Do you decorate for Easter? I don’t. Unless foil candy wrappers intermingling with piles of Easter grass scattered effortlessly across the floor can be considered decorating in which case yes, that was my house you saw in that issue of Better Homes and Gardens at the doctor's office.
But this year, I decided to kick my house fluffing up a notch.
With toilet paper rolls.
Like many families at Easter, we pretty up our eggs with colour. In the past I’ve even shared some of my favourite techniques using traditional dye baths as well as all natural food-based dips. And this Easter will likely be no different. However, this spring, I’ve upped the ante with some creative egg holders that don’t just say, "welcome spring”, they climb to the top of the tallest tree in the yard and shout it loud enough for the neighbours to hear.
So if you’re ready to dazzle your family with magazine-worthy table decor, just head to the bathroom. Start saving your toilet tissue rolls now to be ready in time for Easter brunch. Or better yet, ask your kids to do it. You won’t believe how quickly your toilet paper supply diminishes.
Oh and by the way, kids of ALL ages can participate in making these. Little ones can paint the insides of the rolls while older kiddos can also glue the paper. And tweens can make them completely on their own.
If you're wondering where to find patterned paper, visit the scrapbooking section of any craft or department store. I scored a pack of 240 sheets of scrapbooking paper at Michaels on sale for $8! I've scrapbooked exactly zero times in my life, but I do love the paper because it can be used for a multitude of arts and crafts projects that don't include photos of my child's soccer team.
Paint the inside of the toilet paper rolls using a paint that offers good coverage. I recommend acrylic but you could probably get away with a good quality tempera or poster paint.
Let the paint dry thoroughly. Pretty, right?
Measure and cut the patterned paper by laying a roll onto the back of the paper and making pencil marks where the cuts need to be made. Don't worry about nailing the exact size because you can always trim later.
Cover the outside of the toilet paper roll - completely - with glue. Use a piece of cardboard to spread the glue. We used cardboard from a box we cut apart.
Lay the toilet paper roll on the cut paper and roll it until covered. Smooth it out and let it dry completely.
Cut into the decorated roll halfway down to create strips.
Fold the strips out to make a flower.
Place eggs into the centres of the tp roll flowers. Cut some green paper into leaf shapes to place beneath the flowers. But only if you want to.
You can use your new fancy floral egg holders to display eggs of all kinds. Raw eggs, boiled eggs, brown eggs, white eggs, painted eggs, dyed eggs, plastic dollar store eggs... it's up to you.
I'm here to inspire, not to judge.
Try it yourself!
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When I was my daughter’s age, I looked forward to visiting to the Alcona Beach hardware store with my mom. It was the biggest thing going in the rural area where we lived and it was located right next to a tiny restaurant offering giant servings of lemon meringue pie.
In the shop, hanging on a peg between the electrical plates and washers, were always three packages of Silly Putty, carefully placed by Harry the hardware store owner – a man who moved at the speed of an earthworm with the grace of a newborn calf. As far as I was concerned, Harry was approximately 125 years old and I – like all the kids who visited the store with their parents - adored him.
When it comes to my kid, it’s aisle three at a nearby dollar store that fills her with warm fuzzies because it is there – just past the resin garden gnomes and bingo daubers – where the craft supplies live.
The markdown marketplace may not have a Harry, but it does have a gaggle of cheerful ladies in red aprons who regularly stock the shelves and racks with colourful displays of fun felt, pom-poms, googly eyes and unnaturally dyed feathers.
And say what you will about the store where cheap crap hooks up with even cheaper crap and does unmentionable things with toxic dog toys underneath the vinyl tablecloths, but when it comes to certain art materials, you really can’t beat it.
Case in point. After a recent visit, we spent somewhere around $4.82 and came home with a sack full of possibilities. While I put away groceries, my daughter took over the table and proceeded to transform our haul of inexpensive craft supplies into stacks of handmade happiness.
Without a word of a lie, my child will spend hours - HOURS - cutting, designing and layering felt, pom-poms and pipe cleaners as she makes festive dogs, bears and aliens.
No instructions required.
Now, I like expensive craft and activity kits as much as the next mom. I mean, it’s hard to resist the allure of snappy cardboard packages with bright photographs promising hours of fun for the kids in your home.
But at the end of the day, I’d rather see my daughter delight in selecting her own supplies from aisle three so she can craft something that looks like it fell out of a Pablo Picasso painting.
Besides, the dollar store sells chocolate bars.
And Silly Putty.
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