Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

March 4, 2008

Three Things : Easter


Starting to think ahead and do some planning for Easter baskets. Looking for fun, colorful additions that are not necessarily all about candy. Here’s three things so far:

Pack Your Bags : This year I am planning to skip the basket and go with a more fun +  functional suitcase (will be used to carry goodies on the airplane for spring break). Check local thrift stores or antique stores for vintage options. Paper Source also has similar suitcase boxes available.

Something to plant together : Chris thought of this cool new tradition to bring into our home this Easter: include a couple of packets of seeds (vegetables or flowers) as an activity to do together.

Customized Pencils from Sweet Papery : 25 pencils with your favorite saying or name printed right onto the pencil. Love this idea especially for a little guy who happens to love pencils. More pencils available here (through the main entry to her etsy shop).


Other goodies to include: books about Easter/spring/etc, toothbrush + mini toothpaste (a classic addition), and felted eggs (I really want to try to make some of these).

Speaking of Easter, Martha has a great selection of Easter crafts on her site. I also love all the ideas for dying eggs. In addition I am fond of the rubber band technique in this month’s issue of Real Simple (couldn’t find it online yet). Also considering trying some natural dyes this year – I liked how this person went with an overall experimental approach.

You can join in a free Easter Workshop through Martha’s site here.


  • 1.
    Erin said…

    I love the colors of the suitcases….so fresh and spring-like!

  • 2.
    man said…

    it’s so nice to have someone who is planning ahead for the coming holidays, since i am still awestruck that is already march!!!
    i love your ideas for the easter baskets, but, since no kids, maybe we will make a nice easter basket for the dog!

  • 3.
    bethwollweber said…

    Hi Ali:
    I do a similair “tradition”, I buy spring plants not yet bloomed,tulip,daffodils,hyacinch etc,from the garden senter and plant them in a large basket I keep by my front door. My son mixes in a few plastic colored eggs, and a pretty spring bow. Every time the door opens you have the most wonderful smell. and after they bloom we then add them to our garden, and the usually come back one or two times.
    Thanks for the continued inspiration!!!!
    Very truly, Beth W.

  • 4.
    alexandra said…

    Thinking about Easter feels so good – lots of fresh, fun ideas and colours. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 5.
    Roxi said…

    Ali…It was a pleasure to meet you at CHA. I was the one who is from OR, but is living in TN (temporarily), and gets such pleasure from reading about things from back home i.e. the dunes, Saturday market, Oregon politics, Country Faire, etc. Anyway…that’s not what this post is about. You gotta make naturally dyed eggs with Simon…I’ll post instructions on my blog…

  • 6.
    angie said…

    If you start this week, plant real green grass or wheat seed and have natural grass in your baskets.
    We used some natural dyes when I was growing up. My mom would save the onion peels from yellow and red onions and boil a few eggs in it for a different look.
    Can’t wait to read what others post. We love the non candy options also.

  • 7.
    Donna Bettencourt said…

    That reminds me of when my kids were little we went to the grocery store and gathered up all the brown onion skins from the bottom of the onion bin. Then we boiled them and tossed in our eggs, that gives a nice terra cotta brown dye. You can lay a fern leaf or other on the egg and wrap some pantyhose around them first and keep it on with a rubber band and get an imprint of a natural leaf or feather too. I still have some of them, we didn’t blow them out just kept them intact. A few have exploded over the years, phew! but there are a couple left after almost 30 years…….must photo graph them. Have fun!

  • 8.
    Nicky Anderson said…

    I agree, we try wholeheartedly to do more fun and different gifts – especially some great books. I love the little suitcase idea – what a great idea for a trip.
    Hope your family is all back to good health!!

  • 9.
    Nicky Anderson said…

    PS – and we always do the plants with Brody – Simon will love it. Brody also has his own little set of garden tools and loves to help me plant all of the planters and tomatoes!!

  • 10.
    Chantel said…

    I love the idea of the seeds to plant together! I am totally doing that this year, we did plant some wild flowers last year and tomatoes also but including it in our easter celebration is a perfect thought for rebirth. Thanks for sharing!

  • 11.
    traci said…

    i ♥ those suitcases. trying to find a reason to buy them!!
    i also ♥ martha stewart crafts. i always find myself trying to do them all!!!

  • 12.
    michellejeanne said…

    Love the eggs – some years we use food coloring, some years natural. Blueberries, cranberries, coffee, cabbage, tumeric. My girls aren’t so interested in the browns, but they are beautiful. Have fun!

  • 13.
    Casey said…

    My two kids get flower seeds every year to add to the garden. It’s especially fun to plant ones that will self sow; when they pop up the following spring, the kids get a kick out of seeing the yellow nasturtiums from two Easter’s ago.

  • 14.
    Stefanie said…

    We have done the same thing with our 8 and 5 year olds…dumped the “candy baskets” long ago and instead try to find other things the Easter bunny might bring. Target has a great line of kids gardening tools, etc., and those together with some seed packets work great (and maybe a cool hat to keep the sun off while gardening). We have also done a basket of swim/beach stuff, as we live in CA and Easter/spring means it’s almost time to start enjoying the pool and beach again.
    Have a Blessed Easter.

  • 15.
    susan lyons said…

    HI Ali,
    I have done the natural egg dying and the colors are so vibrant! Especially if you use beets and blueberries. A few crafty friends and I did an Easter exchange for a couple years. We each made something homemade for the everyone and swapped. The kids baskets were filled with homemade treats and other fun things. Once year I made hand made soap in jelly bean molds and filled bags with them. They were so cute and the kids loved to use them in the bath.
    Happy Spring!

  • 16.
    sally said…

    Fantastic ideas and links!! Thank you!

  • 17.
    Cami said…

    When my girls were little, I would buy shampoo in the cute character bottles. A special treat that would last a while.

  • 18.
    noell said…

    We’ll be planting, too. I’m taking my kids to the nursery to let them each pick out a plant that will be theirs to take care of. So far I’ve killed every plant we’ve gotten but this year I’m going to do some research. =)

  • 19.
    CarolynE said…

    i’m working on this years now too and i love the seed and personalized pencil idea!, my little guy loves pencils too! so far i’ve got a new game for his basket(we love game night!)
    last year the easter bunny brought various arts and crafts, he jumped up and down, he just loved it! he especially loved the model boat that he got to put together with his daddy!
    Thank you for sharing!

  • 20.
    sue Treiber said…

    thanks for pooling all these great ideas into one place for us.

  • 21.
    Jill said…

    I also try to stay away from the basket full of candy. My daughter’s gotten various things over the years, but one standard is a new pair of spring/summer jammies. This year, she’s also getting a swimsuit (although it will be a couple more months before she gets to wear it here in SD), an Easter book and some spring-related stickers. She LOVES stickers!
    To put it all in: I found a bucket at Walmart much like these ( through the same place you got your suitcases from (I might have to steal that idea for next year!!). I thought it was better than a ‘traditional’ basket as I can totally see her carting this bucket around after Easter holding crayons, trickets or toys.

  • 22.
    gina said…

    wonderful ideas – I love the pencils – we are really into learning to write right now. I think an electric pencil sharpener is in order! I also love the seeds – will definitely be doing that too. I usually put sunglasses, sidewalk chalk, toothbrushes and paste, underwear (really!), AND hardly any candy :)

  • 23.
    Jennie said…

    love the seeds idea! we always plant a huge garden in the spring that ryan loves to help out with, so maybe he’ll get his own little “herb” garden this year! my mom and i have a “planting” tradition for Mother’s Day every year…something just for us, which is a nice change sometimes. :-)

  • 24.
    Debbie said…

    Hey Ali!
    I just have to say that I JUST LOVE YOUR CREATIVE SELF. I haven’t read your blog in about a week and I’m back today feeling like I’ve missed so much and leave feeling totally inspired. Thanks for sharing so many of your ideas and details. You make me a better creative person! Thanks!

  • 25.
    jazyjen said…

    I love your great ideas. we also got away from candy. We do bubbles, sidewalk chalk. but this year my 3 kids are getting a group gift from the easter bunnie. A kit to watch butterflies hatch from their caccons!How cool is that.Then we will relaease them into our garden.Happy spring.

  • 26.
    Melissa F. said…

    If your guy likes pencils have your tried the Smencils?! They have them at Container Store and other places/boutiques. They are #2 pencils made with recycled newspaper and smell great (guaranteed for 2 years). My kids love them.

  • 27.
    Cathy said…

    My guys really liked getting little gardening tools too when they were little. The little shovels and rakes are great…oh they make little work gloves too. You might also like to try pysanky eggs. We would leave them out on a table all month and the boys would stop whenever they had time and work on some. They can be really simple or incredibly complicated.

  • 28.
    forcryeye said…

    Darn, the pencil’s are sold out. I have dyed my eggs with beets and coffee, and used the rubber band method…and it works, and is really fun! Love the basket idea…we are traveling as well, and I am not sure how we are going to do the Easter Bunny thing!

  • 29.
    Jessica said…

    Great ideas! Does Simon like Easter Egg hunts? My parents would hide jelly beans through out the living room and when I woke up Easter morning I would get to find them. I was bummed when my parents stopped doing it, I guess they thought I was too old, but I still am not.

  • 30.
    anna said…

    Speaking of dying eggs, i read a really neat article in Family Fun Mag today…
    They did resist dying or whatever the technical name is. they put leaves on the egg, wrapped egg in hosiery, then dyed the egg. The leaf and hose were removed, leaving a really cool “pattern” on the egg.
    here’s the link:

  • 31.
    Tona said…

    Reading your blog brought back memories. As our son was growing up I always tried to use something other then a basket…cowboy hat, wagon etc. We also tried to keep candy just a part of it…Hot Wheel cars, pencils/crayons,sketch books, puzzles, etc. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I really like the seed idea. What a great way to get children interested in gardening, (my other passion), as well as a way to spend quality family time. If Simon is interested in gardening you might want to check out the book Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy.

  • 32.
    kp said…

    LOVED the felted eggs. Went to the link, and realized the shop was just down the street from me! Called to make sure they still had the pattern, then went in to pick it up. They were on the phone, with someone else who had read about it in your blog today, and they were THRILLED. I love how one little comment can bring all of us crafters together, throughout the country, and help independent shop owners at the same time! I have already started on my first egg, and the woman who wrote the pattern has some other delightful felted goodies too.
    So thanks for the great idea and link! I would never have stopped in there otherwise.

  • 33.
    Stacy said…

    great ideas. since our 21 year old son just got married this year (only child) i want to do something for the 2 of them together. this year i will be making their easter basket a clothes hamper and filling it not only with great personal and fun stuff, but also that practical stuff that newly weds need.

  • 34.
    carolk said…

    Martha needs to put YOU on her show!! : )

  • 35.
    angie said…

    Kind of off the Easter topic, but did you see the cute Simon Says poster on the Land of Nod site? I love all the vintagey type items for home decor and really love when I see my owns kids names on things. Parker, Holden and even your Simon are not as common names as one would think!

  • 36.
    Rebecca said…

    Love these ideas! Thanks!

  • 37.

    Thanks for sharing Ali – I found a great 4×4 raised bed at Plow & Hearth for $60. . .I’m planning to get that for my 7 YO and start a little garden together.
    All the best -

  • 38.
    Tara said…

    What cute ideas! on the pencil topic.. I just thought I’d share a cute tutorial I found today for “photo pencils”
    Happy easter treat hunting!

  • 39.
    melanie said…

    Amazingly, the Easter Bunny always brought art supplies to our house, maybe not so amazing when you consider all those cool eggs he makes. A great annual replenishing of colorful fun arty stuff.

  • 40.
    Laura said…

    Hi Ali,
    Since you have a little guy that loves pencils, you might check out the idea on Photojojo for customizing pencils with photos. (
    Endless possibilities…
    Laura U

  • 41.
    Steph said…

    Love the suitcase idea. I’ve been wanting to do something more “usable” than baskets. Thank you for the constant inspiration.

  • 42.
    Cathy D said…

    Those littel baskets are absolutely adorable and such a great idea. I’m actually recycling the easter basket from last year (she’s barely 2 so I’m sure she won’t mind lol), and the seeds are a great touch because it’s something you can do together and watch it grow as he grows. You always have the best ideas, thanks for sharing.

  • 43.
    kelly purkey said…

    thanks for the martha link… so many fun ideas there!

  • 44.
    Molly said…

    great ideas! Lilian Vernon has personalized pencils as well, not in that color range however. Another idea is Madlibs. Remember those? I loved those as a kid.

  • 45.
    Kristin said…

    GREAT ideas for Easter Ali! :) Simon is sure to love them :)
    Also wanted to let you know that I am having a big giveaway on my blog, so if you have a moment, stop on by. :)

  • 46.
    Ruth Pannell said…

    Go to this link:
    It’s a Photo Jo Jo site and shows you how with just 12 pencils you can create an image of your own photo with just srips of paper and a glue stick wrapped around the pencils. It’s supercool. I think this would be a winner for you and Simon. It’s not hard to achieve by the sounds of it, just three photos printed on paper strips wrapped around the pencils. I love the idea.

  • 47.
    Kori said…

    Thanks for all the great ideas. I also found this great knitter who shared her pattern for knitted eggs. They look cute so of course I had to start knitting some!

  • 48.
    Dawn said…

    I love the seed idea! I am totally swiping that one…I have been trying to come up with fun and meaningful things to put in my 5 year old and 1 year old’s baskets. So hard to find things that truly tie in with the real meaning behind Easter, but I love the seeds idea. You might also want to check out the latest Family Fun magazine…they have the most adorable yarn birds and nests to make! I just went to JoAnn’s yesterday for styrofoam eggs and yarn. Can’t wait to try them out.

  • 49.
    Kip said…

    Ali- where did you get those alphabet stamps towards the end?

  • 50.
    Rachel said…

    Cute ideas…
    Here’s the link for the rubber band technique on,21770,1711861,00.html

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