54 Photos - Apr 6, 2012
Photo: Yes! You CAN make a charming vintage-style basket with discount store finds.Photo: It all started with a challenge to create an Easter Basket for $30 at Kmart...Photo: I started out by jumping online and joining the "Shop Your Way" Rewards program at Kmart so I could start earning rewards points on all my purchases.  I signed up in minutes, then printed out a coupon, my temporary card and my instructions for the campaign.Photo: Photo: Photo: A sunny day at the Salinas, CA Kmart store.Photo: The potted herbs and vegetables on display outside immediately caught my eye!Photo: It was a family affair.  I had my two daughters and husband in tow.  My eldest pushed the cart.Photo: Right away the prospects looked good. Just inside the door was a huge display of Easter eggs and basket fillers.Photo: I headed straight for the Easter section and was charmed by these sweet little sets of speckled eggs and nests.  They'd be perfect for an Easter dinner table-setting.Photo: This wreath caught my eye too!  Looks like something you'd see at Pottery Barn, but at a much more affordable price!Photo: These sock monkey Easter baskets were adorable.  Too bad they weren't quite what I was looking for.  Fortunately, there were lots of other choices at great prices.Photo: There were plenty of plush toys to choose from and they were all on SALE!Photo: There was a small, but nice selection of seasonal books.  Books always make a great Easter basket addition!Photo: I found a super fluffy white bunny on sale for just $4.49.Photo: I selected this chocolate bunny because of the classic design, large size, and great price (for real chocolate) $4.99.Photo: These fairy jars are so magical!  Looks like a mason jar, but contains a tiny fairy attached to a wire.  When you press the button, the fairy flits around.  Adorable!Photo: These white chocolate duckies reminded me of the hand-crafted chocolates my mom used to buy from a chocolatier in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  I picked one up for just one dollar!  Fabulous!Photo: Cadbury mini eggs are my all-time favorite Easter candy, so including these in my basket was a must.  I couldn't find a price, or a smaller bag, but I decided to go for it anyway.  I looked around for a self-service price scanner, but no luck.  Oh well.  Turns out they were $5.99 for an 18 ounce bag.  It's a little more than I wanted to spend for the basket, but since I could 4 basket's worth out of that one bag, it didn't turn out to be such a bad deal after all.  That's just $2/basket.  Cool!Photo: These Lindt bunnies are another of my favorites, but the elegant gold wrapper didn't quite work for the look I was designing.  I was asked, for this campaign, to share any "suggestions on improving the overall shopping experience".  My shopping experience was a positive one as you can see, but there are two things I'd change:  1)  I'd broaden the aisles.  The aisles were very narrow, which made it difficult (almost impossible really) to get a cart down if there were any other people in the aisle.  The Easter candy aisle, of course, was crowded.  The shelves were well stocked though, which was great since Easter was just a week away and I had feared that they would be picked over.  2) The second thing I'd change would be to have self-service price scanners, or more clearly marked prices.  I came across several items that piqued my interest, but  because I couldn't find their price, and because I was shopping on a specific budget, I had to pass.Photo: Zoiks! It took all my focus and reserve not to load my cart with these Mystery Machine candy containers for some future, hypothetical Scooby Doo themed event.  So stinkin' cute!Photo: I headed over to the housewares department to see if I could find a nice basket liner.Photo: Sure enough, I found this vintage looking crochet napkin from the Country Living Collection!Photo: I decided to explore the store and found this adorable little shirt and tie combo for my youngest daughter (a stylish tomboy) for Easter.  $14.99 -- can't argue with that.Photo: This robot shirt and Space Invaders hoodie in the baby section were so adorable!  I was tempted to get them for my nephew, but I had to remain focused on my mission.Photo: Once again I was distracted by utter cuteness -- this time in the form of these beautifully embellished sandals.  These would be so cute on my niece!Photo: Well, I managed to resist the temptation that lurked around every corner and stayed on track on on budget.  I checked out and spent a little less than the $30 budgeted for the Easter Basket.  I presented my "Shop Your Way" Rewards card and was delighted to receive a $5 gift card.  I was also pleased that I had the option to have my receipt sent directly to my email.Photo: Here's the basket that I purchased for $7.99.  I loved the fact that the basket was made of a sturdy and beautifully woven wood.  The color was perfect!Photo: I removed the embellishment so that I could add my own vintage touch.Photo: I rummaged through my craft supplies and came across these wooden Easter egg ornaments that I had purchased at a dollar store a few years ago.  I removed the strings and hot glued them on the basket handle.Photo: I topped off the wooden egg cluster with a little bunch of vintage millinery flowers.  Sweet!Photo: I lined the basket with the Country Living crochet napkin.  Simply elegant!Photo: Then I filled the basket with the paper Easter basket shred that I picked up from Kmart for just $1.50.Photo: Here's the sweet little bunny that I found at Kmart for just $4.49.  I started her upgrade by removing the stock bow.Photo: I replaced it with a piece of pink velvet ribbon and a vintage millinery flower.Photo: Here's a fun little novelty I picked up from an end-cap display at Kmart -- A wash cloth wrapped up like a cupcake.  My niece, for whom I'm making the basket, is still a toddler, so a cute little wash cloth is just the perfect thing to clean all the chocolate off of her face after she dives in to the basket of treats!Photo: I unwrapped the washcloth and stuffed the center with some tissue paper to give it a firmer shape.Photo: I wrapped it back up in a clear cello bag and tied it off with a bit of seam binding ribbon.  The right ribbon can make all the difference!Photo: I ate my share of these tasty little speckled candy eggs before I even started on repackaging them.Photo: I started with a small peat pot, but you can also use a paper cup.  I used a glue stick to attach a vintage Easter image that I printed out from my computer.Photo: I had a roll of crepe paper streamers from a former party, so I used it to create an old-fashioned ruffle by hot gluing a double layer around the peat pot.Photo: I love the way the Cadbury minis look when bunched in one or two colors.  I chose white and blue for this basket.  I took a handful of each and put them in a clear cello bag.  Then I tucked the bag inside the little pot.Photo: Here's the chocolate bunny BEFOREPhoto: Here's the chocolate bunny AFTER.  By simple re-wrapping it in clear cellophane and adding a pretty bow, it looks like it came from a fancy candy store!Photo: Here's the white chocolate duck BEFORE.Photo: I unwrapped him from the modern packaging.  Isn't he cute?Photo: Here's the duckie AFTER.  I wrapped him with a little of the paper shred in a plain cello bag.Photo: Here's the finished product.  Lovely, don't you think?Photo: How much would you pay for a basket like this in a fancy boutique?Photo: With a little bit of creative repackaging, this beautiful Old World-style basket came together for less than $30.Photo: Happy EasterPhoto: Still learning my way around Google Plus, and haven't been able to figure out why some photos still show up out-of-sequence.  So, here are a few photos from my #KmartEaster shopping experience that didn't make it into the flow of the original story.  First up is a shot of the Easter grass display that caught my eye right when I walked in the door.  I was thrilled to see that they had a great selection of paper shred.  It's a "greener" choice, and looks more old-fashioned as well.  The price was great too!  Just $1.50/bag.Photo: You saw a lot of what caught my eye, but here you can see what instantly lured my little one.  "It's almost as big as me!" she exclaimed!Photo: Before I reached the seasonal aisles, I saw these creatively packaged wash cloths on an end-cap display.  I knew right away that this would be a perfect little "something" to include in my basket!