Here Comes Boxberger Cottontail…Hopping Down The Bunny Trail

Posted by on Mar 17, 2012 in Fabulous & Free | 1 comment

This afternoon I’ve been making a meal for a friend who had “unexpected” open heart surgery.  Who ever anticipates something like that?  While that is one of those things that was definitely “unexpected” and never wished for (not to mention brings a lot of pain)…what about something that is “unexpected” in life that brings joy? I mentioned in my last post, the theme I’ve chosen for this year’s Easter gifts is “the unexpected”.  Well I’ve been a busy little bunny hopping all over town to the thrift stores and antique/second-hand stores trying to find some different containers to use as my baskets this year.  Here is what I’ve come up with so far.
Unexpected Easter Baskets

Unexpected Easter Baskets

You are probably wondering if your eyes are doing tricks on you.  No need to eat more carrots…you are seeing clearly.  That is a strainer, a china gravy boat, tea cups, a clear glass pitcher, crystal compote bowls, an ice-bucket, shot glass, large beer glass, and wooden box.  I put them all in the dishwasher and they came out sparkly, sanitized, and ready for filling. Those items are just what I’ve got for starters.  Maybe you’re like my new friend, Faye,  who I met at a local thrift store.  Many of you have expressed to me over the years the same dilema as Faye; having an eye to pick up such treasures but then you don’t quite know what to do with them.  I’m hoping this post will show you how to embellish and use such wonderful and affordable finds and turn them into clever, “unexpected,” yet, useful “thrift gifts” that bless others.  Normally I write a catchy poem that explains Easter and then uses a play-on-words for the gifts.  This year with each “basket” being different, I’m pretty sure each tag will need to be unique playing off of the item itself that I’m using as the basket.

I wanted to show you one of the thrift-gift “baskets”almost completed so you could see how I add tags and ribbons to gifts inside of baskets.  This one started out in the toy section of a thrift store.  I was drawn to it for my friend, Ms. Betsy.  She is one of the many talented conference coordinators for whom I have the joy of working as a national conference interpreter.  I’ll be meeting up with her and our team in Houston next week. I  always like to take the coordinator a little treat for her hard work in making our jobs on the team so enjoyable.  Since Easter isn’t far off, Betsy’s gift this conference is an Easter themed thrift-gift with her grandaughter in mind.  However, you could do something similiar in a metal bucket for a get-well gift playing on the chicken soup aspect.  Take a look:

Fisher Price Play Family Farm

Betsy has a 10 month old grandaughter (who is ADORBS!).  I thought this could be reused in her toybox when Addison comes to visit Nana Betsy.  Here is what I did to the inside of the box.  I added green Easter grass, 12 chick eggs filled with candy (found at Dollar Tree) along with  chicken gift tags, recipe cards, and note cards found at Michaels.  I tied ribbon to the paper products and wrote wrote a tag that says:  “There’s more than a DOZEN reasons why I appreciate you. I love you sister CHICK.  From one of your admiring PEEPSTERS.”  Peeps candy has new candy called Peepsters so I am of course including a bag of those as well.

Inside of farm Easter barn "basket"

Well, the HUNT didn’t stop there.  We are told we should NEVER PUT ALL OUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET – so I included some things that didn’t fit into the play family farm “basket”.  I was so EGGScited when I found a chick flannel blanket – I tossed it into the washer and dryer and it’s as good as new.  What a fun blanket for Nana Betsy to picnic on or play on with Baby Addison.  I about FLEW THE COOP when I found a 1970′s sugar jar that has chicken wire embossing and small CHICKS on it.  The lid has a small EGG for a handle.  It is EGGSceptional!  It was a must to be included.  So through the dishwasher it went along with a small clear glass jar.  I filled the chicken sugar jar with wrapped Easter mini candy bars/chocolates and the clear glass jar I lined with purple PEEPS and filled it with Easter M&Ms candy.  I cellophaned each up and stamped some chicken images along with a stamp that says “Cackle Cackle Cackle” and tied ribbon and stamped images to each gift.  Take a peek:

chicken sugar jar

Chicken sugar jar filled with chocolates and tied up with a cackle tag.

Peeps in a jar

Peeps in a jar.

I also tied a ribbon around a box of Peeps candy and around the chick blanket and tied on stamped images to those gifts as well.  Shhhh…don’t make PEEP… Ms. Betsy doesn’t know she is getting these treats.

Peeps candy tied up with chick tag

Box of Peeps candy tied up with chick tag.


Chick blanket

Chick blanket

Here is everything that will go in Betsy’s gift bag along with a few more treats still to be purchased.

A few unexpected gifts for Ms. Betsy

A few unexpected gifts for Ms. Betsy.

I’m on a hunt for a cute “chick” Easter board book for Baby Addison.  That will get added to the gift bag too once I find one I like.  I also have a little stuffed toy chick that I will stick out of the top of the bag.  I wish I could include a can of chicken noodle soup, Chicken in a Bisket crackers, and a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book, but since all this needs to fit into my carry-on suitcase (and I can’t have liquid that size) I need to limit the size of the gift.  I may take a pack of chicken top ramen just for a “funny”.  However, if you are doing a similar gift – you could include a recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup and  tie it to some of the soup in a jar.  Another thought is to use an egg carton and instead of putting candy filled eggs in the carton (predictable), bake some mini muffins or cupcakes in paper Easter liners and put those in the egg carton instead.  Cover the carton with scrapbook paper and embellishments and tie up with Easter ribbon.  Here is the tag wording I used for the outside of the bag.  I hope it helps to inspire your creativity for a chick/peep themed gift should you decide to do one.


You are like a HEN who gathers her CHICKS under her wings when we are at a conference.  When we POULET you in 100 different directions at once, you do an EGGSceptional job at handling us all graciously.  You always know EGGSactly how to help and never PECK US TO DEATH or make a PEEP of complaint.  Because of you, none of us have EGG ON OUR FACE or have to stay all COOPED UP in frustration.  I’m so grateful for you because you are one great MOTHER HEN giving us FREE RANGE to use our gifts for God!  I know all the PEEPS at Lifeway feel the same way I do.  You are the queen of the ROOST!

(I have an on-going theme that Betsy is “Queen B” so I always try to say “queen” somewhere on her tags.) I stamped her tag with a basket of eggs, chicks, hen, and the cackle-cackle stamps.  I recognize this photo is too small to read the tag, but since I gave you the wording above, I thought you might like to see how this is a larger tag.  Most of my tags aren’t this large, but I wanted this to be bigger as I’m tying it to a simple large brown grocery bag.  I liked the organic look of the brown bag since this is a farm-themed gift.  I will use bright green, yellow, and orange tissue and netting coming out of the top and tie it up with raffia and the coordinating ribbons used on the inside of the gift.

Peeps/Chicken gift tag

Peeps/Chicken tag stamped with chicks, hen, basket of eggs and cackle stamps

Now that you know how to wrap up items for the inside of baskets with simple ribbons and tags, I thought I would show you how I put a basket together. As you saw at the beginning of this post, I found some unusual/unexpected baskets for this Easter.  So here is how I fill them. First I gather all my products and organize them.  In this case it is candies and food products, ribbons, scissors, cellophane, containers, Easter grass, Easter towels, Easter hankies, sprinkles, and eggs (I’m so thankful for an oversized kitchen island for projects like this).  Then I start to work.

Easter basket goods

Easter foods; bunny cereal, fruit snacks, mac & cheese, cookies,
&  Peeps
Easter basket cupcake spring sprinkles

Easter basket cupcake spring sprinkles


Easter hankies
Chick towels

Chick towels

Easter candy

Easter candy




I then start filling all the “baskets” with Easter grass first and then the products.  This is what they look like before cellophane and tags:







I turned this….



Easter basket strainer

Vintage strainer









Into this:
Filled strainer basket

Sorry your health has been so STRAINED lately. Hope this brightens your day. Easter blessings!














Glass pitcher

 Glass Pitcher                                                            

Filled pitcher

Thanks for POURING out blessings on us all year. Happy Easter SWEET friend!

crown box
filled crown box

Our Savior is the KING OF KINGS...CROWN Him Lord of your life! Happy Easter!

While I did 40 baskets total….I think you get the idea now of how to turn a thrift gift into something repurposed.  However, remember that old, rusted, (becareful of tetanus) red tool box from a previous post?  Here it is now completed.  I lined the bottom with white paper and then put the Easter grass on top of it.  I indeed glued vintage game piece letters to magnets that spell out “Easter” on the lid.  This is what I envisioned when I first saw my $3 “treasure box”.  Here is what it looks like filled with sweet treats.
Filled Tool Box Easter Basket

Filled Tool Box Easter Basket









I hope this Easter you will try using some “unexpected” baskets yourself.  The HUNT for them was great fun and I knew with each find who would get each one.  I don’t think Peter Cottaintail could have done better himself.  The vintage glassware is so dainty and lovely.   Some were more practical finds that make great baskets and of course one can always tie up treasures without a basket at all…just use those trusty cellophane bags and some great ribbon.  I filled my baskets with Peeps & Peepsters candy, eggs filled with candy, toy chickens, Easter towels, Spring cupcake sprinkles, Easter hankies that say “He is risen!”,  Bunny Grahams, Bunny cereal, Bunny fruit snacks and Bunny mac & cheese (all found at Target and Hobby Lobby). The size of the “basket” determined which baskets got certain products. I write a poem every year to go with my gifts.  This year I am using large cut out foam rabbits and gluing my poem onto those for tags.  We sneak out the night before Easter and leave the baskets by people’s doors as a surprise.  The poem title this year plays off the bunny graham food products in the basket.  Here is my 2012 Easter poem should you want to use it:

Bunny Gram

We’re dropping off this surprise

“Bunny Gram”

In celebration of our Messiah -

The Great “I AM”

This gift is a reminder Jesus Christ has risen indeed,

Through Him alone we have all we need.

Easter is a celebration of our risen Christ,

And all for us what He sacrificed.

Drops of sweat and blood were upon His face,

As He hung on that cross to extend us grace.

He took our shame and guilt and sin,

As an opportunity for us to be born again.

Our Savior willingly went to Calvary,

He died and rose to set us free.

So praise Him, rejoice, and with us sing,

As we celebrate Easter this beautiful spring.

Easter blessings 2012!



One Comment

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  1. Shela-Lyn

    Thanks Kellie – I’m new at this (the blogging – not the crafting) so learning as I go. I appreciate your kind words.

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