When I was a kid, one of the first indications that spring had sprung was when the Easter Bunny would drop by and leave a basket of goodies for me. This tradition, along with leaving teeth for fairies and getting presents from a jolly man in a red suit, faded away as I grew older. College students are basically big kids with licenses and Netflix subscriptions that we don't pay for ourselves and as such, I decided to DIY my own college-kid (read: cheap) Easter basket this year.

What You'll Need:

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Kathryn Donati

One recycled shoebox (I suggest a boot box, nice and roomy)

One large gift bag (any pattern and color you like; the clearance section usually has great gift bags leftover from Christmas this time of year)

Glue

Scissors

Easter Basket Confetti

Egg Dye Kit

6 to 12 Eggs

Plastic Eggs (big enough to put candy in)

Any and all Easter-themed candy that can fit in your basket.

1. Prepare Your Box

cake
Kathryn Donati

Carefully un-stick the bottom of your gift bag and cut down one of the side seams so your bag can now be used as the wrapping paper-substitute that it is. Using a gift bag to paper the inside of the shoebox is much cheaper than buying an entire roll of wrapping paper.

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Kathryn Donati

Carefully peel the handles out of the paper. Now you can measure your box and cut your paper as needed to fit. Glue the paper to the inside of the box, both the lid and the bottom of the box. When the glue is dry, stick the basket confetti into the bottom of the box.

2. Dye Your Eggs

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Kathryn Donati

Follow the instructions on the back of the dye box, with a few tweaks. I used a splash more vinegar to make the colors bolder, and I left the eggs in the mixture for 7-9 minutes, depending on the vibrancy of the color.

candy, egg
Kathryn Donati

Also, feel free to mix tablets together to create new colors. The Paas egg dye kit also comes with stickers and other decorations if you wish to decorate your eggs more than just dyeing. (Take it up a notch by making your dyed eggs edible.)

3. Place Your Candy

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Kathryn Donati

I found these adorable plastic eggs at Target and decided to fill them with different kinds of candy.

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Kathryn Donati

I filled this pink egg with blue raspberry cotton candy and some chocolate eggs. (While you're at it, check out our definitive ranking of candy Easter eggs.)

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Kathryn Donati

I used some leftover basket confetti to fill this egg along with some Sour Patch bunnies, a Cadbury caramel egg, and more chocolate eggs.

candy
Kathryn Donati

I filled the final plastic egg with confetti, a dyed egg, and a few more chocolate eggs.

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Kathryn Donati

It's actually impossible to make an Easter basket without Peeps so these little Peep bunnies had to come home with me.

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Kathryn Donati

These two besties also had to come home with me, obviously, because it would have been cruel to break them up.

4. Enjoy!

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Kathryn Donati

Finally your basket is complete and you can take some photos to brag to your friends about your DIY prowess before you dig in. 

I sprinkled some more chocolate eggs among the confetti in the bottom of the box — a small reminder of the egg hunt tradition.

egg, chocolate, candy, cake
Kathryn Donati

The best thing about DIY projects is that everything is completely up to you. You choose the candy, the decorations, the amount of everything etc. I love having that much freedom to make something for myself that I know I'm absolutely going to love. 

birthday cake, chocolate, candy, cake
Kathryn Donati

Making this Easter basket was a fun afternoon activity that brought me back to when I would totter around my background, trying to spot those brightly-colored little gems. If you need a touch of nostalgia, or simply a reason to buy a truckload of chocolate, I suggest making your own basket!