Making miniature Easter baskets out of air dry clay is a craft the whole family can do together. It’s fun for kids as well as adults to make and takes just over a day to put together from start to finish. You can do what I did with my kids, buy small Easter stickers to decorate the basket so each child can make their basket different from each other. More than just different by color alone.
1 package white air dry clay
Non-stick work surface; glass or plastic cutting board, or parchment paper
Cup of water
Craft paints, any color
Plastic paint palettes
Clear varnish sealer
Tissue paper, any color
Prepare the Clay and Make the Base
Break off a chunk of clay, then knead it until its soft and pliable. Take a piece of clay and roll it back and forth on your work surface to make a long snake about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Curl one end of the snake inward, then slowly coil the rest of the snake around it to make a Easter basket base that looks like a spiral. The length of the snake to make the base will depend on how big you want your basket to be. An 8- to 10-inch-long snake will make a basket base approximately 3 inches wide.
Make the Basket
Roll out more 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick snakes to make the basket. Roll each one out until it’s long enough for the ends to meet when set on the base and then stacked for the sides of the basket. Length will vary based on width of your base.
Wet your finger and run around the edge of the base. Lay your first snake on the wet edge of the base. Wet your finger again and smooth the clay together where the ends meet to get rid of the seam. Dampen the top of the snake you just put on the base, lay another snake on top of it. Smooth the ends together. Repeat this until you have a basket height that suits you. I suggest a minimum of five to six ropes of clay for the height.
Roll out one more snake for the Easter basket handle. Take one end and give it a slight twist while holding the other end of it in place. This will twist the clay making it look like a rope handle. Dampen both ends and attach it to the inside of the basket near the top. You may need to apply a little pressure, but not too much or you’ll deform your basket.
Set the clay Easter basket aside to dry. It will take about 24 hours. Air dry clay feels hard to the touch when it’s dry with no soft spots or give to the finished product.
Painting the Easter Basket
Paint your clay rope Easter basket in a soft pastel color or a bold, bright one. The handle and basket can be all one color or you may choose to paint the handle a complementary color. Set it aside to dry for two to three hours.
Spray or brush on a clear varnish to seal the paint and clay. Let the basket dry for about two hours. Shred tissue paper into tiny strips to put in the basket and add a few miniature chocolate eggs to finish.