Here are 2 fun little craft projects you can do with your kids in preparation for Easter! They are great for kids to practice their manual dexterity.
Note: these are small, lightweight baskets that are more suitable for a gift presentation or for decoration, rather than for egg hunting.
Difficulty level: easy peasy. The idea for this basket came from Amy Dacyczyn’s Complete Tightwad Gazette.
Depending upon their ages, your kids can help construct the basket or decorate it with stickers.
For each basket, you will need:
- 3-4 paper lunch bags (I used white, but you could use the brown ones)
- scissors or paper cutter
- stickers (optional)
Note: You could make a much larger, sturdier basket using this same technique with brown paper grocery bags.
- Take one paper bag and open it. Roll down the top edge about a 1/2” or more and crease it. Make it smaller than you think you want it (it’s going to get bigger as you continue). If it tears a little, it doesn’t matter.
- Fold it down again and crease. Repeat until the bottom of the roll is about flush with the bottom of the bag.
- Open your second bag INSIDE of the first one. Gently push down the bottom so it is snuggly inside.
- Roll down the second bag like the first one until the bottom of the roll about meets the top of the roll from the first bag. It doesn’t need to be perfect. My basket is only 2 rolls high, you can repeat this step with another bag if you’d like a higher basket.
- Take a bag and cut the bottom off with scissors or a paper cutter. Cut it along the seam. You’ll have a big rectangle of paper bag.
- Make a 1/2”- 1” fold along one long edge and crease. Continue to roll and crease along the fold until you have one long, flat tube.
- Tuck each end of the tube between the top 2 rolls of your basket and staple in place (the pointy bits of the staples should be between the two layers so little ones won’t get jabbed).
- Apply stickers and add a small gift (don’t forget to enter my VTech giveaway here---ends 4/25).
The difficulty level is higher on this one and I would recommend it for older kids---maybe 9 and up. But if you’ve done any real basket weaving, this will be easy. You can use this technique to make placemats (making the sides of the baskets is a little tricky).
For one basket, you will need:
- 3-4 sheets of 9” x 12” construction paper cut into 1/2” lengthwise strips (3 will do it, but use 4 or more if you want more colors)
- clear tape
- Line up 9 strips parallel to each other.
- Take another strip and weave it across the 1st 9 strips at the center. Tip: Place your non-dominate hand on one end of the 9 strips to keep them in place. Don’t worry if they get a little wonky---you’ll be able to straighten them out as you add more strips.
- Pick up another strip and weave it next to that strip, taking care to alternate. Push it up snug against its neighbor.
- Weave another strip on the other side of the first one.
- Continue to do this until you have woven 9 strips across. Make sure all your strips are snug against each other. You could stop here and just make a “trivet” or weave some more strips to make a placemat. You would just trim and fold down the ends and tape them in place. Otherwise, continue onto the next step to make a basket.
- Fold up and crease the ends of all the strips close to your weaving.
- pick up a paper strip. Place the end behind a “spoke” that was previously woven in front of (if the outside of the basket were facing you---it was easier to show what I mean from the inside). You can use a tiny bit of tape to hold it in place.
- Weave around (to the right if you are right handed, or to the left if you are left handed). When you come to the corner, crease the strip and continue around. Your strip will go about halfway around.
- Pick up a 2nd strip and overlap it with the previous one. Use a little tape to hold it in place. Continue to weave around until you meet up with the beginning of your round, creasing at the corners.
- Overlap with the beginning and tape in place, trim it if you need to.
- When you begin your next row, you want to start on a different side so all your seams won’t be in the same place. Make sure you are alternating---so weave over where you weaved under on the previous row.
- Continue to weave rows until the basket is as high as you want, but leave about 1/2” or so of your “spokes” unwoven.
- Fold down your spokes to the inside of your basket that are on the outside of the top row and tape them in place. If they are long enough, you can weave them in and then tape them.
- Trim off the other spokes flush with the top.
- Make your handle: I used 3 strips stapled together on the ends. Then I wove the ends into the basket and taped them in place.
Enjoy crafting with your kids!
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