    This is a fantastic tutorial! I have never thought to make my own basket-you made it look totally do-able. I will be putting it on my never ending to do list.
    Thanks so much for the idea.
    Have a happy Tuesday!


  6. Jen

    May 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Love this so much! I just saw a tutorial for mini buoys using clear Christmas oraments and was wondering where in the heck I would find those this time of the year…I no longer have a need for oraments! Love, love, love this!

    Found your blog through shakentogether’s link party.

    -Jen @ jenmooremn.blogspot.com

  7. Miss Kitty

    May 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Thanks so much for letting us know a way to by=pass finding glass ornaments for those little buoys…that was genius! Everything you made is just great. I can’t wait to try those items for a summer-time display.

  8. Bella

    May 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Bliss said it best: YOU MADE YOUR OWN BASKET! Holy crap woman is there anything you can’t do?! Your mini buoys are WAY cuter than the inspiration. I love the ‘beachy’ color!

  9. Gwen

    May 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

    You brain is so full, you have to put THREE projects in ONE post…. ha!

    Mini-buoys… I have a stack of glass ornaments from my STUPID LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE that made me SICK.

  10. Natalie

    May 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    OMGee – I love – love. love. love this!!!!! Hmmmmm – I have the wire, the balls and the paint!!!!
    Awesome Janel
    xxx Nat

  11. Bliss

    May 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    You made your own basket. YOU MADE YOUR OWN BASKET! Now that is stinkin talent.


  12. Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

    May 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    They are so cute…you and I must be like minded…I have all things beachy on the brain right now!


  13. Jennifer

    May 3, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Love chicken wire. Very nice.

  14. katie goldsworthy

    May 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

    LOVE them! and LOVE that basket!!!


  15. Shannon Fox

    May 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

    OM flipping Gee!? You made the BASKET too. You are far to crafty for me. Wow. Ridiculously awesome.

  16. {Adventuresindinner}

    May 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Ok, your awesomeness obviously knows no limits C:

  17. Jill @ Junky Vagabond

    May 3, 2012 at 8:28 am

    The wire basket is something that I wouldn’t have attempted until you show how straightforward it really is. Thanks! The buoys are much better than the inspiration too :)

  18. cassie

    May 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

    those mini buoys are the cutest things ever!!! besides baby squirrels.

  19. Bonnie and trish @ Uncommon

    May 3, 2012 at 7:07 am

    adorable! love how these turned out Janel!!

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