Tuesday, April 15, 2014

eastery decorating with watercolour eggs and crepe paper flowers


If you're as lucky as us, your school holidays will have so far been plagued with rain, meaning indoor activities is where it's at. Stuck like glue to the couch anyway with baby Annika, some simple craft ideas are gold for us. And with Zak gone to my parents house this week for a boys holiday with his younger cousin, there is lots of loom bands being made (and flicked around the house), painting being done and glitter being glued to all sorts of bits and pieces. It's incredibly pink and girlie here at the moment. So with Easter just days away and gifted with a voucher from Officeworks to try out some of their craft ideas, I hotfooted it to my closest store and stocked up on double-duty supplies: something to keep the kids busy and that will also decorate the house for Easter. My score? 
- The prettiest watercolour set, (Micador Watercolour Palette, $12.78) - I've bought this set several times before. It has the best colour palette and is perfect for little kids - plonk them on the kitchen counter with a cup of water, a stack of paper plates (they're thicker and won't fall apart from the water) and a paintbrush and they will spend ages painting, mixing colours and making a super-easy-to-clean-up mess.
- Crepe paper in a range of pinks, white and metallics (Elephant Learning Company Crepe Paper, $2.33 a packet)
- Pipe cleaners (Elephant Learning Company Chenille Sticks, $1.98 a packet) 
- Paint brushes
Add to this list some egg shells and you're set for some simple decorating you can do with or without the kids (I did the ones that ended up in the pictures, but Immy did manage to paint a few eggshells -and smash every single one she painted - and Layla pitched in and made a million of the flowers to take to school for news and give to her teacher). 

WATERCOLOUR EGG VASES

These were so easy to do - and so effective. I decided to use cracked eggs from a frittata as little vases for the crepe paper flowers, but you could easily blow the insides out and hang the painted full shells from a Easter branch or tree. 


Dip the paintbrush into some water and dab off the excess onto a tea towel. Swirl around in the colour of your choice until there is more paint than water. Now paint a large circle on the egg shell. You can start anywhere and leave it to dry. Pick a palette of several shades of one of two colours (I used the beiges and pale pinks up to the vibrant purples) and just keep painting circles over the shell, overlapping the colours a little until the shell is all coloured. Leaving the circles to dry before painting a new one will result in more vibrant colour; doing it while wet will blend the colours a little. 


If you use the eggshells as vases, you can either place them in egg cups or do as I do and cut up a toilet roll into different sizes, cover it in silver leaf and use as small stands for the eggs.

CREPE PAPER + PIPE CLEANER FLOWERS




So pretty to dress up your space for Easter, great as wall decor in a girl's room (just snip off the pipe cleaner and blu-tak to the wall) or filling a windowsill of assorted jars or bottles, these crepe paper flowers are quick and easy to make.


To make these, simply cut crepe paper into rectangles around 10cm by 15cm (add a few centimetres and take off a few for varying sizes). Place around eight rectangles into a pile - experiment with several colours, making them slightly smaller each time the colour changes (see far-left example in image below). Fold the sheets backwards and forth around a centimetre wide into a concertina, as if you're making a paper fan. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the centre of the folded paper (middle example, below) and round off the edges with a pair of scissors. Now gently open the fan up a little (far-left example, below) and very, very carefully separate each piece of crepe paper from the pile and fluff it out a little (far-right example, below). Crepe paper bends and stretches nicely, so feel free to fluff, twist and pull the petals until you're happy with their shape. Snip the pipe cleaner stem to the length you're happy with and pop in the egg shell vase. Or in a real vase! 


 These would also look sweet strung together with some string and hung on a wall as a garland or as party decor. Good thing about paper flowers is that they cost a whole lot less than real flowers - so you can spend your savings on chocolate eggs for yourself. That's what I do! 

What kinds of crafts are you planning to do with your kids - Easter or not? I might need some more ideas! I have one more I hope to do and show you before Easter - stay tuned! It all depends on whether baby lets me use both arms or not tomorrow!

Also, to give yourself a few extra minutes of peace these holidays, jump onto the Officeworks site and download this colouring in sheet for World Kids Colouring Day and tell them they have to take a L-O-N-G time to carefully and super-neatly colour in this page so they can enter it into the competition for a chance win $300 worth of Steadtler goodies. Entries need to be in by May 6.

{Images by Belinda Graham for The Happy Home. Thanks to Officeworks for the store voucher for supplies and the project idea.}

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