Easter eggs and flowers in basket

I love baskets! I have all shapes and sizes that I use around the house for storage and display.

My earliest memories of baskets are the colorful ones that the “Easter bunny” would leave for us to find. Usually, they were made of plain or pastel-colored wood and filled with candies and chocolates in the shape of bunnies or eggs. But sometimes they were made of plastic and covered in cellophane. They were always filled with green plastic grass to nestle the goodies in.

There are so many creative ways to have beautiful Easter baskets that don’t involve all of that plastic. Fill a reusable wicker basket with shredded paper or line it with a colorful piece of fabric before adding the Easter goodies. Embellish with fabric bows and fresh or dried flowers. Don’t forget the colorful dyed hard-cooked eggs in keeping with the Easter theme.

But baskets don’t have to be just for Easter. For Valentine’s Day, line one with red fabric and fill it with wrapped chocolate candies. For St. Patrick’s Day, deck it out in green ribbon and fill it with green carnations — or DIY paper shamrocks. A fall “harvest basket” might hold little ornamental squashes to brighten a tabletop and a “Christmas basket” could display glass tree ornaments or pinecones. I even display my Christmas cards in a basket.

I also like to use baskets for gift giving. For a birthday or anniversary, I’ll fill a basket with an assortment of something I think the recipient will like (such as spa items, gourmet coffee, or a selection of nuts) instead of using a gift bag or box. That’s definitely something that I would love to receive!

Even when baskets have lost their handles or are a little beat up, I can use them as organizers in drawers or cabinets. And when a wicker basket is old and brittle, it can be broken up and used as mulch or added to a large compost pile. No waste!

By Joanna Lacey

Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.