Apr 1, 2009

Kid Crafted Easter Egg Baskets

With the help of an adult that is.

We made these baskets 4 years ago. They've held up pretty well. We store them in paper ream boxes, 1 per box.

While we all treasure them now that they are done......it wasn't exactly an ideal project for kids of 5 and 7....at least until we got past pasting the plaster strips onto the balloons. I would now recommend that the parents of younger children apply the plaster strips alone when the children are in bed, allow to dry, and introduce this project to the kids the following day at the paint and decorate stage.

It was very messy. My daughter was about 5 years old and my son about 7. We had a balloon pop during application of the plaster strips.....plaster flew everywhere, but she also got upset enough to cry. She takes it as a personal insult almost if things don't go just so or as planned (we're always working on this.) My son thought it was hilarious. The kids could not do this stage alone, and even though they are 11 and 9 today, I still wouldn't be too far away.

The up sides are the pride they feel each year they see their basket, the baskets hold a ton of "stuff," and are more accommodating to holding toys and larger chocolate bunnies.

If you're up for to the challenge, then go for it. Here is what you will need with instructions:

*2-3 Pkgs. of Plaster Gauze Strips (like these)

*A balloon of an appropriate size (we chose extra-large from a party supply store) that will resemble an egg shape when inflated.

*Craft paints and decorative accessories of any kind. Get creative!

*A place to hang your balloon for drying purposes. String and hangers, nail/hook in garage, etc.

*A razor blade/wallpaper cutter (similar to this)

*Masking tape to cover the balloon exit hole.


Inflate your balloon to the size you desire. Follow package instructions on plaster gauze strip packaging to prepare the strips appropriately. Place the strips in one direction completely covering the balloon, leaving a small circle at the narrow end allowing the tail of the balloon (where tied) to hang out so you can deflate the balloon and remove it later. Then go back and place more strips in the opposite direction for reinforcement purposes. Smooth out with your hands as necessary to achieve the desired smoothness. Allow to dry according to package instructions or when you feel the plaster has properly cured. (Wait until after the children have decorated their Easter Egg Baskets before popping the balloon. This just allows for more resistance against the weight of their decorating activities. )Remember! Once the children are near complete with embellishing their creations, cover the small opening where the tail of the balloon was hanging out with some scotch tape and have the children paint over this before putting your supplies away.

Once dry, pop the balloon within and remove through the small opening you have left. You can wait until after the following step to remove it, but you will want to pop it first. Now you can cut around the egg in a jagged fashion with the razor blade mimicking a cracked egg pattern. Fill with Easter grass and goodies. Enjoy!

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