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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hop To It & Make Some Easter Decorations

Yes, it's beautiful outside, but sometimes the kids need a break from running around the yard. And with the St. Patrick's Day decorations down, it's looking a little bare in our house. SOLUTION: time to make some Easter decorations. Why spend full price on holiday decorations when you can make some now, and then get the nicer stuff for 50% off later in the season (sometimes 75%!) to save for next year? Added bonus: making your own decorations is a preemptive strike against the "I'm bored" whining of children.

I'm a big fan of creating three afternoons of activities around every holiday:

  1. Make the decorations (this may be done over the course of a few days, or until the kids are sick of the same tube of foam stickers)
  2. Decorate the house with your new creations, plus anything else from your attic, garage, basement, closet, clown car, etc. Have the kids pick out the "perfect spot" for each (most) decoration.
  3. After the holiday, take down the decorations and pack them up for next year*

Today we began Day One of the "Make The Decorations" step. We looked through our craft supply bin and found lots of goodies to use! Even if you don't have a craft supply bin, you probably have more supplies than you realize around the house to make some super-cute bunnies, baskets, and more. Check out these ideas for household items:

Random Craft Supplies #1 & 2: Paper Plates and Cereal Boxes

  1. Cut a semi-circle from the center of the plates and give them to the kids to decorate, along with any assortment of crayons, markers, glitter glue pens, stickers, pom poms, feathers, you name it.
  2. Draw a large egg on the inside of a cereal box and cut it out. Use it as a template to outline more eggs and cut those out. Let the kids have at them.
  3. Use tape or glue to adhere the eggs to the back of the baskets. 
  4. Hang up your Easter Baskets!
Random Craft Supply #3: Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls

Add some paint, pom pom noses and tails, construction paper ears and bow ties, and draw on the eyes, whiskers, and mouth with a permanent marker...and you have yourself an Easter Bunny Family. Check out a photo and the complete instructions on Crafts by Amanda.

Random Craft Supply #4: Lollipops

Okay, this one may require a trip to the craft store for more supplies, but they are so cute! Turn the lollipop upside down and adhere a wooden or foam heart for feet; add white pom poms for the head, arms, and tail; and use a pipe cleaner for the ears on your Bunny Lollipop. Definitely too sweet to eat. You can find photos and complete instructions on The Mother Huddle.

Random Craft Supply #5: Yarn

Once upon a time, I thought I'd take up knitting. Unfortunately, knitting didn't accept my Friend Request so there is a bag of yarn in my closet just waiting to become...Easter Baskets! Yup, just some white craft glue, plastic wrap, and plastic bowls and we're ready to sing "A Tisket, A Tasket."

For this one, just turn the bowl upside down and cover with plastic wrap. Soak the yarn (cut into arm's length strands) in the glue and then apply one strand at a time over the plastic wrap until it's covered. Let it dry overnight, then remove the plastic wrap and you have yourself a funky Easter basket. The complete directions and photos are on Eighteen 25.

If you make any of these crafts, or if you have other ideas you'd like to share, please post them in the Comments section. Thank you, and have fun decorating!

*One more thing: after Easter, when you're getting ready for the Take-Down-Decorations Day, there are a few things to keep in mind so that you're organized for next year. These tips will eliminate the, "Oh crap! I know I bought ______ last year; where IS IT?!?!?" moments. Or hours.

  • Stop by Michael's, Target, and any other favorite stores to check out their clearance inventory. Pay special attention to craft supplies as well as decorations. Last year I found Easter-themed foam sticker sets for 75% off at Michael's. We'll be using those this week!
  • Pack up the bargain treasures along with the other decorations so you'll know where they are next year.
  • Gather any magazine articles, print outs from web searches, recipes, et cetera, and pack those in with the decorations, too.
  • LABEL THE BOX. Yes, it seems like this is a tip from Captain Obvious but even the most organized people can forget this step...and it makes you want to pull out your hair. Yes, I'm speaking from experience.
Once again, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy these ideas for Easter decorations!

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