Ribbons, lace and flowers can dress up baskets EASTER BASKETS

April 04, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie

Creating a beautiful basket to hold Easter candu is as simple as 1-2-3: One, buy a plain basket of desired size; two, wrap with or glue on ribbon; and three, decorate with leaves and flowers.

Equipment you'll need: acrylic paint and craft brush (or use spray paint); hot-glue gun; scissors; ribbon; half-beads in strings; silk or paper flowers. You can try using ordinary white glue if you don't have a glue gun, but the process will take longer and some surfaces may not stick together.

A trip to your local fabric or craft store will reveal scores of ways to decorate your basket. There are beautiful printed ribbons, as well as satin or grosgrain (ribbed) ribbons in vibrant colors -- and you don't have to pick just one. (The white basket in the photo on the front page of the food section is swagged with more than half a dozen colors of "baby" satin ribbon, glued to the basket and topped with a glued-on satin rosette.) You could also use wired ribbon, which stays in the shape you bend it, to create a "flying" bow. (The peach-colored ribbon on the large basket in the front-page photo is made with wired ribbon.)

Besides paper pansies and fabric roses and ivy leaves, there are dozens more kinds of flowers and all sorts of decorative items -- like tiny wooden bunnies and Easter eggs, bunches of colored eggs, tiny fabric bunnies and stickers -- that could dress up a basket.

To make a satin bow stand up, brush it with fabric stiffener (also available at fabric and craft shops) and stuff with crumpled foil or wax paper to hold it open until it dries.

Don't forget the lace and trim section of the store: A ruffle of many-tiered lace would look great glued just under the rim of a basket.

To make a multiple-loop bow: Make a circle of ribbon that when flattened is as wide as you want the finished bow. Tape the loose end and roll five or six more circles onto the loop. Cut ribbon; flatten loop (do not crease) and fold it in half. Cut a triangle off each folded edge, leaving a small "waist" in the center. Open the bow and tie it together at the waist with a piece of smaller ribbon, leaving tails long enough to tie onto the basket (you can cut them off later if they're too long). Hold the bow at the center with one hand, use first finger of other hand to slide each loop out and up, working your way around the bow until all loops are open. Tie to basket and cover center of bow with a flower or small decorative object, like a wooden bunny.

If you're not inclined to crafts, you can still have a beautiful basket. Craft stores and specialty shops offer baskets in many materials, some painted; craft shops also offer pre-made bows. Or you can make the container part of the gift with a work-of-art basket or some other container the recipient can use -- an insulated lunch sack for a brown-bagger, or a brass saucepan for a cook, even a small tool box.

Hardware stores, kitchenware shops, and specialty stores such as Hold Everything, the Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and the Nature Company (all at Towson Town Center) are good sources of baskets and other containers.

You don't have to spend a fortune on the goodies that go into the basket: discount and "value" stores, such as Ames, Caldor, Kmart, and Wal-Mart are good sources of inexpensive seasonal items.

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