6 Alternatives to an Easter Basket

Posted by on March 9, 2013

The Easter basket is the quintessential Easter gift. It’s pretty much a no-brainer this time of year. Traditionally, a wicker basket (usually in a pastel color) is filled with artificial, plastic grass that in no way resembles what a bunny might ingest. When I was growing up, my parents would reuse both our baskets and the grass from year to year, and at at some point the baskets were past their prime.

Reusing items year to year is great, and my parents certainly got their money’s worth from our baskets. But today another great tradition is re-purposing items for something other than what they were originally intended. In that spirit, here are 6 ideas to ditch the wicker basket this Easter and create a “basket” where the vessel becomes part of the gift and can be used by your recipient every day—not stored away and used once a year.

As a bonus, several of these ideas are less expensive than a traditional handled basket. Still, it’s a good idea to include the cost of the vessel in your overall Easter gift giving budget.

Beach bucket – Include beachy accessories like sunglasses and sunscreen among the expected Easter fare like marshmallow chicks and chocolate rabbits.

Paint can – Most home improvement stores will sell you clean, empty gallon-size paint cans. They’re lightweight yet sturdy, and with their simple, strong lines they’re a great alternative for little boys. After Easter, they can be used to store art supplies, toy cars – really anything small and collectible that seems to multiply. Hang them on the wall with a coat hook, screw them right into the wall, or simply place on a shelf for easy organizing.

Organizing basket or tote – This is oh-so-practical and great for any age group or decorating style. Available in a range of sizes, materials, colors and prices at retailers nationwide.

Storage box – This is similar to the organizing tote idea, but this one has a lid to keep the contents under wraps. I always seem to find a good supply of these at Home Goods. (Tip: This would also be a good alternative for creating a gift basket for Mother’s Day.)

Garden pot – This idea is a huge hit with boys and girls alike! In addition to traditional Easter candy and toys, include seed packets, small gardening gloves and a few garden hand tools. After Easter, children will have a fun activity that teaches them about nature and responsibility (they have to water their plants!).

Felt character bucket – These little gems are inexpensive and quite popular. They may be found at major retailers around the country. And while they don’t really have an everyday look or use, they’re just so fun I had to include them!

In each instance, fill the vessel with paper shreds, excelsior or plastic grass, just like you would a basket, and include the same goodies and gifts. Each of these options may even be wrapped in cellophane (use a clear cello gift bag, available at craft stores and Cost Plus World Market stores, for greater ease) and tied with a simple grosgrain ribbon bow.

But don’t stop here. Wherever you’re shopping this season, look around for more alternatives. There’s no need to rush around looking for an “Easter basket.” Think about photo boxes, galvanized metal pails, or even a wastepaper basket. Pretty much any container can become an Easter basket! There’s even one idea on Pinterest using a beer carton for a man’s Easter basket! Now that’s ingenious.

Click here for tips on putting together a gift basket – perfect for Easter!