If aisle upon aisle of sugar filled Easter chocolate makes you feel queasy then this is for you!
I love chocolate just as much as the next person, maybe more than many people to be honest, but you know what just gets my goat? Easter chocolates in the supermarket!!!
They literally fill the shelves as soon as the Christmas items have cleared out, and then hang around for months, prompting tantrums from little kids and guilt ridden binges by mums who can't take the pressures our modern lives heap on us.
They are wrapped in tons of plastic, are filled with nasty sweeteners and preservatives and to top it all of they don't even taste all that good.
If you love chocolate at Easter look for small businesses that make chocolates, or choose chocolates wrapped only in foil or cardboard. You'll feel so much better for shopping responsibly this Easter if you make just a few simple changes and avoid the flashy convenience of supermarket chocolate bunnies.
However, if you're looking for gift ideas for loved ones this Easter that don't include chocolate then keep reading for 4 super simple crochet gifts you can make with cotton yarn that would fill out any Easter basket in the most thoughtful way.
This one is a super simple, quick little project that just about anyone can whip up! Just learning to spin and your yarn is still kinda lumpy, no problem!
Just learning to crochet and your tension is still a bit wobbly, no problem!
There are so many variations of these out there that you can find one to suit your yarn and your skill level, and literally have a stack made in a single sitting.
What I really love about these is they're small, thoughtful, super cute and they replace single use cotton pads or makeup removers. They don't need to look perfect to work well, so they are wonderful projects to make use of yarns that might be a tad unbalanced or small bits of leftover yarns.
I love using cotton for these because cotton is really durable, it's soft on your skin, it's super easy to wash, just add it to your normal load of laundry, and it's also super absorbent.
Click here to see my Pinterest board all about cotton and browse loads of free patterns to make your own cotton scrubbies.
What kid wouldn't LOVE to get a one of a kind friend for Easter? You'd be giving them a gift without sugar highs and lows that brings hours upon hours of snuggles and fun and imaginative play.
These little toys can be very detailed and intricate but they can also be super simple and quick. Just choose a pattern to match your skill level.
Amigurumi is a Japanese word meaning 'crochet or knitted stuffed doll' and you can find thousands of patterns for free online. Choose the style you like, rustic, woodland, cartoon like or super cutesy and got for it!
This is another way to use your hand spun cotton yarns, even if they aren't super consistent. Softies are forgiving, and sometimes it's the ones that are a little bit wobbly or imperfect that kids are drawn to the most.
I made my son a amigurumi fox when he was just an infant, it turned out much larger than it should have, and the neck always flops over but do you know what, he's almost 7 and he still loves 'Foxy'.
Let your ingrained need to be perfect or to create and gift only perfectly made things go and indulge in some kid like play. Get a little wild and create a truly fantastical softie your loved little ones will love for many years to come!
Again cotton is fabulous here as it can easily be tossed in the wash as needed and will stand up to many years of cuddles.
Have you ever had one of those shower moments where the soap flip flops across your arm like a fish and then does a perfect nose drive straight down onto your very vulnerable toes?
You have haven't you? You might've even said a bad word or two, I know I sure have.
Well that's where our non chocolate gift number three comes in handy, soap savers!
These are little mesh like bags that you pop your soap into. Now I'll admit it took me a minute to be ok with thinking about scrubbing my body with soap in a bag but now I love it, so stick with me.
These little bags are brilliant for 2 reasons.
One being that they stop the fish flop smash scenario we just spoke about because they make the soap easy to hold onto. This is especially wonderful for little kids, because if you've ever watched your 3 yr old in the shower trying to wash themselves you know that the soap basically goes everywhere except on their bodies.
Slide your bar of soap into a little baggy and then they can confidently scrub away without dropping it. Hooray for clean babies!
Secondly, are more aligned with why they were invented, is they save your soap by making it go further. If you use soap on its own it wears down pretty quickly and lots of that goodness kinda just slips off and goes right down the drain. You also get that slimy feel on the bottom where it doesn't get to dry out as readily.
Soap in a soap saver however gets to hang and dry out between washes, making less mess in your shower and keeping your soap bar more fresh. You'll also get a sort of loofah and soap effect because the bag itself is like a gentle exfoliator.
You'll still want to replace your soap saver every 2 - 3 months depending on how many family members use it, but the best thing about using cotton is it can just go straight into your compost! No nasty synthetics or micro plastics here! And it'll only take you one little crochet session to make a new one.
Last but not least in our chocolate free Easter ideas is a market style bag, perfect for gathering eggs on an egg hunt or treasures anytime of year.
These market style bags are so simple to make, you can follow a pattern or literally just make it up as you go.
I've made several over the years and even gifted some to my kids teachers as end of year gifts. They are super practical while still being fun and exciting.
Think of your little loved ones with their very own kid sized bag. They could go on an Easter hunt if you have one, pack their cute little Amigurumi softie in there for Easter lunch at Grandma's or just fill it with the usual kid things they love to cart around; colouring in books, toys, snacks and a drink bottle.
Of course if you're making for a grown up a full sized market bag is super lightweight to take when you know you're heading to the shops for a few items.
Being cotton again toss it in the wash when it gets dirty and hang to dry. Sometimes the best gifts are the most simple ones.
So there you have it, 4 simple but super sweet and thoughtful gifts to pop in Easter baskets this year that aren't chocolate. Each one can lessen your impact on the planet, make someone smile and feel loved or inspire and support creative play in both you and your giftee.
Enjoy!! If you'd like to listen to me talk in more detail about these gifts then click here to listen to my podcast episode.
Also if you don't crochet don't fret, I've also linked plenty of knitting ideas over on Pinterest for you. For all of these projects you'll be able to find various skill levels and both crochet and knitted versions, so there's no reason you can't join in the fun!
You can head to my Pinterest board all about cotton by clicking here. I've pinned lots of free tutorials showing you how to make face scrubbies, Amigurumi softies, soap savers and gathering bags to get you ready and excited to celebrate with those you love this Easter.
I hope these 4 little gift ideas have put a spring in your step. I'd love to know if you decide to make any of these with your own cotton yarns, so be sure to leave me a comment.
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