Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Basket Making 101
We need 14 baskets for Easter Sunday. I suppose we could have brought some home from the dollar store, or hooked pipe cleaners to the sides of margarine tubs. That would have worked. But those methods would not have satisfied a goal of guiding my three oldest grandchildren toward creating together as a team of cousins to build something nice from the ground up. They are ready to work side by side, enjoying the process, patiently waiting to complete the next step, anticipating the excitement of delivery day. On Easter morning, my little crew of eager bunnies will assemble to fill the baskets they made with paper grass, candy and small gifts. Once dinner is complete, they will distribute their own works of art, surprising and delighting everyone ranging from good old patriarch grandpa down to one-year-plus-one-day old Kaylee. I can't wait either!
We built our baskets in a familiar way, relying on paper mache to deliver the basic forms we needed: Turn generous sized soup bowls upside down, cover with aluminum foil and then three layers of newspaper strips dipped into a hand mixed flour and water paste. Allow them to dry for a day or two, then separate baskets from bowls.
Next, we paint. Each child chose family members and selected appropriate colors for inside and outside surfaces. Mixing white with any color makes a "tint," the pastel version of any primary or secondary choice - there's always a way to sneak in some art vocab learnin' when grandma's in charge of the show!
My favorite part was decorating. I cleaned out the aisles of three craft stores to present a dizzying array of cute self-adhesive goodies, and the kids were on their own, carefully matching their choices to the personalities of the recipients.
After decorations have been applied, punch two holes on each basket side near the top and thread 18" narrow ribbon lengths. These will knot around and hold ends of wide wired ribbon handles. Tie the narrow ribbon into bows to complete.
You are correct. The "less is more" trend has not caught on yet at grandma's crafty table!
Bree carefully made and decorated this one for her smallest cousin. Kaylee will find a bunny finger puppet, a toy duckie and a cute little pair of socks inside - along with some baby crackers that Grandma Bunny hasn't hopped out to purchase yet!
Nick, at left, puts finishing touches on mommy's basket. Sae is finishing up his own.
From the chatter I overheard at the crafting table, I know the cousins are more excited about giving, rather than receiving baskets. It was so sweet to watch the boys tenderly decorate for mommy and baby sisters, making sure each sported plenty of jewels, flowers, and pink paint!