Designers Your Home

Make a Metal Basket Swag Light with Veneer Weaving

Copy, photography and video by Skaie Knox,

If you’ve ever stepped foot inside a salvage shop, the amount and assortment of stuff can be a bit overwhelming. The trick I’ve found over the years is to go in with a plan. Well, at the very least, bring along a wish list of items you’re looking to add to your home’s decor.

On a recent trip to our local shop, I knew I was in search of something I could repurpose and craft to add light to our dim living room space. The results? A fabulous modern metal basket swag light with veneer weaving that’s fun to DIY and easy to hang indoors or out!

With just a few select supplies, NO power tools, and these simple how-to instructions, you’ll be able to make an elegant light fixture with wood veneer weaved in ‘n out and around a found metal basket. Overwhelming? Yes! Overwhelmingly beautiful.


  • metal basket (ours is 18” diameter)
  • spray paint
  • wood veneer – 12 square feet packs (4 ½” – 6 ½” wide x 48” long, 2/83” thick)
  • utility knife
  • metal straight edge
  • wood stain
  • P120 sandpaper
  • hole punch
  • suede lacing
  • 15.5’ light bulb fabric cord
  • LED Big Bulb (indoor/outdoor light)


  1. Spray paint metal basket. We used flat black for a modern look, but you can choose any color that suits your home. Allow to dry completely.
  2. Cut veneer. First measure the width of one horizontal row of your basket. Using your utility knife and straight edge, mark and cut your pieces long-wise (rip cut). Our pieces were about 2 ⅝” wide and 48” long. Sand edges smooth.
  3. Weave veneer into basket sides. Be very careful not to crack your veneer. If your pieces don’t go completely around your basket, you’ll need to measure the space, then cut an additional veneer piece that should overlap your long ones about 1 ½”. Have fun with the weaving design – we alternated how we weaved each row.
  4. Hole punch your veneer pieces. Make two hole punches ¼” from each end and side of each veneer piece. Mark with a pencil onto the second or smaller veneer piece, then punch to finish.
  5. Secure veneer ends with suede lacing. Cut ten (10), 6” pieces of suede lacing. Knot one end. Starting from inside your basket, thread through one hole, then down and back in through second hole. Knot to secure, cut any excess.
  6. Insert light cord. Thread plug end from inside and up through bottom of basket, attach bulb, then hang 36” – 48” above your table or anywhere you wish outdoor

Note: be sure BEFORE purchasing your basket that it has an opening at the bottom large enough to fit a plug – approximately 1 ¼” diameter.

Don’t forget to check out the video tutorial below for more tips!

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