Mini Easter baskets are easier to make than you might think! Here are simple instructions for this Easter craft with paper plates.
Updated June 2023
I wanted to share the sweet DIY mini Easter baskets we’ve been making out of paper plates.
We’ve all been rather obsessed with them, in fact.
Daphne made a half dozen of them to give as gifts to teachers and family (and insisted on adding candy to each before gifting them).
These mini Easter baskets are easy to make and so pretty that I thought you might like to make some, too.
In addition to the baskets, we’ve been using a slightly modified technique to make beautiful paper bowls.
Actually, I’m going to share two ways to make these. Most of the time we decorated the paper plates and then turned the colorful paper plates into baskets, so I’ll start with that method. But for a few of them, we made the baskets out of plain white paper plates and then painted them. (That second method works best if you don’t want to do the watercolor resist.)
- Paper plates, the thin kind
- Hole punch
- Pipe cleaners
- Oil pastels or crayons (optional)
- Watercolor paints*
- Washi tape (optional)
- Draw with oil pastels
First, draw on one or both sides of your paper plate with oil pastels. My kids chose to use white but you could use any color.
- Paint the paper plate
Use watercolor paint to paint over the oil pastel drawing, for a watercolor resist effect.
Daphne chose to add extra paint within the oil pastel lines and enjoyed seeing how it (mostly) stayed within those lines.
- Paint the other side
After the first side dries, turn the plate over and paint the other side. Let dry again.
This step is totally optional, but both kids chose to add decorative washi tape to some of their baskets and bowls. I think the first time, it was because a plate had cracked along the center and it was a Beautiful Oops! repair job. But they both liked how it looked so much that they did it on others as well.
- Make cuts around the circumference
Then, make even cuts all around the circumference of the decorated paper plate, about 2 1/2 inches long. (I just made each cut the length of the scissor blades I was using.)
- Staple the basket
To turn your flat paper plate into a basket shape, overlap two adjacent cut strips partway and staple them near the top.
Repeat, stapling each section to the next, until you form a bowl shape.
- Add a Handle
Use the hole punch to punch two holes at opposite sides of the rim of your basket. Then thread a pipe cleaner through the holes to form a basket handle, wrapping the ends to secure it.
That’s one of Daphne’s baskets above, with bonus staples and an extra thick and fuzzy pipe cleaner for a handle.
Use or Gift Your Baskets!
You can use your colorful little baskets for Easter egg hunts, to gather nature items, to carry treasures, or to give as gifts.
Daphne wanted to give several of her teachers the little baskets and bowls she had made, totally unprompted or aided by me. So she worked diligently to create the right number of baskets etc, make gift tags, and fill them with Easter candy (which she cajoled me into buying).
Two Variations on the Mini Easter Baskets and Bowls
Variation #1: Create the basket first
The first variation is to create the Easter basket out of your paper plate and pipe cleaner first and then decorate it. We did this for some of ours and it worked well.
You can use watercolor paints (or any paints), markers, washi tape, and stickers, etc to decorate your plain baskets. (The oil pastel resist technique doesn’t really work on these pre-shaped baskets since you can’t press hard enough.)
Variation #2: Make Bowls
The second variation is to use this technique to make bowls instead of baskets.
To do this, overlap the cut sections a bit less when stapling them so you end up with a shallower bowl shape. And, of course, skip the handle.
We have been using our pretty paper plate bowls to hold Easter candy and other treats (specifically for my birthday party).
Here are some of our little Easter baskets and bowls on the wood drying rack.
Pretty much all you need for these sweet miniature Easter baskets are paper plates!
More Easter Art, Crafts and Activities
- 31 Easter Crafts for Kids (+ Art Projects, Easter Activities & More!)
- 11 Creative Easter Egg Ideas for Kids To Try This Year
- 8 Easter Arts & Crafts Ideas for Kids this Spring
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