Clam Baskets In The Garden

Jun 7, 2022 | Projects/Crafts

I originally published some of these decorated clam basket photos on my former blog at I thought to revisit this today when I used some of the baskets I embellished long ago to protect my young plants from the oh so curious, young and dumb red squirrels in the my garden. 

I love the look of glass and wire in the garden, so combining a clam basket with glass beads is a natural. These baskets are ornamental as well as functional. Use them to hold shell or rock collections in the garden, or keep them by the veggie garden for collecting produce, or turn them upside down for critter-protection when your plants are small and more vulnerable.

Baskets can hold ceramic or glass balls, sea shells, rocks, or even a collection of trowels.

Here’s what you need:
Wire – 22 guage or slightly finer. This can be copper, brass, or any other metal. Even wire that will eventually rust looks good.
A Wire Basket – This can be a clam basket or an egg basket or any other wire bin.
Glass beads of your choice. (You can also use shells, metal beads, ceramic etc. Go nuts!) Bigger beads are faster and easier to work with.
A wire cutter.

You can often find an old clam basket at garage sales if you live near the ocean.


  • Cut a length of wire that’s about 5 feet long. String about 12” of beads on that wire, bending one end up so that the beads don’t fall off as you string them.
  • Starting at one end, take a bead and twist it. You can twist it just once around, or twist several times to make a spiral “post” that holds the wire out from the basket.
  • Do them all the same or vary the number of twists.
  • After twisting the first bead, slide the next one to about an inch from the first and twist it in place. You can keep it further away or closer, depending on the number of beads you are using and how you want the finished piece to look.
  • Keep working down the length of the wire twisting the beads into place.
  • Be sure to leave about two inches of wire at each end to attach the piece to your basket.

String the beads on the wire first, then twist the wire so that they will stand out and away from the basket once you attach them.

  • Once you have a length of beads on a wire, attach this to the basket. You can wrap it around the rims or wire it up against any part of the basket. Keep making more lengths of twisted beads and attaching them until you are finished with your design.

On this basket I wound the beaded wire around the top.

This clam basket was embellished with a simple strand of glass beads.

Wire baskets combine well with other garden objects and containers.


  1. Judith pearsall

    What is. The name of the beautiful bunch of purple flowers growing in median strips ? See these flowers everywhere.

    • CL Fornari

      Without a photo it’s impossible to tell you for sure – but maybe Nepeta


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