Egg-cellent

This year I really, really don’t want to dye Easter eggs. So we’re not going to. We’re going to decorate easter egg boxes. I made this lemon box last year for a friend and loved the possibilities. For this project I’ve simplified the process and put my handy-dandy cutter to use. I created a nesting box template and an egg shape for the top/bottom [think heart shaped boxes of chocolates]. Now, to all of those lacking in the electronic cutter department, please don’t tune me out quite yet. While it’s nice to have an electronic cutter for any project, it is, by no means, necessary for this one. The template is simple and straight forward, and the project is just as easily accomplished with the printed PDF template and a pair of scissors.

For the boxes I wanted a heavier material that would stand up to my kids, so I picked up some shirt boxes at Target. Unfortunately, the Silhouette doesn’t play well with such heavy materials. I fussed and tinkered and cursed before resigning myself to the fact that if I wanted the machine to do all of the cutting and scoring I would have to use standard cardstock. I shouldn’t whine about it. They turned out awesome anyway. If I do say so myself. Here’s how we did it…

Eggcellent Egg Box at Purdue Avenue

1.  Using the Egg-cellent Egg Box Template and heavy cardstock cut one each of the top + bottom and two of the egg shape. Also cut two egg shapes from your paper of choice for decorating. I liked using a second egg because it made the box feel more substantial. 

2.  Glue the cardstock and paper eggs wrong sides together for thickness but don’t attach them to the box quite yet.

PurdueAve_Egg-cellent1

PurdueAve_Egg-cellent43.  Decorate the eggs in any way you would like. We tried a few different things: watercolor, colored pencils, patterned paper, solid paper with patterned paper polka-dots/zig-zags/stripes. We like it all. Please note that if you are using any 3-D objects do not attach them yet. This step is for flat paper application only. We just used glue sticks, but mod-podge would work as well.

4.  Assemble the box by folding along the score lines and gluing the tabs to the inside of the box. I tried this with a permanent glue stick and it worked fine, but I did have to use paper clips to hold the sides while the glue dried. In the end I used my hot glue gun. I much prefer the hot glue gun. I did not try my tape runner.

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5.  Mark the desired position of the box on the back of the eggs and attach the egg shaped tops and bottoms to the corresponding piece of the box.

Eggcellent Egg Box at Purdue Avenue

6.  Attach any 3-D objects [optional].

7.  Fill the box with whatever your heart desires. Me? I love Cadbury Mini Eggs. And I’ve just been introduced to Laffy-Taffy jelly beans and, though I’m really a chocolate girl, I think they’re pretty good as well.

So that’s it. Awesome, gift-able eggs that are fun, easy to make, and 100% customizable.

The template kit includes Egg-cellent Egg Box Template in PDF/SVG/ PNG formats. The finished size of the box portion is 3 x 5. However, the template can be enlarged or shrunken as desired. We did some 3 x 5 and some 2 x 3. If you choose to adjust the sizes just be sure to adjust all the pieces accordingly.

ps. This week only the template kit is free. Get it here. Happy Easter!

pps. For those using the Silhouette and really wanting to use the heavier shirt box, it will work with a few alterations. For whatever reason, the machine had problems with the score lines. To bypass this problem simply un-group the lines on the box templates and  remove the score lines. Set the blade to 10 and the thickness to 33. It’s possible I need a new blade, but I had to go over it four times. To do this, make a copy of the template by holding down ctrl and clicking [cmd+click on a mac] on the portion of the template you want to duplicate. This will make a copy directly over the original and will tell the machine to cut it twice. In the cut settings choose the double cut option to make two more cuts, bringing the overall total to four cuts. And, like I said, it’s possible I just need a new blade, so I would do a test cut first to see if just two cuts will work. After cutting the box shape, score the fold lines with a bone folder or whatever tool you prefer. I used the edge of a spool of thread because it was right here. Anything will work. Assemble as instructed above.

Bring the Outdoors Inside This Spring by Forcing Bulbs Indoors

I live in Arizona – so spring began about a month ago…and I LOVE IT!!  I love Spring.  Easter for me rivals Christmas as one of my favorite holidays.  Everything about spring screams new life and the resurrection.  The bulbs that you planted last year and then they died away, come back to life just in time to remind us of the resurrection of our Savior.  So, as I see all of the bulbs and tubers that I’ve planted in the yard start to bloom at this time of year, I find myself wishing I could see more of it indoors.  This is why, when I decorate for Easter, I’m really just trying to bring my garden indoors.  It makes sense.  It reminds me of the reason we are celebrating Easter, much more than the Easter Bunny does.

So, I thought with this post that I would show you some of the ways that I bring the outdoors in as I decorate my home for this very important holiday….

Obviously, you’ll want to bring in pictures of Christ – I especially love this one – it shows his tender side.  The white tulips and ranunculus remind me of His perfection and eggs are definitely Easter friendly decor.  I just stuck the arrangements and nest formed out of dried grass into some milk glass vases that I found at goodwill.

pictures-of-christ

My local grocery store sells these pots of adorable mini daffodils.

Daffodils

I can’t help but put them in my basket.  Last year I bought several pots of them.  Because they’re not cheap, I knew that I couldn’t do that EVERY YEAR…so after they died away last year, I saved the bulbs by wrapping them in newspaper, and storing them in the fridge.  (Much to my hubby’s dismay)  About a month ago – I pulled them out to force them to bloom indoors…

Enter my project for today:

Finished-Planter

You can use any bulbs – I just happened to use the ones that I’ve had in my fridge from last year…

So to make this fun project you will need:

Container of your choice.  I had this one hanging around…make sure that it’s cleaned and washed.

Choose-your-planter

Fill it with potting soil to about 5 inches below the rim of the pot and water the soil well.  I poke holes in the soil before I water so that it absorbs below the top layer well.

Then layer in your bulbs or tubers – I pack mine in pretty tight. If you use different varieties they will bloom at different times, making the show last a little longer ;0)

Lay-out-the-bulbs

Cover with another few inches of potting soil

Then top with grass seeds or moss

Spread-the-Grass-Seed

Add another thin layer of potting soil and water well.  Don’t flood it, just a nice slow watering (placing a bunch of ice cubes on top and letting them melt slowly is my method of choice)

Once you have it nice and wet, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm, sunny spot in your house. (or take it outside until it blooms)

**Normally I use a plastic grocery bag, but this pot was a little too big for that…

Cover-with-Plastic

Then wait about a week or 2 and your little indoor garden will start to grow.

If you feel like you don’t have much of a green thumb, and would like something like this for a centerpiece at your Easter dinner – you can do the same thing without the wait!  Just go to your local nursery (Lowe’s is my favorite because they guarantee their plants) and get some Moss {I used Irish Moss in this arrangement} and some bulbs that have already bloomed.  **Choose a plant that still has some buds ready to open to enjoy the arrangement longer.

Take the bulbs – roots and all (don’t worry about breaking them – they’ll recover) – out of the soil that they are packed in and place them randomly around the planter area.  Then fill in with the moss and soil from the pots.

Fill-in-with-Moss

Use a spray bottle to water this arrangement.  You’ll still want to keep them in a warm sunny place, or the flowers will wilt sooner.

Your kids will just love it if you hide some easter eggs in the scene as well…

Hide-Some-Eggs

or maybe a baby chick…

Hide-a-Chick

Then you can cut some of the flowers for smaller arrangements to use around the house.

I love these that I put into the antique bud vases I found last year:

Mini-Arrangement-1

Mini-Arrangement-3

Or use an egg cup…

Egg-Cup

If fresh flowers aren’t your thing…you can always get the same effect by creating a little outdoor garden scene in a basket using silk flowers like this:

Make-an-Outdoor-Scene-in-a-Basket

I placed a piece of foam into the the pot to stick the stems into, and then covered it with moss.  Then add moss into the basket to fill around and a few tipped pots with a small nest and egg inside.

Then, of course, I had to give the whole scene a sprinkle of glitter…because everything should sparkle a little bit ;0)

View-from-the-top

However you choose to do it – bringing springtime indoors is a great way to decorate for Easter and giving some meaning to your decor with reminders of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For a great Easter Egg Hunt with some meaning – check out Mandi’s post from last year where she makes some Resurrection Eggs.

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They have a free printable of the scriptures that you need to put inside the eggs!!

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Enjoy!

Erin

Bunny Ear Napkin Rings

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I saw these darling bunny ear napkin rings at Pier 1 and they were one of those projects that I just knew would be easy to make…and I was right.

20 minutes later I had 12 darling napkin rings.  The supplies were all things that I have around my house…but you may not have these:

supplies

Supply List:

Burlap – I tried some white that I had and some from THIS RIBBON.  The ribbon worked TONS better – it didn’t fray and fall apart as much as the cut burlap.  However, with that said, the burlap from the fabric counter is definitely cheaper.  It runs about $3.99 per yard and you only need 1/4 yard to make 12 ears.  Then use a 40% off coupon .  Pretty cheap.

Fusible Interfacing – you don’t HAVE to use this – but I think it makes the burlap stay together better while you’re cutting it.

Iron

Mod Podge (or some other type of glue that dries clear)

Hot Glue Gun

Scissors

Glitter (optional) I used Martha Stewarts Crystal Glitter, because it’s clear and just adds a nice shimmer.

Hairspray (If you’re glittering)

Fuse Your Fabric to your Interfacing

1. Plug in an iron and turn off any steam settings that you have.  You want it hot, but dry.

2. Lay your interfacing with the bumpy/textured side facing the fabric.

3. Follow the package directions for the amount of heat and time you need to iron the interfacing to the fabric.

How to Make the Bunny Ears:

1. First you’ll need to print out our template HERE

print-the-pattern

2. Then cut out the template following the directions on the page. Cut the strip first:

Cut-the-straight-piece-for-the-ring

2. Then Fold the Ear piece in half:

Cut-the-ear

3. After you’ve cut this piece you should have one long strip and 2 ears.

4. Lay them out onto your fabric and trace the pattern onto the interfacing side.

Lay-out-the-pattern

5. Cut, following your guides

trace-the-pattern

You should end up with 3 pieces that look like this:

Cut-out-pieces

6. Then turn over so that the interfacing is up (you don’t want to see your pencil marks on the burlap side)

7. Arrange the ears so that they are overlapping slightly and mark on the bottom where you will cut your slits.

***Note: My picture shows the marks up high – but after trial and error – I found that they are much cuter tucked in toward the middle or bottom.

Mark-where-the-slits-should-be

8. Fold your strip on the mark  {to make cutting easier} and cut.  Repeat for the second mark.

Cut the slits SMALL!!!!  If they are too big it won’t round out the ears.

Snip-the-lines

9. Fold the ears inward (like you want the curve of the ears to be)

Fold-right-sides-together-to-shape-the-ear

10.  Slide the “tabs” at the bottom of the ears into the slits

Hot-Glue-the-Ears-in-place

11. Then place glue on the “tabs” and press until set. (I like hot glue – because it sets so quickly)

12. The glue the back side of the band (decide how big you want the opening for the napkin to slide through and glue it there.)

Hot-Glue-the-Flaps

13.  To keep the burlap from fraying – just paint the edges with some sort of glue that dries clear.

**I used Mod Podge.  It helps to stiffen the fabric and hold it’s shape, too!

Paint-Edges-with-Mod-Podge

14.  Then – if you love for things to sparkle {like I do} you can sprinkle on some glitter.  I used Martha Stewart Crystal Glitter

15. Spray with Aerosol Hairspray to set the glitter.

Sprinkle-with-Glitter

 

 

Once your mod podge is all dried – you can slide it onto your napkin and stand back and admire your craftiness!!!

Here they are in white and brown burlap:

White-and-Brown-Ears

 

And if you aren’t really the napkin ring type – you can always use them as egg holders:

Bunny-Ear-Egg-Holders

 

If you just aren’t a bunny ear fan – here are some cute butterfly napkin rings we made last year:

Napkin-Ring

 

And if you have leftover burlap – I’ll show you next time what I did with mine!  You’re gonna love it!!

**Erin

P.S. If you loved this tutorial – please share it on facebook and pintrest!  We love people that share!!  Thanks so much!

The Hunt for a Fabulous Easter 2013

Easter is sneaking up on me pretty quickly…I’ve got some projects that you’re gonna love in the works!  But to kick things off – here are some of my favorite Easter ideas I’ve seen floating around the world wide web! {Click HERE to see my Hunt for a fabulous Easter Dinner Table from last year}

Oragami Bunny

Easter-Bunny-Home-Decor-DIY-Projects

This whole image is beautiful – but my kids would love the Peeps Banner!!

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I’m really loving this to display my kids easter eggs…I’d better start growing the grass NOW!!!

Or – you could use store bought moss…but I kind of love the length of the grass…
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And I am ABSOLUTELY in love with Cadbury Eggs – so when I came across THESE cupcakes…I nearly died of happiness!

Just use our Doctored Cake Mix Recipe, and make sure to freeze the cadbury mini eggs before you put them in the batter.

Cadbury-Egg-1-of-1

And I think this darling (and super easy) cake stand will be just the place to put them!!

And – I thought – instead of buying the styrofoam discs – you could just use a round cake pan or casserole dish.

And I’m thinking yellow or green for the ruffle…

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However – THESE cupcakes are absolutely ADORABLE and look fairly easy…

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I think my kids would love making these – and I think that I would love not dealing with dye!!

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Not to be biased – but I still love our Paper Mache Easter Baskets

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But if you don’t have the time or patience for that…Pottery Barn has an amazing selection of darling baskets this year…

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This one’s my FAVORITE!!  And…it’s on sale for $15.50!!

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Okay – now we’re inspired…let’s get to projecting!!

**Erin

No More Easter Eggs

That’s what he told me when I asked him to pick some up. But I promised there would be no candy involved. He wasn’t convinced but he got them anyway. I think he’ll be happy with this little project…

A few short years ago, when I was in seminary, Brother Anderson filled a dozen Easter eggs with various items representing the atonement/resurrection. We opened them and discussed them one by one. I wanted one in the mission field. I’ve wanted one in my home. When I think about making one I blow it way out of proportion and the task overwhelms me. Fast forward to the epic chocolate failure and the ban on all things sugar…five days before Easter.  I decided it’s time. No matter what. A quick search uncovered many links to Resurrection Eggs [as this project is apparently called], but none that held exactly what I was looking for [dang! I knew that would happen].

Have I mentioned that I make things way too hard on myself? Sigh.

But, I’ve finally done it. Mission accomplished. etc.

Here’s what you need:

  1. A small container of perfumed ointment of some sort. I’m using this [only I sanded the label off].
  2. A piece of a palm frond. I kept it long and just rolled it. I’ll probably have to get a new one every year so it doesn’t become brittle and break.
  3. A piece of bread [unleavened if you’ve got it] and a sacrament cup [going to have to hold on to one at church on Sunday].
  4. A chunk of soap + piece of towel [optional – I’m using a piece of an old sock].
  5. A tiny bag or vial with olive oil. I chose olive oil because I want my kids to know that Gethsemane means olive press. I hope we can discuss the significance of this without it going over their heads. At least the older ones.
  6. 30 pieces of silver [though I’ve noticed that most people are using three dimes for simplicity]. I’m going with 30 dimes. I think my kids will initially think, “Wow! that’s a lot of silver!” But then we can talk about how little it really is.
  7. A feather. With three little hens running around my yard, you’d think I’d have this covered, but of course, I had to steal one from the super-duper husbands fly tying kit.
  8. A piece of a thorny branch + a swatch of purple fabric. I was happy to find a tiny little branch with loads of thorns, so I used my trusty glue gun wire to fashion a little crown.
  9. A thick nail + a wooden cross. I forgot to pick up the cross at Michael’s and I apologize for this pathetic excuse of a nail. Going to have to talk to the man when he gets home.
  10. A few broken looking rocks [no river rocks allowed]. I also painted the inside of the egg black, though you could use a black piece of paper or something… also, the reference to three days of darkness is from the Book of Mormon. If that’s not your thing just go ahead and cut the bottom off. I wanted to be able to discuss the signs in Jerusalem as well as the signs in the Americas.
  11. Spices [myrrh and aloe], a strip of white linen, and a flat, round stone. In a stroke of brilliance, I decided to check and see if the health food store had myrrh. They did! So cool.
  12. Empty.
  13. 12 plastic Easter eggs
  14. Printed copies of the scripture reference/quote strips available here. I’ve situated it so you can print both sides. Plain paper [not card] is best. It will roll better. Also, please pay attention to the cut lines. Number 5 spans the width of the entire sheet, so don’t go cutting down the center first [you’d think I would have remembered that…].
Just a couple of steps to the finish…

Honestly, the hardest part of this project was deciding which of my 22 options I was going to use [that’s right… twenty-two]. And then, after narrowing it down/combining things, choosing the words I felt conveyed best the feelings + discussion I wanted the words to evoke had me wringing my hands as well. Hopefully I’ve succeeded.

How to share this with your family:

Open the eggs one by one in sequence. As each egg is opened read the quote [and I also highly recommend reading the scriptures referenced if you think your kids can handle it] and discuss the significance of the event. This is such a wonderful opportunity to help kids understand more about the Savior and the Atonement. More than any other Easter activity I’ve ever done, preparing this project has brought an abundance of the Easter spirit to my heart. I hope it will do the same for you.

ps. All Bible references are from the King James Version.

pps. If you like flag/banner option shown as an example in the first photo, simply print the reference sheet [labled “back” and omit the quotes on the front], ignore the cut lines and create your own flag/banner shapes. The quotes do not fit in this option.

Homemade Easter Baskets!!

 

These paper mache easter eggs are so much fun to make with the kiddos – and they are cheap to make!  We like to leave ours “uncracked” for the Easter Bunny – but they are fun to use as displays as well.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Balloons (Note: I used smiley face ones – it left the image inside my egg 🙁  I recommend blank ones)

Glue mixture (flour + water mixed in a very runny pancake batter consistency)

Tissue Paper for inside design (or sheet music, or newspaper comics, or whatever!!)

Blank Newsprint for outer “shell” (the paper they wrap breakable items at craft stores works perfect!)

 

To Make the Egg:

**Just make sure that if your print you’ve chosen has a “right side” and a “wrong side” that you face the “right side” into the balloon.  When you cut it open – you will want that to show inside.***

1. Blow up your balloon and tie it.

2. Tape down the “tab” of the balloon with shipping tape

3. Cut your paper into strips.  Depending on the size of your balloon – you’ll want to cut the strips thin enough that there is no puckering on your edges.  If your strips are too thick – you will have a hard time getting them to lie flat.

4. Dip your strips into the glue mixture (tissue paper is very fragile – make sure your glue mix is thin) and slide the saturated paper between your fingers like a squeegee.

5. Start laying your strips onto the balloon – make sure to cover all of the surfaces.

6.  Once your “printed” paper is in place – repeat the process with your blank newsprint.  I would do at least 2 layers of the “outershell” to prevent show through and make your egg a little tougher.

Note: printer paper works – but is a little stiffer.  I like the newsprint for it’s gray and cream coloring too )

7. Leave out to dry.  This could take a few days.

**I thought that mod-podge might work better and be less messy – so I tried it.  My findings?  Just as messy and a LOT more expensive!  I used half a bottle on one egg.  I would recommend the old flour + water method. :0)  On the upside – the drying time was hours instead of days…***

8. Once the egg is dry, pop the balloon and cut out your opening.  Wether going for a cracked look – or a hollowed out look – this is a job for mom and not the kiddos.

Once that is done – you can call it done…

OR

You can make it even MORE fabulous!  I made a crepe paper ruffle around the opening – and of course – glittered it!

 

To make the ruffle:

1. Using a hot glue gun – bead a small line of glue right on the opening – not all the way around or the glue will harden.  Just do about 4 inches at a time.

 

2. Ruffle the crepe paper by “pinching” your fingers as you pull the crepe paper along the glue.  I folded my paper in half and put the folded edge “inside” the egg.  This made the ruffle look a little shorter and fuller.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you’ve covered the entire opening.

Note:  Toole works well too – but you get burned a lot more because of the opening in the netting.

This project was a lot of fun with the kids.  And…they last from year to year!  You can add a ribbon handle if they’re going on a Easter Egg Hunt!  My kids love that they made them and I love that they look adorable!

Oh!!  And the project I mentioned in my last post about cute Easter dinner place settings…

 

 

You can make smaller “party popper” eggs to put at each persons place setting!!  Just follow the instructions above – with the following modifications:

1. use waterballoons (smaller)

2. put a few treats inside the balloon (maybe with some easter grass would be cute)

3. blow up the balloon and tie it.

4. Tie a string to the top of the balloon and wrap it in spirals around the balloon before adding your print paper.

5. Follow the rest of the instructions as outlined above

6. Add a cute tag to the string – and let them pop them open for a fun Easter surprise!!

I hope your family has as much fun making these as mine did!!

**Erin

The hunt…

Easter is a time for hunting…right?  So – I’ve been hunting for a fun Easter table setting – and I thought you might enjoy hunting with me – or at least what I came across – :0)

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I love the simplicity and cleanness of this one.

And my kids would really dig the chocolate bunny – while I really dig the elegance

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There’s a lot to love here – but I am specifically loving the doily around the glass soda bottle…

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Seriously…I cannot express how much I am in love with this!!

Get the how-to HERE

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Simple…what I’m loving here is the nest, of course.  I have a fun project coming up that will be perfect.

Check in Monday to see it ;0)

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Again…a lot to love here…specifically, the ruffled chair swags (doilies and book pages)

And I love the plain white linen banner.  So FABULOUS!

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Kinda loving all of this…especially loving the egg shaped name card.

But the way she wrapped the eggs up in the raffia is speaking to me…

And, I’m sorry, but that basket is just too cute.  I found some similar ones…Mini Bleached Willow Baskets – Package of 8  I kinda like that they are light wood not dark.

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I love that rabbit!  I think that would be a cute invitation – instead of the rabbit on the collar – give the info.

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These are similar (above and below)  I like the use of the coffee filter under the doilie (above)

But I am in LOVE with the napkin (below)

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I want the cups & napkins!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE

and the cloche filled with eggs is stinkin’ cute!!

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Loving the grapevine wreath “nest” charger.  And can I have a gazillion of those bags please?

I could enjoy anything that came out of them!!

And…I can’t help but notice they have the potterybarn silverware that I’ve been drooling over for close to 3 years now.  I’ve dropped soooo many hints to the hubby…no luck!

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Grapevine vase/basket.  Wouldn’t be too hard to make.  If you soak a grapvine wreath in the bathtub for a few days (weight it so it will be entirely submerged) the twigs will be bendy.

You can form it around a large bowl to make this.

 I’m very much going to do this.  It has a nest/easter basket feel.

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These paper bag baskets would be a fun project for the kids.  There are easy instructions HERE.

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Everything to love about this…

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I think this would be too tall for a table setting – but if you’re doing a buffet style – it would be cute in the spread.

Or hey, just put it on an entry table.  I think I would put it in an urn for more height though.

So…there are my thoughts.  I’ll post a picture of what it all looks like when I take small details from a bunch of different places!!  Thanks for hunting with me!  Which was your favorite one?

***Erin

Photo grouping made using  Karla Dudley’s Life Templates available at Design House Digital