Add a charming touch to your Easter tablescape by making your own DIY Easter Sugar Baskets! We included these baskets in my blue and white Easter Tablescape.
Crafting with sugar can be easier than you think. By using regular granulated sugar, you can create unique gifts like these sweet sugar baskets. My mom has been making these for years, and now I’m continuing the tradition with my family.
To begin, you’ll want to decide what size sugar basket you want to make. I suggest aiming for a small bowl (like a soy sauce bowl) up to a cereal bowl size. Anything larger than a cereal bowl might end up being a bit too fragile.
What You’ll Need for Sugar Baskets
- Recipe for pressed sugar (below)
- Recipe for royal icing glue (below)
- Poster paper strips for handles
- Ribbon (1 1/2 inch wide) for handles
- Silk flowers for handles, optional
- hot glue gun & hot glue
- corn starch
- stiff piece of cardboard (6-inch square works well)
How to Make Sugar Baskets
I know there are lots of steps below, but it’s actually quite easy to make these pressed sugar baskets! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making them for everyone you know!
(1) Make a recipe of pressed sugar (below). One recipe of sugar makes about four 3 1/2-inch bowls. You can use any similarly-sized bowl. Cover the sugar with a damp cloth as you work because it dries quickly.
(2) Rub the inside of your bowl with cornstarch and shake out any excess before filling it completely with the sugar, rounding on top so you have enough sugar to press down.
(3) Place a piece of cardboard (6-inch square works well) over the top and press down to pack solidly. It is important to pack the sugar solidly.
(4) Holding the cardboard over the top, invert the mold onto a cookie sheet.
(5) Pull the cardboard out from under the mold very slowly. Remove the bowl (mold) very carefully. Once the mold has been removed, do not touch the sugar. They are fragile and soft at this point, so be very careful.
(6) The drying time will vary due to the temperature and humidity. As the sugar dries, it will form a thin, hard shell (about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thickness). This usually takes 4 to 6 hours, shorter time frame for smaller bowls and longer (or overnight) for large bowls.
(7) When the outside shell has hardened, it is time to scoop out the sugar in the center. Using a teaspoon, carefully scrape the excess sugar, leaving a hollow sugar shell.
(8) Place the sugar shell (hollow side up) on a cookie sheet and allow the inside to dry. After the shells have dried, use your fingers to rub out any excess or loose sugar. The sugar that is scooped out of the molds can be saved in a plastic bag and reused. To reuse just add a little water (about 3 1/2 cups of sugar to 2 teaspoons of water).
(9) Make the handle by taking one of the poster paper strips and wrapping with ribbon. Hot glue one end of the ribbon to one end of the paper strip. Then wrap the ribbon around the strip and glue again at the other end. Take the ribbon handle strip and bend up each end about 1/2-inch. Hot glue the bent up handle ends to the brim of the sugar bowl shell.
(10) Make a recipe of Royal Icing (below). One recipe of icing will decorate about six 3 1/2-inch bowls. Using 1 to 2 drops of food coloring you can make the icing any color you want. Let your color scheme determine the icing and ribbon color. Remember, a little food coloring goes a long way as the color dries a little darker.
(11) Fill a decorator tool with your royal icing and trim the rims of the baskets with the piped icing covering where the handles are attached. A scallop motif piped around the basket also looks nice.
(12) Let the icing dry and then hot glue a bow to the handle and fill the basket with Easter grass and candy eggs.
In a hurry and don’t want to make the Royal Icing? Then just make the sugar bowls, ribbon handles and hot glue silk flowers to the brim of the basket.
Pressed Sugar Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
Mix the sugar and egg white in a bowl and whisk until the egg white is thoroughly incorporated into the sugar. The sugar will look damp.
Royal Icing Recipe
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 16-ounce box powdered sugar (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Food coloring
Beat egg whites and water until foamy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy with soft peaks. This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of icing. If it is not stiff enough, just add a little more sugar. If it is too stiff, add a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time. It dries quickly, so keep the icing covered with a damp cloth while you are working, and do not make too far ahead.
My Mom has been making these sweet sugar baskets for years. I put a few photos below of ones from many years ago!
I hope you’re inspired to make your own pressed Sugar Baskets for Easter!