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Monday, April 7, 2014

Milk Jug Easter Basket Craft

A few years ago when our son was in scouts, we made an Easter basket from a milk jug as one of our activities. It was fun to make and turned out pretty cool. He has used it a few times for school Easter activities and I get it out as decoration too. His is a boy bunny so I made a girl bunny this time. Here are some photos of his:

You can use any materials you like. The options are unlimited. I wanted to use what I had on had and with the exception of an $0.87 pack of pipe cleaners, I used things I already had in my craft stash or around the house.

Start with a clean milk jug. You'll want to cut the whole on the opposite side from the handle. It will go around the corner that is on the "front", but I wouldn't cut it past the side corners. If you cut too far, it will be top heavy and the top of the hole will sag downwards with the weight of the decorations. 
Once you cut the hole, go around it with a hole punch and make fairly evenly spaced holes all the way around the larger hole.
For the first one we used squares of tulle and afterwards we glued some small strips of fabric over the edges if the hole. I didn't have any tulle on hand for mine so I used yarn that I already had. I laced it in a crisscross pattern that covered most of the edge. This won't show and isn't for decorative purposes but I did it to soften that edge so little hands wouldn't scrape against it.

I then began covering the jug with glue and cotton balls. I pulled my cotton balls out slightly so the covered a larger amount of space and also provided a flatter surface. You can leave them in round balls if you prefer.

I don't cover the back where the handle is because it would get damaged and make it look bad in a very short time. We'll cover that later.

I made a bunch of little pom poms to tie into the holes
Next I made her head. I used a styrofoam ball, an Exacto knife and my trusty E6000 glue.
I first pushed the ball gently but firmly on the top opening of the milk jug to "mark" it so I could cut out the circle with the Exacto knife. I wanted it to fit snug so the glue would hold it and there wouldn't be any movement later.
Once cut out, I covered the outside of the milk jug spout with E6000 glue and slid the ball onto it.
Once the glue was dry I covered the ball with cotton balls. However, I was unsure how I might go with her ears and such.. you may want to wait until you know how you plan for yours to look. For instance if you want to do a hat, you don't necessarily need cotton on the top of the head. I ended up pulling some off later. :)
I cut her ears from a paper towel tube. It provided a natural curve to the ears. I began using paper mache to form a hat.

Once the hat had taken form. I used painter's tape to attach the ears, then continued to coat them in paper mache. I only put a layer or two of paper mache on the ears.. just enough for paint to adhere.

When the hat was dry, I painted it. I also added cotton balls to the white parts of the ears and glitter to the pink part. I also glued two lengths of ribbon to the inside edge of the hat to later tie under her chin.

For the eyes, I used some clear stones that are usually used in vases of flowers, they have a flat side and are rounded on the other. I used black construction paper to make eyelashes. I used a smaller styrofoam ball, cut in half for her feet. For some added strength and stability I added a piece of thin card board (from a empty Milk Bones box!) to the bottom of the milk jug. I first traced the shape of the jug then held the feet pieces where I wanted them and traced those as well. Once cut out, I glued the cardboard piece to the bottom of the jug using E6000. I also glued the two feet to their places on the cardboard. To make it look better, after the glue was dry, I painted the bottom white. And about that area around the handle..... I glued strips of paper to the jug and around the handle. I then painted it white so it blends in with the cotton, but is smooth so handling it won't result in pulling off cotton (see photo below).

Some embroidery floss for a mouth, pipe cleaners for whiskers, a painted wooden heart for a nose and flowers on her hat!

!! Happy Easter !!

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