Thursday, October 3, 2013

BOOtiful Trick Or Treat Basket

It's almost Halloween and your scrambling for a fabulous costume, right?  Once your costume is finally in place, panic sets in at the last moment.  You realize you don't have a special or unique trick or treat bag or bucket.  But what's out there?  Plastic pumpkin buckets that have cheap handles that break and everyone and their brother has carried for generations or those unimaginative plastic bags.  How about instead a basket that is so beautiful, you can pass it down for generations to come?  Sounds like a great idea to me!  Don't fret because I am going to show you how to have "THE BEST" Halloween accessory this year, one that everyone will be talking about, a conversation piece, and you(or your child) will be the talk of the town.  

I love to beautify anything I can get my hands on.  Baskets are a favorite, with Easter baskets, Valentine's Day and gift baskets, the options are abundant and my ideas are endless.  All it takes is for me to find one thing to inspire an entire project.  This year, my son's new school is having a harvest basket raffle and I immediately got excited.  When they asked for a title so they can have a label or sign ready for it, I quickly wrote, "Trick or Treat."  After my morning errands, I set out for MICHAEL'S craft store.  I headed right for the basket aisle to see what I could find.  The first and most important thing I considered was the size. It had to be big enough to fit a decent amount of candy yet light enough to carry around for hours without becoming a slave to your basket.  I considered a plain, basic basket that I could spray paint black, orange, purple or even green and then dress-up with decorative objects.  Until, that is, I came across a orange pumpkin-shaped basket with just the right dimensions and circumference I was looking for and, more importantly, it was pretty weightless.  I then headed for the aisle with the Halloween ribbon and pumpkin pics.  I wanted THIS basket to be elegant and to show the time and quality it took to create.  My theme came from a traditional cat/ masquerade-type mask I found.  From there I knew that flowers or something bushy would be the staple around the basket in which any details would be able to support.  You don't want to make or sell baskets that easily fall apart.  Quality means repeat business. Quantity comes from creating quality first.

Here's how:

With a hot glue gun heating up, I began my project by tying together 
(back to back) two pre-made fabric bows.  You can certainly make your own but I just love how the shade of these material ribbons I came across complimented the basket.  With the ties already provided on the back of the ribbon in the form of pipe cleaners, I firmly fastened them to the right lower side of the basket handle and placed a lump of hot glue beneath where I tied the fasteners.  This ensures the bow will not easily be removed in the event someone tries to pull on it or rips off during storage, etc.


Next, I began pulling off the flower heads from the stems of the black rose "flower picks" I found. A flower pick is a bundle of artificial flowers secured to plastic stems, used in crafting.  Once removed from their plastic stems, I squeezed a pretty big dollop of hot glue on the back of the flower head and quickly began placing the flowers around my basket, starting with beneath the bow until I went all the way around gluing on the roses (pretty close together/slightly overlapping)  until I reached  below the ribbon on the opposite side where the final rose would be placed.  By the way, these roses were lightly sprinkled with orange glitter.  I then pulled the heads off the black daisies with an orange glitter centers and positioned them sporadically in areas that could use "a little something extra," areas that looked sparse.

Next, I carefully positioned the cat mask on the opposite side of the ribbon handle.  I chose to place the mask on an angle to make it more interesting.

Then, with the black leaves that were left behind on my plastic stems, I pulled them off and with a dab of hot glue stuck them within a few spaces of the bow and around areas that exposed some overflow of glue, where anything may have needed extra anchoring.

The last decorative aspect was beautiful sparkly pumpkin picks, which I added in open spaces.  In this case, I did not want to pull off the pumpkin heads from the picks as I did with the roses.  What I wanted to do was stick the entire plastic pick in spaces beneath both sides of my ribbon, using the long thick stem as an anchor so the pumpkins could dangle downward.  When I found an opening, I pushed the bottom of my pick through from the bottom of the bow up to the top where the bow meets the handle.  I then twisted the rigid plasticky pick around the lower portion of the handle of the basket.  After that, I went in with the glue gun and placed glue in spaces where I twisted the stem for extra securing/anchoring.  To cover the stem and the glue, I used my extra black leaves to cover it up.


I can't forget that I added a shimmering glitter spider to my bow.  The spider came on a clip but I knew clipping the spider onto the bow, would only lead to it disappearing so, I glued right over the clip and secured it to my bow.  I then carefully put tiny dabs of glue on a few of the spider's feet for extra security.

No basket should go unmarked without your signature or label.  In this case, I labeled the flat woven portion of the basket with a black permanent Sharpie marker.  I will add a business card to my basket and also a decorative label which will read "TRICK OR TREAT" and fill this raffle basket with large candy bars and fun Halloween toys.  And that's it; my basket is complete.

Send me a message and a picture of your basket, tell me about it and what you thought of the project.  My baskets are for sale and are custom-made to order.  One like this runs $75.00 without the candy.

Here's to a BOO-tiful Halloween!

Jamie Gottschall
The NYClifestylist

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