Sunday, February 14, 2010
DIY Treasure Basket
Although the weather hasn't exactly warmed up yet (we just had record snowfall!), I've already begun thinking about the fun adventures my children and I will have when we can actually play outside again! Children love to be outside and mine are no exception. They love to explore, listen to the sounds of nature, spot birds and squirrels in the trees and at my house, my son loves to pick up treasures from outside. These treasures range from dandelions, to leaves, to nuts, to feathers, to snail shells. I am happy to encourage his adventurous, inquisitive spirit, but I'm not happy to collect all of his treasures on the kitchen counter.
So I decided to make him a Treasure Basket. I needed something that wouldn't get ruined by all things outdoors (ie, no fabric). As luck would have it, I had just finished this Costco-sized vinegar jug (BTW, vinegar is my new best friend when it comes to cleaning! Check out these great tips for using vinegar at home). You could use any plastic jug that you have at home, just try to find one that's a little sturdier than say a milk jug.
I peeled off the label with a little help from some Goo Gone (only up to the point where you'll be cutting the jug). I taped around my jug to mark the line where I would be cutting.
Then I used a box cutter to cut my "basket".
I wanted to decorate the basket to reflect it's purpose, so I cut out a bunch of outdoors-inspired pictures from some magazines. You could really get the kids involved with this part. They could choose their pictures and decorate their box anyway they'd like.
Next, I simply picked out the pictures I'd be using (I cut way more than I could actually use, but that gave me a lot of choices to get the right fit. It's kind of like putting together a puzzle.) and decoupaged them on the jug. My son even gave me a hand!
It's looking good!
Next, I finished off the top edge by hot gluing some double-folded binding tape around it, just in case there were any sharp plastic edges.
Then I made the handle. Using some fabric scraps that matched, I cut a piece about 14" by 3" (yours may be different depending on the size of your jug). I sewed down the middle (wrong side out) and then turned it. I used some boning (from my local Joann's, used for corsets and wedding dresses) to slide in the handle so it would keep it's shape. Then I cut a small "x" in each side of the jug, fed each end of the handle through the "x" and tied them off inside the jug. I did have a little slack on the inside, but I just cut it off. And voila! a Treasure Basket to house all of those wonderful treasures my son will surely be finding this Spring!
Despite the cold weather, we had to take it for a test drive. And I am happy to report that it was a great success!