Make an Egg Shaped Easter Basket From String

With Easter so late this year it’s giving me plenty of time to think up tons of fun Easter crafts.  This particular basket is from the way back machine.  One of the ladies I used to baby sit for would make these every year for friends and family.  I took the concept and added a little spin all my own to come up with this year’s Easter basket.

So it’s time to break out the glue gun and get crafty!

Supplies:

Crochet thread (I purchased 1,000 yards for two balloons and it was way too much)

Fabric stiffener such as Stiffy

Bowl

Plastic wrap

Tape

Disposable bowl or cupcake tray

Balloon

1/4 Yard coordinating fabric

Weighty filler such as beans or rice

Glue Gun

Ribbon

Scissors

Sewing Machine

Let’s get started!  First prepare your work area.  Line your bowl with the plastic wrap.  As I discovered (after I had glue all over the place!) you might want to tape down the edges of that plastic wrap to the bowl.  If you care about the table you’re working on, you’ll need to cover that too.  I find that a trash bag works perfectly.

Now give your lungs a small workout and inflate a balloon.  Remember, you’re going for an egg shape so don’t over inflate.

Drop your string into your prepared bowl and give it a bath in Stiffy.  You want to make sure the string is saturated, but not in a pool of Stiffy otherwise you’ll be flinging that stuff all over your kitchen as you make your egg.

Wrap the end of the string around the top of the ballon to get started.  This will hold that first piece of slippery string in place until you can get enough in place that it will hold itself.

Continue wrapping your egg until you’ve got complete coverage.  This basket took me about a half hour.  You’ll want to add more Stiffy along the way when you get to string that isn’t saturated.

With your masterpiece complete, set the egg in a bowl or cupcake try to dry for 24 hours.  Half way through the drying process, turn your egg on its side so the bottom can dry throughly.

After the egg has had plenty of drying time, break out your pin and pop the balloon inside – I generally puncture it right next to the balloon top.

If you can, pull the top out, but don’t force it – you’ll have plenty of chance to get it out later.

Leave the sad, deflated balloon inside, we’ll grab him when we cut open the basket.

So the fundamental problem with making an egg shaped basket is that eggs don’t stand up on their own……

When my neighbor made these she would put them in a silver disposable bowl and try to dress it up, but I just never really liked that.  So I thought about it a bit and decided to put a weight in the bottom to see if it would stand the basket up – just like those weighted inflatable punching dummies we had when we were kids.  Don’t tell me you didn’t ever smack one of those and have it rebound right in your face!  So I grabbed a plate from my cupboard to use as a circle pattern.  Of course the size you need is going to vary depending on how how large your egg is, but for reference this plate is 8″ in diameter and I used a 5/8″ seam allowance.

No-Sew Cheater Alert: I bet you could just grab a zip-loc bag, throw some rice or beans in there and cover it up with lots of grass if you don’t have a sewing machine at home.

Sew two circles together leaving an opening for filling.

Clip the curves to take out bulk and turn the disk right side out.

Fill your weight to the desired fullness.  You can use rice, beans, or whatever you’ve got around for filling.  Here I’m using the lentils I used as a pie weight ONE time two years ago….why do I keep this junk?!  Oh yeah so I can make Easter baskets for Jack and Caroline….

Once you’ve completed operation fill, hand sew the opening of the weight closed.

Now for the drama, you’re going to have to cut into that egg.  You gotta be able to fill your egg basket right?  There is no correct way to do this, but I will say, start small.  You can always make the opening bigger, but you can’t make it smaller!

Here’s what I came up with, not perfectly circular, and just the right size for the box of Legos I got each of the kids.  Now is your chance to grab that balloon that was sitting in the basket.

Throw the weight in there and check out that magic!  Sweet, it looks like a little green yolk in there :)  And it totally stands up the basket.  I’m not going to lie, I felt like a genius at this moment.

It’s time to break out the glue gun and get crafty!  I like to line the edges of the opening with ribbon because they can be a bit pokey and I want to re-inforce that edge.

Since this basket is for Jack, I went for a more understated bow.

But you can get as crazy as you like with the ribbon.  For Caroline’s basket above I used purple ribbon and wrapped it all the way around the egg a la the classic sugar egg design.  I hope you have fun with this project!

— Martta

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193 thoughts on “Make an Egg Shaped Easter Basket From String

      • I used sugar water mixture but forgot the amounts, also bought the little nest looking wreaths made from grape vines to prop them up on when done.

  1. I love this project. I should make Christmas ornaments with Nativity scenes in them. I’d better get started today… Hee hee.
    Nice work lady! Marilyn :)

  2. What a really adorable idea! I have been looking for grandchildren baskets but I have 13! Thats a lot of work for that many. Maybe, I will just do buckets…lol But sooooo putting this on my try out list!

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  4. I had one of these when I was a kid. I made some about 5 years ago using sugar instead of stiffy. Takes longer to dry but gives the egg basket a crystal sparkle. I banged it against the table before popping the balloon to give it a flat spot. Now I just use foam or cardboard and glue a ring to the bottom.

    I used water balloons to make small ones as gifts.

    I made a giant one once for a friend who was pregnant. Filled it with baby stuff.

    Made another for some friends when they got married.

    The egg was wrapped with a satin ruffled lace trim so the thread wouldn’t show. The opening was a heart. Border around the opening was gold.

    I put in some white grass, sparkling cider, etched wine glasses, a gift card from bedandbreakfast.com, another for Blockbuster, and some microwave popcorn.

    They still have the egg 4 years later and said it was the best gift they received for their wedding. Their family and friends STILL talk about it.

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  6. This is such a great idea! I am sooo going to make this. I was thinking if you wanted a colored egg you could put some food coloring in the stiffy so you have color. This is AWESOME!

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  8. GREAT instructions! I made these years ago for my kids, but forgot some of the details. Now I’m making them for my Grandkids! Thanks for all the tips!

  9. looks good,may try with my cubscouts,might keep them quiet for a bit,may try a coloured dye on the string,with kids in gloves,shouldn’t stain.

  10. can’t you just use different color string instead of food coloring? to make different color eggs would be less messy just a thought

      • NO IT WONT I JUST MADE ONE LAST NIGHT WITH COLORED STRING AND IT CAME OUT GREAT THE STIFFY DOESNT AFFECT THE COLOR OF THE STRING AT ALL :)

    • Yes, theere are a variety of colors of string. You can use whatever color(s) you want. Even the multi/rainbow colored. The stiffy or white glue or whatever you use as stiffener will dry clear so you will see whatever color string you used.

  11. When my sister makes these she hangs them to dry. Ties a piece of string around the top of the balloon (since the ballon is going to be pulled out anyway). Then ties the other end of the string to a kitchen cabinet knob or loops over a hanging light fixture over the dining room table. Making sure to put a garbage bag beneath it to catch all the drips while it dries. Instead of using a weight or a bowl to keep it standing upright, when the bottom is partially dry (still not fully dry) she caves in the bottom (punches it in a bit with her fist) so that the egg then will sit upright on a flat surface. She has always used just plain white glue (Elmers or whatever brand you have).

  12. I did these years ago, but like one other lady said on here, I used sugar water and I don’ remember the ratio either. When I wrapped the balloon instead of wrapping it all the way I wrapped it to leave an opening so I didn’t have to cut it and have pokey edges… I love the weighted idea for the bigger eggs… These are so pretty now I am inspired to do them again…

  13. Any ideas on how to make them dry faster that is safe for them. Want to do them but need them to be dry quicker than 24 hours.

  14. This is great! It reminds me of Easter baskets my sister and I received in the 70’s. But they were coated with sugar. Is that the same concept? Maybe back then they used sugar water instead of sticky stuff.

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    • Full strength liquid starch is what we used WAY BACK in the 1950’s when my Girl Scout troop made them as Christmas gifts for a nursing home we adopted

  16. we used Elmers glue with about 1/8 cup of water… It dried really really well, and is a handy/cheap alternative for those wanting to make an egg on the fly NOW (like the week before easter)

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  19. Just a note of caution: IF you use sugar/water (ratio is 1 part hot water 2 parts sugar~stir until sugar has completely dissolved then let cool before using) . . . after it has dried you may want to get a spray can of clear matte finish paint and give it a coat or two. If you don’t then you may awake one morning in the Spring/Summer time to find your creation covered in ants. I stiffened crocheted lampshades one year and that is exactly what happened to me.

    • Thank you Nancy for that bit of advice. I would hate to go through all of that and feel so proud only to wake up with ants all over it

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    • Perhaps cotton cording? Twine could be used as well, but will take longer to soak up the ‘stiffener’ you choose to use. These would give a coarser more textured and 3 dimensional look to the ‘shell’ of the egg, but wouldn’t that be lovely to have a grouping with varied texture!

  21. I have made small eggs for Easter decorations (put them in a glass bowl on my table) and I used a flour paste. Just mixed flour with water till it was a thick paste. Then I used embroidery floss. But for a basket I like the idea of the “stronger” stuff! Will have to try making baskets this year for my daycare kids! Thanks!

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  24. my granddaughter and i made this and its beautiful . but its extremely hard to cut open the egg . she is going to use it as an Easter basket but she is going to have to hold the bottom of it so it wont break!!!!!!!

  25. I once made over 100 of the eggs, sold them for Easter to friends and family. I made them with the sugar and all pastel string. They were so pretty, I kept getting more orders. Thinking about doing it again but trying white glue this time.

    • How much did you charge? Did you fill them with or without the goodies? Goodness, how long did it take you to make 100? That must have taken weeks!

  26. Could I just use a glue mixture to saturate the twine in because they dont sell Stiffy anywhere near me. Would Modge Podge work? I love this Im making one for my momma.

    • I used a mixture of flour and water and a couple of tablespoons of midge podge. They dried within 24 hours and looked awesome!

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  28. I have made many of these over the years. You can get it to stand on its own. Just before the bottom is totally dry, set it on a flat surface and make it stand( sometimes have to push down with a slight force and wiggle to make it indent on bottom) It will naturally cave in on the bottom and stand on its own. Leave in that position to totally dry. Then it can stand on its own. Pack it very carefully if you wish to keep from year to year. You can even make small eggs to decorate the inside.

  29. I seen this after Easter last year…I’m getting started on this this weekend. I love the Christmas ornament idea it would be cool to add a light too. For an Easter tree and a Christmas tree. Love it thanks for sharing early.

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  31. That’s a great idea! I was thinking when I make this for a friend Im going to make the weight one of those heating bags that you toss in the microwave, dual purpose :)

    • I make the corn warmers (you can use rice to) that is what I was thinking of doing to, should make a great Eater gift, can’t wait to get started on the eggs. I think I will sprinkle glitter to make them sparkle :)

  32. HI! Im going to make these for my kids this year, but im wondering, what works better, and holds better…. liquid starch, or the fabric stiffener? And is there a difference between stiffys and aleenes? I dont want to do sugar because the kids will want to keep these and i dont want ants in their rooms. Thanks!!

  33. If I make christmas ornaments, how would I get a picture in there without cutting it open? Id want the round ball shape to stay intact.

  34. I have made many balloon sculptures. They are fun. I have found that before I allow the bottom to dry completely, I pop the balloon and then push the base of the balloon upward, kinda tucking it inside the balloon. I then set the balloon upright on a flat surface and check to see if any further adjustments to the base is needed. I have also made other cute designs with my balloons. I have made baby bassenets for baby shoer center pieces, and filled them with travel size baby gifts. These are my favorite to make.

  35. WOW !! WHAT A GREAT IDEA… IM GONNA GIVE IT A TRY.. ESPECIALLY WITH EASTER AROUND THE CORNER, AND A FEW BABY SHOWERS ON THE WAY..

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  37. Beautiful! My grandmother and I use to make these all the time when I was younger. She did hers all different colors it was really neat I think I might make my kids one since I have plenty of time :)

    Thanks for bringing back some of my childhood :)

  38. I went & bought all the stuff I needed to make these…started out just making one. It went ok except when it dried, some of the string dried away from the balloon! There were pieces of string sticking out everywhere! I used half water & half Elmers glue. I dipped the string in the glue mixture right before wrapping it around the balloon. I really didn’t want to soak the whole spool of string in case I wanted to use it for something else. Did that make a difference? What did I do wrong?

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  41. You can also pop the balloon when the string is almost completely dry, not completely so that it is slightly soft, then you can use the palm of your hand and make a dent on the bottom and it will stand on it’s own and you won’t have to weight it down, made these before with my kids but we used sugar water

  42. I tried this using Liquid starch but when I popped the balloon my string also stuck to the balloon and partially collapsed it.. Any suggestions?

    • Maybe spraying the balloon with a nonstick cooking spray first?? Not sure if this would help going to try to make one for my daughter this easter…. This is a wicked cute idea

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  46. Great variation of a similar craft I made at Halloween when my boys were little, but I used cheesecloth instead of crochet string. We created a “spider egg” complete with small plastic spiders “hatching” from it and dangling from it on fishing line. Very cute, and their first grade teacher used it in class when they learned about spiders!

  47. Instead of using plastic wrap on your bowl, place an open plastic grocery bag inside the bowl, draping over the sides. When you are done take the bag out, mess and all, and throw it away. Plastic wrap would be a lot messier to handle. Also I am going to try drawing an opening on the inflated balloon and guide the string around it so I’ll have a smoother opening.

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  49. Awesome thanks so much for sharing I just made one but used something else that the stiffer I will for sure get some of that because it didn’t turn out with what I used !!!

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  51. Do you know if yarn works as well as string? I have camo colored yarn for my boys and bright tye dye for my daughter for other projects and since it is handy I didnt know if it would work the same. Also since I can’t find the fabric stiffiner ( i have tried many stores) is there an alternative that works just as well? Thank you

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  54. I tried this with water balloons and glue when I popped the balloon the yarn collapsed with the balloon…epic fail. I have 4 large ones with thread and I am scared to pop them. What did I do wrong? What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen to the big ones? Help!!!

    • I believe yarn is too heavy. String is best, and I use liquid starch. Be sure it is completely dry before popping the balloon. Sometimes it takes 3-4 days to dry.

    • Oh…I didn’t make a pouch either I pushed the center of the bottom firmly on the surface. It pushed the center up into the basket then I used my hand to form the base more evenly…grass hid it. They sat evenly as well. I made 4 large ones.

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  59. All things old or new again! mad these 25 years ago. Messy, but the results are great and they are a great alternative to baskets especially for those that are older but still young at heart!

  60. I’ve made these before you can use the middle part you cut out and hot glue it to the bottom of the egg to make it stand

  61. I am new to this whole DIY thing, so I apologize in advance for any stupid questions I may ask. The only fabric stiffener-type product I could find was modpodge stuffy something or other…is this what I should use?

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  63. I can’t wait to give this a try! My thought with the weight bag….a corn or rice bag. 100% cotton material and the filling, then is serves as a dual purpose! It will hold the basket down and then it can be put in the microwave and warmed up! So glad I saw this BEFORE Easter this year and it reminded me about it!

    • I did not use a bag I just sat it down and then pushed it in the bottom middle so it would sit correctly. Do this while it is damp. I made 4 last Easter and it takes a few days to dry. I used glue and water. I wouldn’t use sugar because of bugs.

    • Hi Tina, I’ve seen this pattern using two different methods. Either one is just as messy…you can use one continuous string winding it around the balloon while the skein is unwinding in the bowl of glue, or you can cut the string into long lengths wetting a few strands as a time. Too many strands in the bowl of glue tend to get tangled and make the project more frustrating. You can also try different winding patterns or even different colored strings. Just have fun and if you’re making more than one have fun experimenting. You can also try different weights of string or yarn. Jute cord makes a more rustic looking egg.

      • As kids we used liquid starch, and strips of newspaper. Then painted and decorated when finished.

  64. I love this idea! I’ve read most of the comments, and there are lots of great ideas and suggestions. I have a few of my own…the sugar and water stiffener is good but there is one drawback to that solution…ANTS! You know, the little black pesky ones that seem to get in no matter what. I like to use decopage(sorry if misspelled). Works great and no ants. Also, I never did think of using a rice or bean bag for the weight. Perfect, because when all of the basket contents are eaten or all over the floor(everyone know this happens), you can use the rice or bean bags for heating pads. Just toss the bag in the microwave to heat…instant, reusable heating pad for achy hands after crafting. I’m definitely doing this this year!! Thank you.

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  66. Bought the big jar of Stiffy at Hobby Lobby $5.99 next to ModPodge bottle rack. Made these 40 years ago with my grandmother. I have some felt that would easily form a pouch for some beans without turning it. I also have some cute Easter fabric I could use and pink the edges. Love the idea of trying these for Christmas too. TFS Evelyn

  67. Not sure if anyone mentioned this but what about inverting the cut out circle and using it as a base to anchor the egg? Just a thought. It could be decorated too. Love this idea.

  68. How about yarn? Would that work in place of string? As for the weight to hold it down, go to a party store where they sell balloons and get a couple or 3–the cellephane paper on them makes it cheery for the packaging.

  69. Thank you for sharing this. I am making 10 of them this year for my kids and nieces and nephews. I know they will love them.

    • Just made my first one with fabric stiffener. What a sticky mess on my hands when I was done! I would highly recommend wearing some kind of gloves when you do this. Also, something I learned – I covered my kitchen table with newspaper. If you do this, DO NOT set your egg down on it. It will absorb the ink on the bottom or whatever part touches the newspaper 😕 Also, instead of plastic wrap, I put the large bowl inside a large Target bag. No fuss clean up! Can’t wait to see how it looks in the morning!

      • Can you let me know how yours turned out? My eggs are pumpkin shaped now….going to use them anyway…not all baskets are egg shaped..!!!

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  72. Okay so I Tried this but on a smaller scale, I am makeing Easter eggs with Lindt bunnies in them for my family I used normal clag I got from Kmart and when I deflated the balloon it kind of deflated all my string, it turned it to a mess I now know clag is not the best glue what do you recomen or is glue not my best option??? please help. :D

    • I used Stiffy Glue by Modge Podge….bought it at Michael’s. It worked for me.! Good luck. however, my balloon didn’t stay egg shaped…..It is pumpkin shaped now. :-(

      • I left the clag for another day and they worked well…
        I also tried with Elmers glue, it’s cheep at Woolworths, to keep the balloons egg shaped I wraped the string loosely but still tight to keep shape, I used the smooth end of a paint brush (the end with no brisless) to break the seal that the glue had made I did this when the string was dry to touch it ment that when I poped the balloon that it didn’t fold in on itself, although they often poped during this proces. Over all I made about 23 and only 15 or so lived but I’m pretty proud of them. I even used the exes string to write mum and dad on two of the eggs to personalise them.

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  74. I tired, mine failed…they didn’t stay egg shaped… I used stiff glue……how do you keep the egg shape? mine look like ghords now……

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  76. This is so creative…always look for creative ideas to do things and would like to thank you for sharing your idea. This will really help me with my children in school and also in church….since its Easter time…..Happy Easter

  77. I am trying to do this now. It is the most frustrating thing ever! I have 36″ baloon and the string simply wont stay on to wrap.

    • Yes deffinatly I left some of mine outside over night and it was cold so they shrivelled up best to let them dry at a steady rate at room tempriture which is about 21 degrees Celsius.

  78. When friends and I did this years ago we sprinkled the wet string with clear, coarse glitter. When dried the “eggs” had a sugary look. They were really pretty and we had so much fun!!

  79. I made two yesterday morning with Sta-flo starch, but they were semi-soft after they dried. I made some paper machae mix(1c sta-flo, 1/2c flour) and “painted” it on a test spot on one. Checked it this morning and it worked out great! Covered the rest in the mixture and now waiting on them to dry. I might spray with glittered hairspray and dry again before I pop the balloons.

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