Easter Baskets

With Easter around the corner, I decided to make Easter baskets for my grandsons this year.

Since I didn’t have a container the size or shape I wanted, I chose to make a resist using Rosiepink’s “How to Make Vessels with a Resist” ebook.

I wanted to put a different design on each side, but have both the same. A bunny on one side and a chick on the other.  Then I made a resist design on paper and cut a template from plastic flooring material.  After sketching out a design, I made some prefelts in colors I didn’t have because I decided it would be easier to control the small design pieces.

prefelt

I cut out the designs from the prefelt and needle felted them together using yarn to decorate the eggs.  I used an extra white layer underneath the bunnies because I didn’t want the background colors coming through after fulling.  I also used another layer under the bottom of the eggs to level them out.  Before laying out on the resist:

chick and bunny

At the last minute I changed the position of the eggs making them vertical instead of horizontal.  When I put the designs on the resist they were too tall!  Back to the drawing board to make a bigger resist.  I added another two inches in height to accommodate the height and shrinkage.

Since they are baskets, I wanted to make them look like it.   So, I alternated background colors on the first layer.  It got tricky on the second layer because the roving was laid out perpendicular and the colors didn’t match because of the staple length.  I found the sparse spots and filled in those colors first then proceeded with the second layer design careful to alternate the side colors as well. I used four layers total one side at a time.

First layer

First layer

 

After I finished felting, fulling and shaping, I noticed my bunny and chick designs were too low.  I’m sure the kids won’t care, but I’ll know better next time.  I was very pleased with the final result.  Although, the bunnies need some whiskers. Any suggestions?

easter baskets 2

To finish it off, I made basket handles by braiding roving, then felting and fulling them.  I also used Zed’s “Polymer  Clay Simply Made” ebook to make “egg” buttons. That was fun, too.  I still have to put them together.  The handles are soft which was intentional so that we could easily pack them and use the buttons to remove the handles.

What spring or Easter projects are you working on?

Thanks to Lyn and Zed for creating such easy to follow tutorials!

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26 Responses to Easter Baskets

  1. Lyn says:

    They will love them!
    I like the basket effect with the two colours and the pre-felts are gorgeous. Whiskers are easy to do with a needle and thread – long simple stitches, like Annie did on Squidgel http://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/2014/03/a-peacock-a-squirrel-some-flowers-the-joy-of-scraps-and-a-massive-pain-in-the-butt.html, and they needn’t show on the inside because you can guide the needle through the middle of the felt.
    I really like the egg buttons – it’s such detail that makes the difference.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Lyn! That’s a great idea for the whiskers. I didn’t want anything protruding because, well, little boys like to take things apart. I just hope they don’t think the buttons are candy. 🙂 I really enjoyed the tutorial and learned a couple of new techniques!

  2. luvswool says:

    Marilyn, now that was a lot of hard work! You really pulled out all the stops on the Easter baskets, from handmade buttons to needle-felted Easter designs. Your grandsons may not realize the effort involved but are sure to treasure these gifts, which are destined to be heirlooms.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Cathy! I hope they will treasure them when they are old enough to understand. It was work of love. I really enjoyed the whole process. It was a technical challenge for me, but it worked out well. I have a tendency never to make things easy for myself. 🙂

  3. Marilyn,
    These are truly lovely baskets. I have not done anything like this so I enjoyed reading about your process. Now I’m thinking about what I might do for an Easter project. Do you mind if I ask what type of fiber you used to make this so durable, and how many layers?

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Josephine! As you’ll see from my comments above, I haven’t done anything like this before either. I used merino for everything other than the yarn which was actually worsted wool I pulled apart into thinner strands. I used four layers on each side. I think if I were to do this again, I might use prefelt for the two inner layers and possibly cheesecloth to make it a little stronger. I hope you try it and post pictures on the forum for us.

  4. ruthlane says:

    What a lovely Easter gift! I’m sure that they will love them now and in the future. I would go with the hand stitched whiskers as well. It will only take a minute or two and they won’t pull out easily. I haven’t done anything in particular for spring or Easter this year. But your baskets are inspiring me!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Ruth! I will do the hand stitched whiskers. I’ll post new pics on the forum when I get them finished. I look forward to seeing your spring inspired work!

  5. Teri Berry says:

    Great idea Marilyn, I love the checker-board / basket-weave effect

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Teri! It was that or trying to actually weave then felt a basket. :-0

  6. Great baskets Marilyn, I am sure they will love them. you could needle felt some whiskers if sewing isn’t what you want to do. you could use yarn and needle felt their names or initials over the chicks if you want to fill in the space.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Ann! I’ll try the sewing but will keep the needle felting in mind. I didn’t think I could get a thin enough piece of felt to do that. The names or initials is a nice idea. I guess I was so focused on getting it done in time I didn’t think about personalizing them. 🙂

  7. zedster66 says:

    They turned out really lovely, Marilyn 🙂
    They look like they’ll last for years unlike a lot of the Easter/Spring tat I’ve been seeing in shops lately. I like Annie’s whisker’s too.

  8. How sweet these are. And they can be saved as heirloom pieces in years to come. I still have some of my grandmother’s crochet baskets. But you have to starch them with heavy starch to make them stand up now. She used sugar as a starch for extra stiffness. The wool will hold up much better.

  9. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Judy! I have a lot of different crochet items, nothing like a basket though, from my aunts and they always bring back sweet memories. I’m hoping the boys will pass these down as well. I never heard if using sugar as starch. I learned something new!

  10. Leonor says:

    They look really nice, Marilyn! Kudos for your patience to make the little squares, they are perfect (mine would have turned out completely wrong, haha).

    As for whiskers… ever considered horse hair?

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Leonor! I wasn’t sure how the squares would turn out. Yes, patience. I usually don’t have a lot of that, but for those little guys it’s a different story. :-). I thought of something stiff for the whiskers, but if it sticks out it will be gone. They are curious and like to take things apart. I’m sure if you tried it, it would have turned out fine.

    • Leonor says:

      I hadn’t thought about handling, you’re right… I usually make things to be collector’s items, so you usually keep those away from little hands 🙂
      How about nylon thread, like the kind used for fishing? All you’d need would be a drop of super glue, then a needle and voilá!

  11. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Leonor. I hadn’t thought about fishing line. I’ll have to raid my husbands tackle box and see what’s there and give it a try.

  12. Marilyn these are so sweet! What a thoughtful gift for your grandchildren.

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