Easter Baskets 2023
Along with most of our belongings, the children’s fabric easter baskets we made a few years back are packed up, buried somewhere in the depths of the shipping container, hidden under layers of books and games and spare blankets and three million crates of lego. For the last three easters, our tradition has instead become a morning of crafting and making, creating bags and baskets of a more ephemeral nature. As I planned for our fourth easter, and our final, in the cabin, I couldn’t bring myself to break with tradition, and so while we were over in the “big smoke”* at the end of last month, we hit up Spotlight**, and I let the children loose in the “50% off all Easter decorations” section.
(* I have been asked, over on instagram, if the big smoke is Sydney, or once, London. No, friends, out here in the sticks, the big smoke is the next town over with a slightly larger population but big enough that they have not only the children’s orthodontist, but a Kmart AND a Spotlight AND a bookshop. We’re fancy like that)
Of course, we couldn’t just have basic easter items, could we? So after being conned into also adding paint, stick on jewels & pearls, and pipe cleaners to the basket, we were off to Kmart in search of the perfect vessels to decorate. I had hoped to find some simple cardboard boxes, to do double duty – collect the eggs in and then stack neatly in the cupboard. It wasn’t to be, and in the end, we settled or a pack of bags that were supposed to look like bunny ears.
Good Friday was the best kind of cool and rainy day to light the fire, settle in, and craft alllll day long. I got stuck into Easter bingo, and the kids took over the floor to get their bags decorated. Or the three littles did, anyway.
With our four children spread over a 7 year age range, I’ve always needed to be involved to a certain extent, and quite often end up making the basket for the youngest when he failed to get his bag to behave and look like the idea he had in his head. This year, I was once again on bag making duty, but this one was a bit bittersweet – it was Bear, 16 and too cool for easter crafting, who resisted my invitations† to come and craft with everyone else.
(†by invitation, I mean I may or may not have suggested the easter bunny doesn’t come to people who don’t have pretty bags. Strangely enough he wasn’t buying it!)
In the end, I got to work, and created a design for my Cricut, based on a t-shirt I had made him previously. A watercolour splash, a smattering of stars**, and an Easter egg, cut from two different types of galaxy themed infusible ink**. It was my first time using infusible ink on paper, and I think it turned out kind of cool! I was dubious how it would work, since I was using just a regular household iron and not a proper heat press, but it did the trick, and even the teenager approved of the end result!
It was so fun watching their personalities come out through their bag crafting. Bear, at 16, obviously, starting to age out of the project. Boy2, 14, going for the minimalist look, sleek and not super Eastery but still enjoying the process of actually making a bag. Butterfly, a tween on the cusp on teenagehood, going for a mix of cute on the front and mature monochrome on the back. And Beetle, the baby at 9, going all in, throwing as many supplies at the bag as he can find room for, including a name tag for the character he decided the bag was, and don’t forget the bonus bunny heads (yes, plural).
It will be interesting to see next year, if we go back to proper fabric bags, or if the children insist on crafting their annual masterpieces.