I have been searching for a vintage Adirondack basket for years. It’s been on my wishlist ever since I saw a reproduction in the pages of Ballard’s Designs catalog. I clipped that picture and pinned it to my vision/idea board and there it stayed for what seemed like forever. Well, it took me 3 years but I found one!
One Saturday this past August, in the last hours of an estate sale, I hit the jackpot! I found an Adirondack basket among other finds, in near perfect condition and I got it for a song. Needless to say, I could not wait for Christmas to come this year. This basket from my vision board was going to come to life!
The History of the Adirondack Backpack
I tried to do a little digging on the history of the Adirondack basket and I couldn’t find a definitive answer. This style of basket, pack baskets (large woven basket designed to be carried as a backpack. Primarily for utilitarian purposes like traveling, hunting, and or gathering) is often attributed to native American people. The truth is that you can find examples of this pack-style basket all over the world, for hundreds of years, each with its own twist. The Adirondack pack style is adapted from the pack baskets used by native Americans in the region. It has a definitive look with a cinch at the top and is typically made from ash Other styles of pack baskets like the Maine pack baskets have a more rectangular shape.
I recorded a quick video showing you how I filled the basket. It’s a large basket, a very large basket, and it takes a lot of greens to fill this basket. So I filled the bottom of the basket with empty amazon boxes (tis the season). I bought a few different types of greens and berries. I used Juniper, Magnolia. Fir tips and winter Ilex berries. I layered the greens using mostly drippy cedar greens, but you can use whatever you want. I love how it turned out. If you are looking for a unique way to dress up your door, I highly suggest a pack basket. You can find vintage baskets on Etsy and eBay, but you can also find new baskets like this trapper Maine style basket on amazon on Ballard designs.
@vintage_bu_te_antiques Finally! Filled my antique adirondack basket with winter greens today. I am so behind this year with my decorating. #myvintagehome #antiquelover ♬ It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas - Michael Bublé
Truth is this basket deserved to be on display for more than one month! So, I decided to transform it from Christmas decor to Winter decor! I removed the red berries and bow and added faux branches to fill it out and give it life. My favorite addition was the gold bells. Bells are a huge trend right now, and they were the perfect finishing touch for this winter Adirondack basket. I found my bells on amazon they were the perfect size for the basket and I love how it looks.
Update: I thought that would update this post with a photo from my 2022 door. This year I added the prettiest frayed edge velvet ribbon in cranberry red from amazon. In case you are interested here are some links to the ribbon and bells. I used a mixture of faux and real greens. I recommend real berries, because the faux ones don’t do very well in the elements. There is also a link to an new adirondack basket if you don’t want to hunt for a vintage one.