Frugal Easter Ideas?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For some reason I find it very difficult to spend a lot of money on Easter Baskets. For years we did a family basket rather than one for each kid. There were items specific to each child (video or book they wanted, their fave candy that the others didn't like, etc...) but mostly it was for everyone. We did this because I found the bean counting to be unacceptable and TOTALLY contrary to the reason that we celebrate Easter. My breaking point on this was having Wiz throw several fits because he got fewer black jelly bean than Jess did. He didn't have fewer total jelly beans, just fewer of the black ones than she did. He LOATHED the black one and wouldn't eat them anyway!

    We included a lot of handmade items also.

    One thing that is hard for me is the egg hunt. I don't like the plastic eggs because they are so bad for the environment. You spend money on them to either pitch them or to store them (and forget where they are so that you must buy more next year. I detest hiding eggs, esp outside because of the risk of food borne illness. Eggs have a natural waxy/oily coating that keeps bacteria from getting into them. Boiling removes this coating and leaves them vulnerable to all sorts of things. So hiding hard boiled eggs creeps me out.

    A fairly easy solution is to turn plastic spoons into bunnies and eggs. Cut little ears out of felt (or fun foam or cardstock) and glue them to the side of the spoon that holds the spoon. On the back side, draw a nose and whiskers and smile. You can draw eyes or glue googly eyes or beads on. This is all done with the handle pointing down. For easter eggs, decorate the back of the spoon with sharpies or whatever you have on hand.

    To set up the hunt, stick the handle of the spoon into dirt,a shelf,anywhere you want to hide them. For each spoon found, the child gets an egg. Or, if this is an adult only hunt, the winner gets a beer, tiny bottle of booze, whatever. You can put a number on the front of the spoon and label the eggs accordingly if you want. This way the hard boiled eggs are not exposed. For toys and trinkets you would put into a plastic eggs, you can use a small fabric bag or put them all into a brown paper sack or hat or whatever and have the kids reach in and pull one out.

    For some of our kids/families, candy isn't what we want to give out. At least not in large amounts. If you use plastic eggs, you can hide a lot of things in them. I made prizes for a friend's church Easter Egg Hunt one year. The person in charge stole all of the money that was to fund this hunt. Over 100 kids showed up each year and the church was worried because they couldn't spend that much again. My friend knew I was both cheap and crafty and she begged me to help. I worked in a large call center for a jewelry company and for three shifts they helped me make bunny and egg spoons (about five hundred total). We worked between calls and they were so sweet. I didn't even ask.

    I also made koolaid playdough. Unsweetened koolaid gave color and scent and it was super easy to make. We scooped out enough to fit into half of the egg and then put it into a cheap sandwich bag (the fold over kind, not the ziploc kind). The bag and dough were then put into a plastic egg. I also made homemade super balls that went into eggs. They are surprisingly easy to make. (So is silly putty if you want to put that into an egg, or just play with it.)

    Everyone at the church who knew about the theft was shocked at how little all of this cost, and even more surprised that the kids and parents liked these better than all the toys and candy from past hunts.

    What are your favorite Easter ideas and crafts? If I can find the right crimps, I am going to take ribbons, attach a crimp on each end, then a charm or fancy bead to that for bookmarks. I think they would fit into a small egg but I will likely put them in a new book for my kids.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh, to make a simple, easy fabric pouch to use instead of plastic eggs, you can use fabric glue. You can make a BUNCH by cutting a long strip of fabric so that the width of the fabric is twice the length that you want the finished pouch to be, plus enough for the seam allowance (roughly half an inch or the width of your thumb).

    Fold over about 3/8 inch on each long side and iron the fold. Then sew each of these edges. This will be the top of your little bag.

    Fold the strip in half length wise, right sides together. Iron so that you have a long, skinny strip.

    Starting at one end, sew across the edge about 3/8 from the edge. Move down the strip to the width you want the pouch to be. Sew across there. Move down about 3/4 inch and sew across again. Continue this so that you end up iwth a strip of fabric with 2 seams 3/4 inch apart and a bigger space between the next set of 2 seams.

    After you have sewn this, cut between the 2 seams that are together. This leaves you with quite a few little pouches. You can tie them shut, run some yarn through the seam on the top for a drawstring, sew on a button and a bit of yarn to go over it, use velcro or a snap, etc...

    If you are so inclined, you could also sew the bag shut at the top to make opening it a real challenge!
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I cook dinner, bought on sale.......girls contribute so I don't have the whole bill. Grandkids search for eggs with quarters in them, each with their own initials so we know they were all found.

    I don't get into Easter much. Done mainly as tradition and for the grandkids. Although to hear Aubrey talk I put on this major event. That lil girl cracks me up. LOL
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Several years ago I stopped doing Easter baskets for the kids because I had to buy new ones every year - they destroyed them. And bio had them every other year so it didn't mean as much.

    Just this past fall I threw out my childhood basket. I have a picture of me hunting eggs with my Mom - I couldn't have been more than 16 months old. The basket handle was as tall as I was! But this past fall... It was time.

    I also do something cute for my parents each year. One year I glued color-coordinating beads to plastic eggs - Mom still has these ugly things - and made a "chick magnet" for my dad from craft foam and fabric paint, glued to one of those handout magnets all those companies give you. I think last year I made them a CD with happy songs... Things were crazy with Onyxx coming home and me having morning sickness.

    But Meggie - oh boy! This year I have a dozen iridescent plastic eggs bought at Odd Lots for $1. I will find a basket, line it with cloth and put Meggie and the eggs in it and take a picture. Next year we can hunt eggs with her.

    Interestingly, I have had the kids hunt in the house. If you get the right size plastic eggs, you can put real eggs inside them. Like Susie, real eggs outside skeeves me out. I make myself a list of where I hid them so they are all found, too.