Most of us don’t have to buy baskets. They come to us free in the form of Christmas gifts and as packaging for consumer goods. Too nice to throw away, they tend to pile up in the garage where mold spores and rats abound. Use ‘em or loose ‘em.
Our article “How to Use Leftover Gift Baskets to Solve Household Problems” covers cleaning old baskets. Follow the steps of this quick and easy process to get yourself some solid Christmas décor candidates. We didn’t include using baskets to make Christmas decorations in the article there, but now that the season is upon us, the basket is an obvious choice for conveying homey Christmas themes.
Craft for Flat Baskets
Lots of the Christmas gift baskets crossing our thresholds this season will be rectangular with low sides. More and more fruit and snack gifts come this way. After emptying, cover the bottom with cotton balls, sparkly snow fabric or white felt flecked with silver glitter. Your snowy field is ready for a character or two. Arrange your Santa figures with the trees or glass deer and other characters to unify them into a Christmas story. Spark children’s imaginations by asking them what is going on in the scene.
Craft for Small Baskets
Pretty-up a plain, small basket with a little pine garland, some berry picks and small pine cones. What else comes out at Christmas? Cinnamon sticks, silk and fresh flowers, candy canes—all these take a basket from zero to Christmas in less than five minutes. Fire up that glue gun and press the pine garland or sprigs around the circumference. Space pine cones equidistant around the basket and hot glue them to it as well. Berry picks, candy canes and more can be hot glued safely to the basket or to other stable elements.
What would be pretty inside this Christmas basket?
- Christmas candy in shiny foil wrappers
- Colored light bulbs unscrewed from the Christmas tree light string
- Appropriately sized ornaments in one or two colors
- A potted plant with white or red flowers
- A few stems of Christmas flowers like poinsettias and holly branches. Put individual cut flowers into their own floral tubes. Costing less than a quarter each, floral tubes provide enough water for a flower for a day or so. Your local florist may even give you one or two.
How about a glow-in-the-dark holiday decoration that can serve outdoors or in? The only thing you need here is the basket, 3 sizes of pine cones, a short string of white Christmas lights and the glue gun.
- Cut hole in the bottom of one side of basket large enough to pass plug for light string through.
- Pass light string plug and a few feet of length through. Drape the rest of it over the side of the basket to keep it out of the way while you hot glue pine cones into basket.
- Hot glue large pine cones across the bottom of the basket. This lifts the rest of the pine cones higher. As you’ll want the pine cones to mound up from the basket, this step is important.
- Swirl or circle the light string over the surface of the large pine cones. Tie to pine cones with floral wire or hot glue down.
- Cover surface of large pine cones with medium sized pine cones. When you have a nice shape rising from the top edges of the basket, hot glue each to the large pine cones and to each other.
- Circle or swirl light string over the top of these medium pine cones. Secure with floral wire or hot glue.
- Sprinkle small pinecones over the top of all to cover up the wire. While you can hot glue these small pine cones to their neighbors, you can probably get away with not doing it as well.
- Plug in.
Large basket? Well, if you have one big enough, you can put the biggest Christmas craft of all inside: the Christmas Tree.
When considering which of your old baskets to use for as Christmas decor, don’t forget to determine the great candidates for a new coat of paint. Two coats of spray paint, a colored cloth lining the bottom and maybe a ribbon or pin can transform a ratty basket into a container of Christmas spirit.