Monday, April 14, 2014

Last Minute Somewhat Free Easter Baskets

Before you rush out the door to the dollar store to put together an Easter Basket, here are a few ideas for lovely and edifying Easter gifts that you can make happen in a hurry. And sometimes for nearly free!


Shining Light Saint Printables! Just a word of caution, you could. just. die. of the cute. It could happen. 

Twenty-three of the adorablest saints you ever did see, available for free. Print out two of each on cardstock for a matching game. Print one on Iron-On Transfer Paper and make a patron saint t-shirt. Print one out and glue it onto a composition book for a doodle book. And maybe next year, plan ahead a little and buy the dolls.

Kelly Saints Stamps. These fun saint illustrations have endless possibilities. Print them out on sticker paper for a sticker set. Use them to convert your existing Connect 4, Checkers, or Guess Who games to cuter, more Catholic versions. I got a chance to pre-view this set and, wow, there are a lot of things you could do with it. There are 42 different saints, in 2 different styles, and 4 different sizes. There are dozens of suggestions for crafts like bottle cap saints and saint stones, and games like bingo and plinko that you can put together at home.

I'm working on making the saint stones with these Clear Glass Tiles , and craft glue . A one inch hole punch would make things go more quickly, but I've been managing without it.

Kelly Saint Stamps are available for purchase at Equipping Catholic Families, but if you head over there now and leave a comment, you could win one for free!

Betsy McCall Paperdolls. These darling vintage paperdolls, originally from McCall's Magazine, can be downloaded and printed on cardstock for free. There are dozens to choose from, but 1960 Betsy is my favorite. She has a wardrobe for each month.

Avengers Printables are available from Disney Family. They've got masks and printable playsets.

CubeCraft offers hundred of free printable papercrafts featuring characters from Lego to Superheros to Star Wars to Doctor Who (just look at the little T.A.R.D.I.S.!). I'm going to print some of them out as a craft for my older kids, but you could also make it yourself as a gift for younger kids.


If you happen to have Amazon Prime and order before Wednesday, you can have pretty much anything in the world. 'Cause it's Amazon. But to help you narrow it down a bit and Easter-ize it (I'm making that a word) here are some of our favorites:

The Children's Bible
Tomie dePaola's Book of Bible Stories
Saint George and the Dragon

Do you have an iPad or other e-reader? There are dozens of great classic books available instantly and for free. My ten year old daughter is currently reading A Little Princess, and loving it. Ann of Green Gables, Peter Rabbit, Pinocchio, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and dozens more are all available for free. Check out this page for more titles, and this page for places to go look for them. (Although I have had good luck finding them right in iBooks. OR as free audiobook Podcasts.) You can load up the iPad with free books, and print out certificates to hide inside plastic eggs. And they'll never have to know they were free!

For LOTS more Easter book recommendations, see this post:

A Little Peek Inside Our Easter Baskets (hint, it's mostly books)


I recommended some movies in my Holy Week post, that are available as an instant download from Amazon as well.

Plus there's this one:

VeggieTales: An Easter Carol
Sing it with me now, "The bunny, the bunny, oh, I love the bunny." No? Just me? Okay. moving on.

And here's a whole post on Holy Week Movies. 


It's the gift that keeps on giving. 

We gave the kids subscriptions to Kiwi Crate for Christmas, and ALL my kids, really love them. We get Koala Crate, Kiwi Crate, Doodle Crate AND Tinker Crate to cover all of our age groups. My kids who can read can do the projects on their own, or younger kids can do them with help from a grownup or older sibling.

The nice folks at Saint Mail sent me one of their kits to review, and we liked it so much that I subscribed for the rest of the year myself.

Not free, but I can personally vouch for the awesomeness of both services.



  1. Oh man. The paper dolls are taking me back. We went to the Nixon Library when we lived in California and my mom bought me a paper doll book of First Ladies. Boy oh boy, did I ever think that I was the bee's knees with that book.

  2. My aunt makes the most amazing paper dolls - she has this huge doll room and a huge stock of every kind of scrapbook paper and ever color marker you could imagine. She works at the Food bank at her church and gives a gift of a paper doll with several outfits to every child that comes through there. I love to go hang out with her and make paper dolls. Incidentally - she's my Catholic aunt. She was raised Baptist but married an Italian guy so she converted. My Italian uncle has several properties in Rome that have been in his family for centuries. They end up making a lot of trips over there. That's what initially interested me in your blog, the recap of your trips to Italy. Sorry to ramble... just love connecting with you! *hugs* Heather

  3. "I don't want a tissue when my nose is runny, I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny…"
    Oh, I follow! Love those VeggieTales.

  4. Love these ideas! I'll be using some of them for sure. In fact...books ordered, boom! Now I just need to pick out some cube dudes.

  5. I love these ideas! I usually get them paintbrushes once a year, so for Easter it is! I'm also getting them a book each, chapstick and the usual bit of candy. Thanks for the ideas, though! I'm really bad about printing things off. ;/

    1. By the way, I didn't mean that in a mean way.

    2. I never for a minute thought you did! :0)

    3. Oh I remember Betsy paper dolls. So very cute. They are all great crafts for kids and so much more fun than endless hours of cartoon channel.

  6. So many awesome ideas! Thanks for helping me be a better godmother! :)


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