Let’s face it, when it comes to Easter baskets, kids are mainly it in for the chocolate bunnies. My kids were no different, but I loved creating beautiful and appealing Easter tableaux for them when they came downstairs to see what the Easter Bunny brought. Each year I spent weeks before Easter searching for fabulous basket booty. I always tried to fill their baskets with the cutest Easter trinkets I could find, including stuffed toys, fun little games, coloring books, and of course, lots of brightly colored foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and bunnies.
In addition to the basket of goodies, I usually included a larger stuffed bunny. This “Bunnies By The Bay” Dutch Girl Rabbit I purchased from Hallmark years ago for one of my girls. I love all the details of her costume from the embroidery on her organza Dutch cap to the adorable polka dots on her wooden shoes.
As for the basket, I made “bow baskets” like this one for both of my kids when they were little using a fabric stiffener that Plaid Enterprises unfortunately named “Stiffy.” It is a liquid glue-like substance that, when applied to fabric, will harden and allow the material to be molded into various shapes. Back in the early nineties, Avis Everett, an Atlanta decorator came up with the idea of using this goop to make decorator baskets topped with extravagant “Stiffy Bows.” Everett wrote several booklets for Plaid, detailing how to make these baskets that she prudently called “Bow Dazzlers.” I don’t believe these booklets are still in print, but if you are interested in the technique, they are still available from third party sellers on Amazon.
In addition to creating the bow, I also found novelty fabric that had various Easter motifs which I cut out and then decoupaged to the sides of the basket with Modge Podge. If you press the cut-outs into the wicker with a sponge, the fabric will mold to the basket, and when they dry, they will appear to be painted on.
This Easter Basket tableau brings back all the wonderful memories of Easter mornings when my kids were young. I loved dressing my girls in adorable matching outfits and Easter bonnets. We dyed dozens of eggs and staged wide-ranging Easter Egg Hunts. My husband always hid a gold colored egg and offered a substantial cash prize (a fifty cent piece) to the child who discovered its whereabouts. And I remember that we learned the hard way to hide real eggs outside when we lost an egg in the house one year, only locating it after it started to stink to the high heaven.
I hope my bunny and basket inspires you to create a magical Easter for your kids. They grow up so fast, and we have to treasure every special moment.
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