FILLING THE SHADOWBOX
THE EASTER BASKETS ARE READY FOR THE EGG HUNT
It is Easter morning, the baskets are filled, and the eggs are hidden in the grass. All is ready for the hunt to begin. This is the subject of the 4th section of our Easter Shadowbox.
The Background: Make a color copy of the background graphic onto matte presentation paper using, best printer settings, adjusting the size to fit the walls of the shadowbox section it will be in. As seen the section is 4 ¼” wide. I used a dry, deep green watercolor pencil to change the yellow of the grass to a green, nothing artistic here, just simple feathered strokes. Cut out the piece. You may choose to add it in one piece or do each wall separately (makes applying to the walls easier). Use a quality Glue Stick for adhering.
Save image to your computer. Print out at 8.97"w x 3.5"h
Print onto matte presentation paper at best settings
The Flooring: I used the same self-stick moss as was used in section 2, Adhesive-backed moss (this product is available in craft ((Michaels)), model railroad and floral supply stores). Although this product is not a must it sure makes the job of landscaping easier and less messy. Cover the floor and up the wall a bit to add dimension. I doubled some of the side edges, here and there,
for more dimension and to make the look of the hidden eggs more realistic.
Fine flowers were added in groups around the perimeter. These were purchased but one could easily make them using railroad flower landscaping material http://www.amazon.com/Scene-A-Rama-Scenery-Bags-Flowers and fine wire.
You may choose to hide your eggs now as it is easer before the baskets are in place. Use the colored eggs you made for section 3…remember, I told you to make extras. But here is something different you may want to try: Look in the floral department of craft stores for branches of pastel colored Styrofoam balls. The balls can be picked off the branch and pinched in fingertips to form ovals...larger ones can be eggs; smaller ones can be used as candy eggs or jellybeans.
WOVEN EASTER BASKETS
These Easter baskets are paper strips woven over a form. They are fun and fairly easy to make. The size and shape of the form, the width of the strips used and the choice of colors make each basket unique.
Choose a form that matches the diameter you desire of your finished basket. The samples used a ¾” diameter dowel but the form may be small, smooth lids, bottles, etc. Decide how tall your basket will be and mark a line up from the bottom around the form.
For the spokes and the weavers, cut colored paper into 1/16” x 5 1/2 “strips. You may choose to make a solid color basket or a two-toned one…the spokes being one color and the weavers another.
For a ¾” diam. basket you will need 8 full sized spokes and one half the length. You always need an uneven number of spokes to weave. Glue two spokes together at right angles at their centers. Continue to glue on the other 6 full spokes in the same manner, centering each around the others. Glue the 9th spoke on so it fits in an open space. When the glue has set a bit use needle nose pliers to pinch and compress the center a bit.
Hold the center of the spoke assembly on the center of the bottom of the dowel- form and with the other hand glue the ends of the spokes on the sides of the form up somewhat from your marked line. If you glue four spokes that are evenly spaced around the dowel first you can then let go of the top of the spoke assembly while you glue the rest in place.
To weave, cut one end of a weaver-strip to a point and glue the other end to the inside of one of the spokes, as close to bottom as possible, making sure not to get glue on the form.
With the help of pointed tweezers, weave the strips in and out of the spokes around the form. When the first strip is almost used up, glue another weaver strip to it. Let the glue set just a bit and then continue weaving around, always pushing the weave close and tight. For this size basket six rows of waving are good. Stop up form the same place you started the weaving. Trim excess from the last weaver; glue the cut end under the nearest spoke.
Cut off all but 1/16” of the spokes that are under the last woven row. Glue the extending 1/16” down over the last row of weaving to secure it.
Cut off the remaining spokes in the same manner. Slip the basket off the form. Glue the extensions over the last row of weaving on the inside of the basket.
For the top trim, Glue two of the strips together for a double thickness…if you are using two colors, use one of each. When the glue has set, cut the strip in two lengthwise, With the fingertips one hand, pinch one end of the strip to hold, and with the other hand twist the strip into a tight corkscrew….with a bit of practice this is easy. Cut off the end of the twisted paper. Glue the twist around the top of the basket, just very slightly to the outside edge.
For the handle, prepare a twisted piece as described above. Glue one end to the inside of the basket, decide how high you want you handle, cut off excess twist and glue the other end inside the basket. Use needle nose pliers to pinch and meld handle paper to basket paper.
If desired the baskets may be finished with a clear, matte medium.
If you enjoyed weaving the basket do explore using other material in the same manner…thinner paper strips, cording, ribbon, etc.
Easter Basket Grass: You may have some very fine Easter grass on hand… vintage grass is often very fine and lovely but hard to come by. The finest and most malleable I have been able to make is using tissue paper. Using sharp scissors and four thicknesses of tissue paper cut it into ultra fine strips but not freeing it from the whole paper. When it is as fine as you can cut it, without shedding it, cut it free. Roll it into bundles in your hand to compress and wrinkle it. Fill baskets. A deep green color is traditional but white or light pastels work well too.
Filling the Baskets: Fill your baskets with candy, toys, and other goodies. As seen the white basket holds a small story book, dyed eggs, and a pom-pom chick. The lavender and white one besides candy has a coloring book and crayons. The blue and yellow baskets has a chocolate bunny and assorted candy.
Story books: Because these books will not be opened they use matboard as a filler for the pages. Print the book covers onto matte presentation paper using best printer settings. Cut out, score and fold. Cut a piece of matte board a scant smaller and glue into cover.
Chocolate Bunny: The bunnies are made using a mini plastic candy mold, Country Kitchen Inc. #90-2119.
This particular mold has 10 each of rabbits, ducks, baskets and egg on it. The rabbits are 1” high. The mold can either be used as a press mold with Fimo by first dusting the mold very lightly with cornstarch or with Plaster of Paris. If using Fimo, choose a brown color and press into mold and smooth out evenly. Use a needle tool or something similar to lift rabbit out of mold, smooth edges if needed and bake according to Fimo directions, or do as I sometimes do and use a heat gun to cure the clay. If using Plaster of Paris, follow package directions for mixing and spoon into molds. When plaster has set a bit, smooth off excess plaster, even with mold. When plaster has set push out the rabbit and when completely dry paint with brown acrylics. Either way give the rabbit a tan eye and add a bow with paint, dimensional paint, Fimo, silk ribbon, or crepe paper twist. Use chocolate rabbits to fill Easter baskets or wrap in clear plastic wrap, tied at the top with a silk ribbon bow….whatever, they look good enough to eat, but don’t.
Color Book: Print the pages on bright white paper and the cover on matte presentation paper.
Cut out the pages in one continuous piece. Neatly fold the pages sharply, accordion-style, starting on the left-hand side with an inward fold.
Keeping the smaller front and back pages free, glue the rest of the pages together in pairs by using a quality glue stick on the back side. Make sure there is no glue on the front of the pages and press the assembly even and flat.
Cut the cover out and score and on the spine lines. Glue the page assembly into the cover by its spine and when the spine is in place glue down the smaller facing pages to evenly to the inside of the front and back covers. Check for excess glue and then press flat until the glue has set.
Crayons: This image is an altered version from . http://www.printmini.com (a great printie site). Copy and paste image to your computer. Print box onto matte presentation paper. Cut out, score, fold and glue sides to tabs
SHADOW BOX TO DATE
Well, per usual these days, time got ahead of me and I did not finish this project before Easter as planned. But not to fret, as the subjects of the next two sections of the Shadowbox will focus on pieces that can be used anytime of year. And so as soon as the remains of Easter dinner are put away, the family are on their way home, and I have put my feet up for awhile (maybe eating another tiny sliver of cheesecake) I will start on the 5th section of the Shadowbox, Spring Flowers.
Here is hoping your Easter is/was peaceful, loving, and happy,