Paper Mache Easter Basket Projects

Paper Mache is a versatile and easy to do craft.  Best of all you do not need extensive craft skills or expensive materials in order to do it.  You can use Paper Mache in a variety of ways including making an Easter basket.  While it can be a messy project (especially if kids are helping) making your own Paper Mache Easter basket is a great way to welcome the arrival of spring.  Here is how you make Paper Mache Easter baskets-
What you will need:
  • Balloon or plastic milk jug
  • Liquid starch
  • Newspaper, torn or cut into 2 to 3 inch strips
  • Poster board
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Craft paint brushes
Instructions for the project: Carefully cut the top of a milk jug off just below the handle so that you have the rounded bottom remaining.  This is best done by an adult.  This will be the form for your Paper Mache Easter basket.  It works best to lay a plastic tablecloth or drop cloth on your work surface to simplify clean up. It is important to keep in mind that liquid starch can be quite messy and difficult to remove when hardened.  Cut several newspaper strips into pieces that are about 4 to 6 inches long. Keep in mind that you will need a lot of newspaper.  It should be enough to cover your basket with two to three layers of Paper Mache. Pour liquid starch into plastic bowl or bucket and make sure it is large enough to reach in and dip newspaper strips.  Carefully dip the newspaper strips in the liquid starch and hold them over the bowl to let excess starch drip off. Gently press the strips onto the milk jug, overlapping them slightly. You will need to continue until you have covered the jug bottom with one layer of newspaper. Turn the milk jug upside down and allow the first layer to dry for at least 12 to 24 hours before applying the second layer. After that is dry repeat the process for third layer. Carefully pull the dry, formed Paper Mache off of the milk jug bottom. To make a handle for your basket, you will need to cut a strip of poster board and staple it to either side of the basket. You can then paint the basket and handle with acrylic craft paints. Be sure to coat the basket inside and out with at least two coats to ensure even coverage. You can then fill your basket with Easter grass, chocolate bunnies and selected novelties after the paint dries.
Easter egg Basket-This is a simple variation on the Paper Mache technique described above.
You will need:
  • Oval Balloon
  • Heavy White paper towels (cut or torn into small pieces)
  • Paper Mache Paste
  • Sharp knife
  • Construction paper or paints
  • Easter grass
  • Easter goodies
Instructions for the project: Mix up the Paper Mache paste according to the instructions. Blow up balloon and tie a knot in it. You may want to consider covering your work area with newspaper since this can be a messy project.  Begin by dipping heavy paper towels into paste and wringing off excess. Carefully place over balloon letting each layer dry. You will want to use about three layers and then pop the balloon. Using a sharp knife carefully cut an opening in the side of your egg. Be sure to take out any remaining balloon fragments.  To finish the egg basket use another layer of Paper Mache to cover the hole in the top where the knot was and use it to smooth the edges where you cut the hole. When the egg is completely dry you may paint or use construction paper to cover it with another layer of the paste/paper mixture. When the paint or final layer of covered paper is completely dry, fill with grass and treats just as you would any basket.

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