When my children were little, we loved to come up with fun, handcrafted gifts for the grandparents. A decorative Easter basket was just one of the many ideas we came up with. Today we’re going to learn how to make an alternative to the Easter basket—a decorative Easter gift box. It’s perfect for children of all ages because it can be tailored to meet each child’s individual attention span and skill level. The older the child, the more detailed the Easter box becomes. The younger the child, the simpler the box can be.
Just decorate, let dry, then fill with grandma’s (or pa’s) favorite candies!
1 – 6″ Round Paper Mache Box by Darice (Paper Mache Box Set Item 2849-13)
1 – Set of Acrylic Paints by Studio 71: Titanium white, Cad Yellow Med Hue, Hooker’s green, Pthalo Green, Primary Magenta (24 Piece Paint Set Item 97848)
4 – 1.5″ Flocked Pastel Rabbits by Craft Designer (Item 16535)
1 – Preserved Sheet Moss by SuperMoss (Item FS21509)
1 – 8×8 Non-stick Glue Pad by Darice (Item 1157-84)
1 – 6″ Glue Gun by Darice (Item 10759)
4 – Glue Sticks (Item 1116-03)
1 – 3 mm Tulip Embossing Stencil by Darice (Item 1195-57)
1 – Sponge Brush (Multi-purpose Value Pack Item SB9561)
1 – Thin tipped paint brush (Multi-purpose Value Pack Item SB9561)
1 – Small, square tipped paint brush (Multi-purpose Value Pack Item SB9561)
- Use a sponge to paint the Paper Mache box with two coats of Titanium White acrylic paint. Since the box has a porous surface, it will absorb any paint you use. By painting the surface with the white first, you build up a protective layer that will allow the true colors of the colored paint to show.
- While the white is still wet, squeeze a small amount of Hooker’s Green onto the outer part of the lid, and spread with the sponge until the entire surface (top and sides) is covered. By using the same sponge you used to paint the white, and by painting the surface while it’s still wet, you’re blending the two colors, creating a softer, more “Eastery” green.
- Do the same thing to the bottom of the box. If you notice that parts of the box has too much green, dab on a little Titanium white. If you find you are getting white streaks, dab on a little Hunter’s green.
- Allow to dry.
- While the box is drying, wash the paint out of the sponge brush, then squeeze the sponge dry with a paper towel.
- Once dried, paint the inside of the lid and the bottom of the box with Cad Yellow Med Hue. You’ll notice that this paint is a little transparent. You can continue to build up the yellow color by painting the surface, allowing to dry, and then repainting the surface until you reach the depth of yellow you like. Or, you can paint two coats of yellow and allow the darkness of the paper mache’d box to come through—thus giving it an aged feel.
- Use the tulip stencil to paint two tulips inside the box. The easiest way to paint the tulips is to grab a little painter’s tape to hold down the stencil. Or, if you’re impatient like me, just hold the top and bottom corner of the stencil with a finger and a thumb.
- Use a small brush to dab Primary Magenta onto the tulip and Pthalo Green on the stems, then gently remove the stencil and let dry before painting the second tulip.
- Once both tulips have dried, dry brush Hunter’s Green on top of the stems of both tulips.
- Turn on the hot glue gun.
- While the tulips dry, and the hot glue gun warms up, rip up some of the sheet moss.
- Place hot glue on top of the lid, then working in small sections, glue down the moss.
- Once the lid is covered with moss, hot glue rabbits to the moss.
(This is where you can get creative with older kids — they can build a fence around the rabbits, include miniature eggs and ducks, or create an entire Easter scene with miniatures.)
- Fill the box with the recipient’s favorite candies, place lid on top, and Voila! You’ve just created a fun and unique Easter gift for someone special.
On the finished product, you’ll notice some very festive items popping out of the moss, I used Smooth ‘N Melty Petite Mints by Guittard. In place of the mints, you can use miniature jelly beans, a tiny train set, or even puff paint (or icing) to spell out a message or name.