Tutorial – Easter Baskets With A difference

I love Easter, Spring is in the air and Daffodils can be seen sprouting from the ground beside that of the Bluebells. Its the day you’re technically allowed to scoff our faces with chocolate and not feel so guilty about doing so!

However, lets be honest, it isn’t the healthiest tradition is it? And as a woman, I always beat myself up a little following the Easter Binge. Nonetheless, there are many other cute gift ideas that can be given at Easter, ones that don’t actually involve any chocolate at all! Whats more, you can actually craft many of these gifts yourselves making them that bit more personalised and special.

I made a cute Easter basket that I filled with decorated eggs and then shared here on the blog last year.

Today I’m creating an Easter basket of a different kind! One a bit different from the norm. I guess you could call it a bag, though its Easter themed all the same.

So here it is!

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A very cute Box bag decorated with spring and Easter in mind, then filled with cute little treats for my daughter.

To make your own its really very simple, all you’re need is…

1x Paper Mâché box bag (Hobbycraft)
1x Sheet of decorative paper (A4)
White String (Ikea)
1x Birdie tag with button detail (dotcomgiftshop)
2x Cute paper jar lid covers that are identical to one another (dotcomgiftshop)
Mod Podge Gloss (Hobbycraft)
Pink Paint (pastel pink is best)
1x Sheet of yellow felt ( Baker Ross ltd)
1x Sheet of yellow tissue paper
A few glue dots

Tools…
Paint and glue brushes
Scissors

Other items include gifts to place in your box bag. I’ve filled mine with little bits like bath lotions and bubbles, mini nail polishes and bangles.

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First paint the sides of your box in pink paint. Also paint the edging of the box. Leave to dry and then apply a second coat.

Cut off the boxes paper handles and discard.

Next cut you’re decorative A4 paper in half (I’ve used a nice sheet of pastel Polkadot paper in A4 size). Now line it up to the top edge of the box, roughly trim excess paper but be careful not to trim too short. Once you have applied the paper we can then trim of any remaining excess. To apply the paper, paste on a coat of mod podge gloss and apply the paper to the boxes front. Add a second coat of mod podge over the top and leave for 30 minutes to dry. Don’t worry about applying the paper over the holes that housed the paper handles, this is fine, we will address this later.

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Once dry repeat the entire process on the opposite side of your box.

Once you have papered both sides of the box and it is dry, hard and shiny, trim off any excess paper to make your box tidy.

Now take one off the jam jar covers. You should have two identical paper covers, one for either side of your box (mine has this cute birdie in the centre and came in an assortment of jar preserving labels from dotcomgiftshop). In the same way you applied your paper to your box (glue both on the surface and over the top off the paper) repeat for both sides and leave for half an hour to dry.

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Once this has completely dried use the point of a thin paint brush to push through the paper and expose the holes for the handles. As the inner section of the box has not yet been covered these are easily located. Do this for all four of your holes.

Now cut some yellow felt and lay it at the bottom of the box. Repeat for the two larger inner sides only this time secure with a few glue dots on each.

At this stage don’t worry about the remaining two sides (smaller inner sides)

Now take a sharp pointed craft tool, the point of a sharp pair of scissors or even a sharp pencil to push through the exposed holes penetrating the felt lining on the inner section of the box.

Now you will need to cut 2 white pieces of string (mine is from Ikea). Cut these to a size that suits. I’ve opted for short handles. Simply thread the string through the holes so one piece goes from one side of the box to the other (as the original handles were before removing). Do this for both pieces only on one piece, tread through one hole and before treading through the opposite side, tread on your little cute birdie tag so the decorative side is seen when it lays flat against your box. Tie all the ends of the string so the handles are secure. Make sure the string attached to your little birdie tag is on the piece of string you’ve tied off to ensure it doesn’t move around the handle freely.

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Lastly cut your yellow tissue paper and use to bulk out the inner sections of the box while also covering the remaining sides. This will also keep your surprise gifts cushioned and ever so slightly concealed from little wondering eye.

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Cute Easter Surprise wouldn’t you agree?

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Papier-Mache Decorated Eggs Housed in Pretty Easter Basket

When I was a young child there was nothing better than a good creative Easter competition (there still isn’t) I guess it’s just that bit more exciting as a child.

My primary school used to hold an egg decorating competition which I used to take part in with the help of my grandmother every single year without fail! I actually won 1 year with my entry of Humpty Dumpty and his wife. I decorated two hard-boiled eggs and made a pretty impressive wall with an inserted egg box that allowed my eggs to sit comfortably and steady.

My daughter attends the same primary school and I’ve been disappointed at the lack of creative Easter Competitions this year and last. However, there have been plenty online, plus we’ve been embarking on many creative projects in celebration for the coming Easter purely because we enjoy doing so!

This year with the help of my 9-year-old daughter we’ve made papier-mache decorated eggs and housed them in a beautiful hand decorated spring Easter basket.

What’s more this doesn’t require any blowing or boiling of eggs, but a little mess all the same.

Here’s what you need and how to complete each step

MAKING PAPIER MACHE EGGS

6 polystyrene eggs

Selection of pale coloured tissue paper

Mixture of 2 part PVA glue to 1 part water (this is instead of using flour to create papier-mache paste)

A bowl and old wooden spoon for mixing the Papier Mache mix

Tray to transfer Papier Mache paste

Paint brush (though not essential fingers do nicely)

Step 1) Find a flat surface to work on, laying down plenty of newspaper start by tearing (cut if you prefer) the sheets of tissue paper, once complete leave to one side for later.

2) In the mixing bowl, place 2 parts white PVA glue to 1 part water using the wooden spoon to mix.

3) Pour papier-mache paste into a tray, one that allows you and your child to coat the paper in the mixture without obstruction.

4) Take a polystyrene egg then chose some strips of tissue paper. You can cover the egg in a mixture of colours or just the one, we choose to do both. Coat the tissue paper in the papier-mache mix then lay it over the egg, smoothing it out as you go. Do this till the egg is covered and no polystyrene can be seen, then add a second layer. Do this for all six eggs.

If desired, you can use the paint brush to smooth the paper over the eggs, though fingers are fine if you don’t mind getting gooey.

5) Place your completed eggs somewhere to dry. Room temperature is efficient enough. We have a metal wire shelf which slots under any type of shelving. I placed this high up under some bedroom shelving and left to fully dry for a period of 24 hours.

Once dry they will look like something like those below.

DECORATING YOUR 6 PAPIER MACHE EGGS

We used lots of different bits and pieces as to decorate the eggs. As I was engaging in this particular activity with my daughter, this resulted in lots of glitter and sticky gem stones for us. Feel free to decorate in your own way. If you do chose to decorate your eggs like ours, then here’s a “How too” for the 6 eggs we decorated. Note… Each of our six finished eggs got their own style overhaul.

Here’s what we used.

Selection of different glitters (both coarse and fine)

Selection of gem pre-glued embellishments

Both thin and thick double-sided tape (as well as some pre-cut glue tabs)

Selection of flower and butterfly shapes (foam and card)

Coloured felt tips

Black Marker

Selection of beads and sequins

Some clear glue

Paint brush

Some of the glitter was more christmas than spring  in my opinion, but my daughter being the little girlie girl she is, insisted on the dark pinks.

GREEN GEM EGG

Step 1) For the green egg, you simply add a thin strip of double-sided tape around the centre of the egg, making sure you don’t overlap or join the tape. Leave a very slight gap, this will be covered up in step 3. Its important not to remove the outer protective strip on the tape till your tape is placed correctly and your happy with it. You also want to be sure that you have your chosen glitter sprinkled over some newspaper on a flat working surface.

Step 2) Once the tape is positioned correctly, peel off the outer protective strip and then roll the egg in some green tinted golden glitter. Press firmly making sure all the tape has collected the glitter, blow to remove any excess! Once complete this should resemble a glittery ribbon.

Step 3) Stick a pre-glued gem (we used a crystal type gem) to your egg, placing it where the slight gap was left when you added your double-sided tape.

That’s it you now have your first completed egg!

PINK AND BLUE GEM EGG

Step 1) Repeat steps 1-3 above, only this time role your egg in some course blue glitter. Do not add an embellishment at this stage.

Step 2) Next take the thick double-sided tape, which is much less fingers and thumbs than that of the thin tape we have been working with. Start in the middle at one end of the blue glitter strip wrapping the tape around the egg till it reaches the other side of the blue strip. There is no need for any gaps this time.

Step 3) If like us your thick double-sided tape is white rather than clear (as most tend to be) take a pink felt tip pen running it around the other edges of the tape so once covered in glitter no white will be visible from the side view of the egg.

Step 4) Sprinkle fine dark pink glitter over some newspaper and then roll your egg in different directions collecting the glitter as you go. Making sure there is no white tape visible.

Step 5) Add a large blue pre-glued heart where the tape meets to complete.

YELLOW 3D FLOWER EGG

Cut a double-sided sticky tab in half, adding it to the centre of the yellow egg.

Step 1) Take a plain foam medium-sized thin flower and stick it to the tab pressing firmly to insure it sticks.

Step 2) Then take you’re remaining half of sticky tab and cut in half again placing it in the middle of the foam flower.

Step 3) Take a thin card white glittery flower, the same size and shape as that of your foam flower and lay it on top, pressing firmly in the middle with your finger to ensure it sticks.

Step 4) Take a pale pink clear flower sequins and stick to the centre of the flower with clear glue.

Step 5) add a tiny pre-glued crystal style embellishment to the centre of the sequin to complete your egg.

MUTI-COLOURED BEADED EGG

This is a really funky and fun egg to make.

Step one) With your thick double-sided tape, tape around the centre of your multi-coloured egg, leaving no gap.

Step 2) go around the outer edges of tape with coloured felt tip pen as to hide the white sides of tape or these will be visible after the beads are added. We chose blue as this was one of the colours the egg had been covered in.

Step 3) Chose a mix of different size beads and sequins in an array of different colours and place to one side.

Step 4) Peel back a small section of tape, then stick beads and sequins to the tape in all different angles as to give an uneven texture. Continue slowly unreeling the tape and arranging the beads and sequins as you go till you have completed the whole process.

Step 5) Sprinkle chosen coloured glitter over the tape and beads as to fill any visible gaps, shake of excess glitter.

Step 6) With a paint brush cover the beads all the way around in a clear glue as to provide a seal. Leave to dry for 3-4 hours to complete.

MUTI-COLOURED GEM EGG

Step 1) This is the only step needed to decorate this egg, it’s a really simple and quick way to jazz up your eggs. Take some tiny heart gems in different colours (we used pink, blue and purple) stick them in different places all over the egg (making sure these are not to close to one another to complete)!

MUTI-COLOURED FLOWER AND BUTTERFLY EGG

Step 1) Cut 1 medium sticky double sided tab in half and half again.

Step 2) Stick the 4 pieces of the cut double-sided sticky tab to the front of the egg, placing one at the top, one in the middle and 2 either side do not remove outer protective cover at this stage.

Step 3) with a black marker draw round the outer sections of the sticky tabs in black pen, as shown in some of the other designs above.

Step 4) take one white glittery butterfly and stick this to the sticky tab in the centre of the egg once outer protective cover is removed .

Step 5) Remove all other protective covering from the remaining 3 sticky tabs and then take 3 black glittery flowers adding one to the top and the remaining 2 either side of the butterfly to complete your egg.

DECORATED EASTER BASKET

Now all your 6 eggs are decorated you’ll need somewhere to safely house them. A beautifully decorated Easter basket sounds like the perfect place, so here’s what you’ll need.

Woven Pretty Basket (we got a pretty multi-coloured basket from Poundland)

Around 2 and a 1/2 meters of yellow ribbon

A leaf template

3 sheets green card

Scissors

Pre-glued small crystal style gem embellishments

One small Easter Chicks (Poundworld £1 for a dozen)

2 white decorative bunnies (PoundLand £1 for a dozen)

Bag of yellow basket straw (this was the plastic type) you can however add some coloured paper to a shredder for the same effect.

Step 1) Take ribbon and cut a small section and put to one side (enough to tie a bow around centre of handle)

Step 2) With the remaining ribbon tie a bow at the bottom of the handle, secure with small piece of clear thin double-sided tap. Wrap the rest of the ribbon tightly around the handle ensuring it slightly over laps till you reach the opposite end. Finish by tying the remaining ribbon in a bow and securing with thin clear double-sided tape, as you did to start with.

Step 3) With the piece of ribbon you left to one side, now use it to tie a pretty ribbon in the centre of the decorated handle.

Step 4) Use your leaf template, drawing around it in pencil onto some green card. Cut these out, fold and score down the middle with blunt end of scissors, as to create a leaf effect. Add two tiny crystal style pre-glued gem embellishments to either side at top of the leaf. Make how many leafs you desire, we used 3. Once complete put to one side till later.

Step 5) Use a 1/4 of the basket straw or shred 3 sheets of yellow paper to cover the bottom of your basket . Tip, allowing strands to hang over the basket gives it a good messy effect.

Step 6) Take the leaves and add these around the sides of the basket as desired.

Step 7) Arrange your decorated eggs amongst the straw and leaves.

Step 8) to finish add your cute little chick and two white bunnies to the basket as desired, completing this enjoyable Easter project.

Hope you enjoyed and feel inspired to make your own papier-mache decorated eggs and Easter basket.

Creating your own Mother & Baby Gift Basket

As some of you may already know, my sister recently become a mother. In celebration of this very special occasion, I gave her a beautiful BabyBloom bouquet (see review here). As lovely as this was, and this was incredible beautiful, I still wanted to give her something else, something with my own personal to touch.

I’d been collecting odds and ends for my sister every time I hit the shops. These were just a collection of those little things from, sanitary towels, nipple pads, fragrant bath treats, to baby bath and lotions for the little one.

It was only when tossing them into a bag, ready to drop off, that I had the idea to create a mother and baby basket! How much nicer than a contemporary old bag, it would be the perfect gift with personal touches, from one sister to another, a perfect addition to her BabyBloom’s bouquet.

 I didn’t have to buy much before getting started! I already had the perfect basket, thanks to a blogging event I’d recently attended (this was filled with products that once removed, I had no use for)! All I really needed was some really pretty ribbon, blue to celebrate the pending birth of a very special little boy. I found the perfect baby blue and white spotty ribbon in a lovely privately owned craft shop in Hayes Kent, not far from were my eldest son attends school, plus one or two other treasures for any furture craft projects!

 Here’s the full list of items I used to create this Mother and Baby Basket…

1  large woven basket

5 meters of baby blue & white spotted ribbon 

Craft wire 

Selection of light and dark blue beads

Selection of Blue sequins

Section of clear beads

Few blue buttons

8 small cream craft flowers 

1 small white votive candle 

1 small glass clear votive holder 

1 medium white organza pull string bag

Selection of crystal style embellishments (mixed sizes)

1 felt embellishment (with the words it’s a Boy)

Thin clear double-sided tap

Scissors 

2 meters of light blue silk ribbon

Small bag of blue basket straw

1 sheet of baby blue tissue paper

small thin strips of blue crafting ribbon

1 small clear plastic wrapping ( you can use any other type of clear plastic covering or wrapping )

 Here’s how I put the above together to create the basket as shown below!

Step 1

I placed the blue straw in my basket spreading it evenly as to cover the whole inner bottom section.

Step 2

I used around 3 and a half meters, maybe a little more, of the Baby blue and white spotted ribbon for the basket handles. I cut off, around one and a half meters of ribbon and placed to one side. I then cut the remaining ribbon into two equal pieces. Then one handle at a time, I wrapped each handle in ribbon, simply by tying one end of ribbon into a bow, wrapping the remaining ribbon around the handle till I reached the opposite end, then finishing in another bow. I did the same action for both handles. 

Step 3

Taking some craft wire, twisting one end tight as not to let any beads fall, I began threading some of the mixed blue and clear beads before adding two sequins & then repeating the action a few more times before twisting the remaining end of wire tightly. I then took the finished wire and wove it through a small section on the top outer side of the basket. I repeated such action on the opposite side. Step 4

I then took my small cream flowers and attached 4 flowers per handle (2 on each end) I did this easily by looping the attached wire through the ends of the handle and twisting to secure in place. 

Step 5 

Taking my felt blue embellishment that reads “Its a Blue” and some of the remaining spotted blue and white ribbon (leaving enough for a few finishing touches) I looped it trough the embellishment, then placing the basket handles together, I tied the ribbon around both handles, making a bow, leaving the embellishment dangling slightly below. I then finished by sticking 4 sparkly pre sticky embellishments to the bow, and one to the felt blue embellishment.

Step 6

Taking the small glass votive candle holder and some thin blue craft ribbon, I measured the conference of the votive holder by wrapping the ribbon around the middle, making sure it slightly overlapped before cutting to size! I then did the same with some thin double-sided tape, placing the exposed sticky side to the glass and wrapping it around the middle section of the holder making sure it overlapped, as I had the craft ribbon. I then cut the tape to size (while still attached to votive holder) before removing the outer covering of the tap as to leave a thin clear stripe. I then took the craft ribbon that was measured and cut to size, and wrapped it around the votive holder pressing it firmly against the clear sticky stripe. I did the same process all over again as to create the pattern of a cross. To cover any connecting over lap, I used a medium-sized sparkle embellishment. Once complete, I placed the white votive into the newly decorated glass holder and wrapped in the clear plastic wrapping and then secured with a small piece of the left over baby blue and white spotted ribbon and some sparkle gems on the outer wrapping to finish.

Step 7     

I then took my white organza medium-sized tie string bag and placed a packet of beautiful Winnie the Pooh birth announcements id brought for my sister, inside, along with a few pinches of mixed blue sequins, before tying the bag shut. I then decorated the other section of the bag with the same sparkly pre sticky embellishments as those used on the bow and the votive holder. I did this by sticking them to the bag spaciously. To finish I tied it with the remaining baby blue and white spotted ribbon.

Step 8

To create a personalised tag I drew a circle by drawing around the bottom of a bottle onto some flexible white card, then using the scissors I cut it out! I then used a pencil and the same bottle to draw a circle of the same size carefully on the small piece of light blue tissue paper, and again cut this out. I then used the thin double-sided tap to sticki 4 pre measured strips to the cardboard circle (diagonally). Once complete I placed the tissue paper circle on top of the cardboard circle that I’d placed the strips of tape. This didn’t only help the tissue paper to stick but also created a really nice lined effect that was visible through the tissue paper. I then folded the tag in half and cut a small heart shape and opened back out. I then took some of the silk blue ribbon (cutting around a meter of for trimmings and finishes) looped it through the heart-shaped hole, and continued to do this over and over again till there is only a small bit of ribbon left (enough to tie to the basket or something within it). I stuck 2 flower style sequins to the label, placing 2 small sparkly gems on top of each sequin which was placed opposite to one another, plus 1 larger gem in the middle and two smaller ones on the ribbon itself. Lastly I finished by writing desired message.

Step 9 

I used some of the small blue buttons along with the remaining silk blue ribbon to create pretty finishing touches, by tying around some of the gifts to be placed within the basket, as I had with the baby blue and white spotty ribbon.

Step 10

Lastly, I arranged the items I had collected into the fully decorated basket.

Here’s some of what was included

For mum

Beauty samples of creams and lotions

sweetie bag

Nipple pads

Pads

Bath roses

Stick on Gel Nails

candle and votive holder

Baby announcement cards (as placed in organza bag)

Plus a whole host more

 For Baby

Johnson Baby lotion

Johnson Baby bath

Johnson Baby moisturiser

baby hat

Mittens

Tiny bright cot toy

Cuddly super soft cat

small baby boy frame

For a first time attempt, I’m pretty pleased with the results. The plan was to give my sister something that was tailored to her and her new baby, something that I’d spent time creating and putting together, something unique plus practical! 

I really do feel I achieved this! As easy as it would have been to purchase a mother and baby basket online, this wouldn’t have been as special as I would have liked! It really is satisfying to complete a project and gain the sought after reaction desired!

Yes, my sister loved it!