Easter baskets are the traditional Easter gift from parent or grandparent to child. Store-bought versions of these baskets are usually overpriced wicker handled baskets stuffed with "Easter grass" filler and some small toys and sugary sweets. By making your own baskets at home, you can save money and create a truly personal gift without all the messy filler.
The first step in making your own Easter basket is finding a suitable basket. Start by thinking out of the box - or the basket! While a wicker or woven basket is fine, there's no reason to limit yourself. What about a bathroom caddy, filled with hair products, little clips and a new lip gloss? How about a sand pail, filled with outside toys like bubbles, a sand shovel and sidewalk chalk?
Let your imagination run wild. From a printed gift bag to a ceramic planter to a plastic mixing bowl, anything can serve as your "basket". You can also make your own Easter baskets.
The woven basket is a simple and child-friendly craft. Save the plastic mesh-like containers used to store strawberries or mushrooms at the grocery store. Wash and dry thoroughly. Then, using different colored ribbons or narrowly cut strips of paper, weave them in and out of the holes in the basket. Attach each end by tucking it in and applying a drop of glue (a hot glue gun works great for this).
Even simpler is the square paper basket. Cut a perfect square about 10"x10" out of a piece of poster board or construction paper. Reserve the remaining section to make the handle. Fold over each corner to form an edge, and staple together. Once all four corners are stapled, cut a one-inch strip out of the matching paper and affix with a stapler on either side of the basket. If your kids feel like decorating, give them the square (before folding and stapling) along with crayons, markers, stickers, glitter and glue. Their creation is sure to be dazzling and much more appealing that a generic store-bough basket.
Since you are making your own baskets, there is no need to stick to the same, boring chocolate candies and little plastic toys. Think about your child (or the basket recipient) and tailor your basket to his or her interests.
Is your son really into horses? Go the dollar store and pick up some horse stickers, a horse-themed coloring book and box of new crayons, a horse stuffed animal and a DVD about horses. If you can't find horse-friendly chocolate, try including some candied apples and baby carrots - favorite horse treats!
What if your daughter has just started ballet? Include a new pair of ballet slippers and some sweet ballet clips for her hair. Maybe make her a tutu, an quick and easy craft with a spool of toile and a hot glue gun. Wrap it all up in a new pink backpack - aka "basket" - that she can use to carry her ballet wear to class.
Looking for additional Easter Craft ideas? Visit our Holiday Arts and Crafts website for holid...