How to Decorate Child-Friendly Plastic Eggs for your Easter Tree
Having read how to make a German Easter tree, I was keen to decorate some budding branches with eggs and other Easter symbols with my grandchildren.
Aged just 6 and 3, I thought their little fingers might find a hollowed out eggshell too delicate, and that we would have tears and tantrums if real eggs, lovingly painted by their tiny but clumsy hands, broke.
In our local shop, we found some plastic eggs on sale at much the same price as real eggs, and so brought them home to decorate.
We had water-paints and little paintbrushes but as we all know, water washes right off plastic, and oil-paints did not seem like a good idea with such young children, who were sure to wear as much paint as the eggs.
So I painted each egg in egg white to give it a coating that allows water paints to stay on.
Here are the steps so that your small children can get involved with this simple, fun Easter craft.
You Will Need:
- 1 dozen plastic eggs
- Water paint set(s)
- Wooden skewers
- String or ribbon, cut into 6" lengths
- Cardboard egg boxes
- Glass or container of water (for the brushes) - remember to change the water several times
- Egg white
- Tree or bush branch from the garden, preferably one with leaf buds on it
- Old newspaper
- Protective aprons for the kids
- Paper glue
- Glitter (optional - glitter is NOT associated with Easter, but the kids like it)
Preparing your plastic eggs for decorating
- Remove the eggs from their boxes (but don't throw the packaging away). If you are very lucky, the narrow end of the egg will have a factory-made hole in it already, but this is something you won't see until the eggs are out of the box.
- If there is no hole, either use a precision drill to make one, or use a heated metal rod of some sort to melt a hole.
- I threaded a half-toothpick and some string through the opening to make them hangable.
- Roll the eggs in a bowl of egg white, taking care to ensure that the whole egg is coated. just break one egg for its white, and don't whisk it up or anything.
- Hang the eggs up to dry on a clothes hanger or similar.
- It takes a few hours to dry completely, but it is easier to coat them one day in preparation for painting them the next.
- If you are not stringing them at this point, lay them down on old newspaper, in a quiet area of the house where they won't be touched.
Decorating Your Eggs
- Spread a newspaper over the table, lay your coated eggs on top and open a water color paint set or two.
- Make sure there is a paintbrush for each child, plus any adult who may be assisting.
- Place a jar of water on the table for the paintbrushes which need to be moistened between each artistic stroke of the brush.
- Bring in stools to make sure the kids can reach everything on the table.
- Place protective aprons on them if you have them, or like me, don't bother (water paints wash out).
- Break your wooden skewers and put one end in the hole on the egg, and sink the other into an apple (the kids can eat it later). This allows them to paint the egg without touching the 'wet' bits.
- Some of the eggs were given a sprinkling of glitter for added effect.
- When they have dried, which takes less than half an hour, re-thread any egg that has lost its string.
- Hang them up on branches you have already cut from the garden.
- For the tree, choose a vase that has a narrow opening and try to match the thickness of the branch/branches with the space in the vase, so that your 'tree' will stay upright.
- Adding water to the vase will keep it alive for a bit longer.
Make Flowers From the Egg Boxes
While you are waiting on the paint drying on your eggs, cut each 'egg' section out of the cardboard egg tray your eggs came in.
Bend the pointed ends backwards.
Using paper glue, join two together, facing each other, with one slightly skewed so that it resembles a fat sunflower.
Leave to dry.
Paint with water colors.
String thread or ribbon through a hole made on one of the petals with a toothpick.
Hang on tree.
Paint single egg box sections to resemble a bell-shaped flower and hang on tree.