designmom

DIY: Little Farmer Easter Baskets

April 2, 2012

I love the idea of “alternative” Easter baskets! Something fun to switch things up from the usual plastic grass and hollow chocolate bunnies. So I was delighted when Elisabeth of My Growing Home suggested a Little Farmer Easter Basket. Isn’t that the cutest idea? And it’s super easy to put together, so you have plenty of time if you want to pull this off by Sunday. Yay! — Gabrielle

Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom

As Easter approaches, we always try to talk to our boys about the signs of new life in nature. In the past, I’ve tied this theme into our holiday celebration by including a packet of seeds in their Easter baskets, but this year I decided to go farther by transforming their “baskets” into personal mini gardens to be planted for spring. I used wooden wine boxes to make little raised beds and filled them with veggies, flowers, and kid-sized gardening essentials. And what’s a garden without a sneaky bunny?

Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom

Not only are these boxes easy (and inexpensive) to put together, but they provide a project for the little ones that will last all spring and summer. Happy Easter!

Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom

Materials

- Wooden wine boxes. I purchased mine for a few dollars from a local liquor store.
- Weatherproof wood stain. I used Behr solid stains in slate and ponderosa green to get a dark, opaque green. A sample sized can (about $2) was more than enough.
- Paintbrush

- A variety of spring plants. I went to our local garden store and purchased two combinations that (according to the gardeners’ advice) would grow well together and be fun for the kids. One of our boxes holds two marigold plants, one chocolate mint, and a Roma tomato. The other holds a flowering strawberry plant and a variety of herbs. Pay attention to the full-grown size of your plants — if there are too many, they’ll crowd each other out as they grow.

- Gardening “essentials.” Of course, this is up to you. I added a kid-sized trowel, shovel, and spade, a pair of gloves, a homemade gardening “tool belt,” garden markers, a package of seeds, and a few paper pots for starting the seeds. I also included garden-themed children’s books (Grandpa Green, by Lane Smith, for my older son, and And Then It’s Spring, by Julie Fogliano, for my youngest).

-Treats to hide among the foliage (I used candy and handmade bunnies).

Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom
Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom

Use paintbrush and wood stain to paint the sides and entire inside of your wooden box. Stain dries quite quickly, so by the time you’ve finished the inside, the outside will be ready for a second coat.

Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom
Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom

Cover box with a second coat of paint. If using two colors, as I did, use your top color for this coat. Let dry.

Make a Little Farmer Easter Basket this year. It's candy free!  |  Design Mom

Stuff your box! Start with the plants and then nestle the other goodies among them, so that they appear to peek out from the leaves. Hide little treats inside the plant pots and leave the basket in the sunlight for your little ones to find on Easter morning.

And once the surprise is over, it’s time to prepare the gardens! Place your sprouts in a mixture of potting soil and mushroom compost, being careful to position them according to the specifications for each plant. Leave the boxes in the sun, water regularly, and wait for the magic to begin!

P.S. — Instructions on how to make the adorable stuffed bunny right here.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelli April 2, 2012 at 9:17 am

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! I’m always looking for was to un-junkify Easter Baskets and this is one of the most perfect solutions! I’m all for a little treat here and there but an entire basket of candy for my 5 year old? no thanks! She will LOVE this!
the stuffed-bunny link ends up at a 404 page though :( would love to see the tutorial if it still exists!
THANKS!

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2 Design Mom April 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

So glad you told me about the bad link, Kelli. Just fixed it!

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3 Grace @ Sense and Simplicity April 2, 2012 at 9:27 am

What a great idea. Makes me wish I still had little kiddos at home to make a sweet little Easter garden for. Since my daughter is far away from home at univesity for Easter I made an Easter-in-a-box and mailed it to her – you can see it here: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.ca/2012/03/easter-in-box.html

Looking forward to seeing your Stonehenge photos. We visited there with our family about ten years ago and loved it.

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4 Shannon { A Mom's Year } April 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

My kids will be in college before I know it. I’m going to remember this idea for when the time comes! Thank you. :-)

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5 Gina April 3, 2012 at 4:26 am

I have a ways to go but will remember this thoughtful idea. I’ll never forget a Valentine’s Day box that my mother mailed which was along this idea. Thanks for sharing.

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6 julia @ life on churchill April 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

oh this is so sweet! what a fun idea!

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7 Helen Jane April 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

We are totally doing this. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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8 Jacqueline April 2, 2012 at 10:35 am

I absolutely love this idea! Brilliant!

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9 Vicki April 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

Awesome idea!! Now…I must hunt down children to give these to. :-) Thanks!!

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10 Jadah April 2, 2012 at 11:10 am

I am so in love with this garden set! Super cute!

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11 Tiffanie April 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

These are wonderful. Just wonderful! We are replanting our gutter garden next week….if I can find the time to get these together before Easter they would be perfect!

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12 Anitra Sweet April 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

This is a fabulous idea! I think I might get my little toddler involved and make one for Grandma! Thanks for the great idea!

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13 Jen April 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

What a great gift for a spring birthday!!

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14 se7en April 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Totally, totally love this idea – totally!!!

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15 Shannon { A Mom's Year } April 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm

This is such a great idea! For some reason we’ve been having an incredibly warm spring here in the Upper Midwest, so we can think about plants instead of snowmen! Ours might be a slightly scaled-down version, but I think it would still be adorable. Thank you!

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16 bettijo @ PagingSupermom.com April 3, 2012 at 12:27 am

Cutest Easter Basket EVER! Love it.

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17 Gina April 3, 2012 at 4:27 am

This is so Fresh! This is just lovely to look at and imagine. It’s really tripped some imagining… thank you for sharing!

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18 Natalie April 3, 2012 at 6:12 am

This is a very creative way to get kids into gardening. It would also make a nice kid centered hostess gift for a longer visit. I can’t wait to make one!

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19 Ryan April 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

Beautiful idea! I actually did something similar for my daughter last year. I decided that her basket though would be a pot she could plant the flowers in! And we are going to reuse the same one this year.

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20 Ransacked Goods April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

Brilliant! I don’t need to think about doing anything else. Check, done! Thx.

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21 Cassie April 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

Here I am, Wednesday, dragging my feet, not wanting to give in to chocolate and flimsy baskets, and you have shared the most perfect idea! My girls love flowers/plants, so this idea fits perfectly. Thank you!!

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22 Sara @ Lovely Shelter April 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

What a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to make these when my son is a little older. This cold be a fun spin-off for a birthday party too…the wheels are turning in my head now!

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23 Nicole M. April 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Last year, we filled our baskets with seeds, child sized gardening tools and gloves. They had a blast planting all the seeds and working in the garden with me and we harvested veggies well into September. I love how these baskets takes it a step further and gives the children their very own gardening box (without the weeds!) and has a few plants already started! This is a lovely idea! I adore the tiny bunny and will be making three of my own!

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24 The Tablescaper March 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Neat idea!

I’d love to have you link this to Seasonal Sundays. The link goes up at 7:00 on Saturday evening.

- The Tablescaper

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25 Dee Wilcox April 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I love this idea! It’s a great gift idea, as well — for a child or an adult!

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