Due to some unforeseen financial set backs over the last three months (2 major plumbing repairs that required a plumber, 2 semi major car repairs that required a mechanic, and 1 major knee cap repair that required a surgeon) we are currently sucking up our budget so that we can pay off doctor bills and replenish the emergency fund that we drained to pay for all the unexpected repairs (when it rains it pours at my house!). With Easter quickly approaching I have been racking my brain for the cheapest way to celebrate. With four kids, filling Easter baskets can quickly spiral out of control! This year I bought some candy in the bulk section of our local grocery store. I found darling Easter ziploc bags at the Dollar Tree that I am going to fill with the candy, and place in their baskets. I am also going to whip up a batch of Froot Loop candy (basically 2 cups white chocolate chips melted. Mix in 2 - 3 cups of Froot Loops. Grease a tablespoon, the kind you eat with not measure with, and use the spoon to drop rounded spoonfuls unto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Let cool completely and store in a ziploc bag. My kids love these and devour them every Christmas when my mom brings them to Christmas dinner), and I am going to also bake and decorate sugar cookies to replace the chocolate rabbit ( I just discovered a chocolate rabbit from last year that one of the children shoved in the back of the freezer, so I don't think they will be missed).
My biggest problem was that I could not find our Easter baskets (I think they were ruined in the basement flood - hence, plumbing repair #2, and thrown away). I did not want to go buy new ones, and all my wicker baskets are currently in use. I was pondering a cheap alternative Saturday while I was washing strawberries to dip when I looked down at the plastic container that I had just emptied and thought here was my answer! It was the perfect size, sturdy, there were four of them (just the number I needed), and best of all; they were FREE! I dug through my gift wrap drawer and found some tissue paper and ribbon, and this is what I created:
1. I started with an empty strawberry container, tissue paper, and curly ribbon.
2. I cut the lid off of the container (make sure there are no sharp edges).
3. Next, I taped the ribbon around the container with clear tape. Tie the ends together in a knot. Curl a second piece of ribbon about 18 inches long with a pair of sharp scissors. Fold into fourths. Tie securely with the end pieces of ribbon on the basket. Curl the ends.
4. Place a piece of colorful tissue paper or Easter grass in the basket. Now it is ready to fill with Easter treats.
I am going decorate each basket with a different color ribbon and tissue paper so that each child can identify their basket (and hopefully to avoid any fights over who ate whose candy!). My baskets are pretty plain because I was using up odds and ends around the house (WNWN!), but the skies the limit. The Dollar Tree has all sorts of cute ribbon, tissue paper, scrapbook paper, and Easter decorations that could be used. You could also decorate empty ice cream buckets, shoe boxes, brown paper grocery bags, or small plain colored gift bags (2 for a $1 at the Dollar Tree). Let your kids decorate their own baskets for a fun weekend craft project!