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Easter (inspired) Basket

Contest Photo by: nmerenda
Lancaster, PA
Category: Decoration

Description

I have created an Easter (inspired) basket. My family and I have been trying to find where we can "reduce, reuse, recycle". We have already noticed a huge difference in our outgoing trash each week. I recently noticed how many bags of coffee we place in the trash. I started to wonder if there was a place to recycle these bags. As the Easter holiday approached, I noticed the ad for this recycled craft contest. I really wanted to enter...but the question was...what??? As these two "dilemmas" - could we recycle our coffee bags and what can I enter in this contest - circled in my brain, I think they clashed while holding a particularly "pretty" bag of coffee beans. Please see the result.

Materials

- 1 (empty) container of ice cream
- 3 (empty) coffee bags (same brand, flavor)
- 3 sheets of paper, information notices my daughter brought home from school that were going in the recycle container
- Modge Podge, used in many of our home projects
- glue + glue gun, probably from college projects(!)
- gold paint, dug out of the paint bin from a previous project
- sponge brush to apply paint, used over and over again
- paper cutter

How to Make

  • Carefully open and wipe out coffee bags. The first step is to determine the design of the basket weave which depends on the brand/type of coffee bags used. Two things needed to be taken into consideration: the length/width of the bag and the color scheme of the bag. I used Folgers Gourmet (Hazelnut Crème). I decided to cut the strips for the basket weave from the top of the bag to the bottom of the bag. The length of the bag, top to bottom, easily covered one half of the container.

  • Once the design is determined, cut the 3 coffee bags into 1/4" strips, from top to bottom as previously determined. Next, measure the height of the ice cream container. Line up a row of coffee bag strips (all orange on the left side), one or two lengths taller than the height of the ice cream container. Tape down the one side of the row of strips. Start weaving columns of the coffee bag strips in and out of the taped down rows of coffee bag strips, forming a basket weave pattern (silver end of strips woven into the orange section, or orange end into the silver end of the strip). (See photo example. I used 2 different color scrap papers to show this example.) The finished weave should be lined up at the bottome and formed into a tight and neat weave. This may require continual sliding and manipulating. Set this section aside. Repeat process to create another section of the weave for the other side of the container.

  • Paint Modge Podge (MP) on one side of the ice cream container. Overlay one section of the weave onto the Modge Podge container, painting more over top of the applied weave. Work the weave over the MP slowly and carefully to get it to smooth into place and adhere properly. Be especially careful with the ends. Repeat process with the second section of the basket weave on the other side of the container. After the MP is completely dry, trip basket weave to the container. At the top, trim the strips to be tucked under the lip of the container. Use the glue/glue gun to adhere any loose strip ends anywhere on the container.

  • Paint the container lip and inside of the container with the gold paint. This step could occur before the basket weave is applied; however, the MP can leave some clumps that may need to be scraped off (therefore scraping the paint). For the handle, use the ice cream container lid. Using scissors and an exacto, cut out the cardboard center, leaving the plastic rim. Place the rim inside the container (perpendicular to its original placement) to determine the approximate height/length that the handle should be. Cut the rim (into a u-shape) to create the handle. Paint the handle with the gold paint, same as used inside the container/basket. Hot glue the handle in place.

  • For the "grass" - cut paper into (no more than) 1/8" strips. Gather all of the strips together. Fold the paper in half 2-3 times then crush it into a ball. This helps the paper get the "Easter grass" characteristic.

  • Tips for Taking a Great Photo:
    • Avoid clutter. Keep the background simple -- your gingerbread house or holiday cookie is the star!
    • Daytime, natural light is best. If your area is bright enough, try taking the photo without the flash.
    • Upload a horizontal photo. If you crop the image on your computer, make sure you keep a landscape 4:3 aspect ratio.
    • For best results, make your image 1200x900 (or "save for web").
    • With a digital camera, you can take as many photos as possible and choose the best one. Have fun!