Friday, March 27, 2009

No Blarney! It's Plarny!

A tisket, A tasket,
Some plarn in just one basket,
Like Rumplestiltskin hard at work,
And now I have TEN baskets!

I have only worked with plarn once. I thought it was o.k., for the simple project I tried with it; but for whatever reasons, I just haven't thought to use it on anything specific since then. Well, Easter is just around the corner, and I like to make little holiday goodies of one kind or another for the kids at church. I had a couple of ideas in mind, but here's one for starters! Inspired by Cindy's baskets, you can find her pattern here. See her other ideas too!
As I was choosing to work with this project in particular, I knew I wanted to save my own yarns for other projects. I had to consider, as sweet as I think these little gifts will be, I don't honestly know that all parents will be saving these baskets, or tossing them out with the trash when the holiday is over. So, with these thoughts in mind, I was hoping to keep expenses down to a minimal amount, and I decided plarn was the way to go. While I didn't follow Cindy's pattern to the exact letter and count, I DID think hers was absolutely adorable, and I DID follow it pretty closely enough. I also found great appreciation for her tutorial, showing how to make plarn in her February 17th post.

With my little bluebird friend joining me again (my cat must have been napping at the time!), you see in my photo that I had a big basket of plarn ready to go. I made about 10 balls of it, each ball made from approximately 4 plastic bags. After crocheting 10 baskets, I still have enough plarn leftover to do one more; so for the number of kids I am planning on sharing with, I will probably be making up about 4 or 5 more balls of plarn, I think, to make the 15 or 16 baskets I may want in all. These worked up very quickly and easily, so I have no doubts that I can get these done in good time, and ON TIME! I must also say, before I go on, photos don't really do these any justice. To look at them, even right in front of you, you would almost think they were wicker! It's amazing to me the look of these baskets, made only from plastic shopping bags! People really don't seem to know, so it's almost funny to watch as they pick one up and feel what it's really made of!

Well, I've given a couple of reasons for saving my pennies where I can.. Another reason, in this case, was because I do not yet know how much I plan to spend on goodies that may go INTO the baskets! I want the appearance of my package to be cute, but I still have to decide what more will go into each basket, and into each egg. More often than not, parents feel their kids have ENOUGH candy for the holiday, and I will also have to take that into consideration. So onward, with a planned budget in mind, I shopped for Easter grass. I found ONE brand on the shelf. I was not happy with the quality, nor the quantity.. NOR THE COST! But where there was a will, I came up with a way! I found a 16-count, luncheon-sized, package of green-colored paper napkins, at a clearance cost of 75 cents! NOW, I was happy! I went home, and ran each napkin through my paper shredder. WHAT? Yes, my paper shredder. I shredded one napkin to make enough Easter grass for each basket. It fit just nicely! I was very happy with how it looked, as I finally placed one plastic egg into each basket!

Now, I'm feeling satisfied with the look and quality of my project. I'm hoping the kids are really going to like these, as this, of course, is what matters most! Still, I'd like to tally up what each basket cost me, so far, before making further plans and/or expenses on candy or other such goodies. Well, each bag was free, and hopefully Mother Nature is smiling, as each bag has now been recycled! It's not exactly "straw into gold", but it's still a very good thing, and we must all do our part, making our planet a little healthier, whenever we can! O.k., now as I was saying, each bag was free, while each napkin cost me a nickel, and each egg cost me a nickel. My total cost for 16 mini Easter baskets, as you see them in the photo, has come to $1.60! How awsome is THAT? I think that's pretty good so far! Yes, Beansie loves a BARGAIN! Wait a minute.. What's that I see? I think my checkbook is SMILING!


RecycleCindy said...

I just had to leave you a comment about your little plarn Easter baskets. They turned out so adorable and I love how you used paper to fill the baskets. So frugal and yet so very cute. I'm sure the kids will just love them. Happy Easter to you!

Beansieleigh said...

Oh, I'm so glad you could stop here to see them! Well, my sister was just here... She loved them!!.. and she says now she wants 16 baskets too!! I told her I'm running out of Walmart bags. She had better get shopping, or find me some more SOMEWHERE! (0: Thank you for a great little pattern, and Happy Easter to you too!

Cupycrochets said...

Hey Beansie!,

You never cease to amaze me. These are just adorable. You are such an inspiration to me. I grabbed my plastic bags and tried this out. Guess what happened? My hands turned bright red and started to itch! Guess I am allergic to them UGH! My bags are ugly any way. They are this greyish tan color with red writing. I thought they would be OK for baskets but guess I will never know now.


Lynn Guinn said...

Way to go, Girl!

Beansieleigh said...

Oh no, Cupy! I'm so surprised and sorry at the same time to hear this! I'm feelin' so bad about it, I'm already trying to think of something else YOU could use to make them!
LOL! I'll certainly let you know, ASAP, if I come up with something! (0; Hope the itching is going away! ((Hugs!))

Beansieleigh said...

Thanks, Lynn!! (0:

Thomas said...

That's an awesome cheap "Easter" craft idea. Did your shredder give you any trouble shredding the napkins? Did it shred right through the napkin or sort of tear it because of the fabric?

Beansieleigh said...

Hi Thomas, No the shredder cut the paper napkins into straight strips, probably better than my scissors would have done the job! From there you could cut the bunch in half to fit the baskets... or do what I did and just bent them in half to fit the baskets, then fill them with whatever Easter treats!... Happy Easter, and thanks for stopping by! (0: