DIY HOLIDAY PROJECTS ON A BUDGET
So far, my Spring planning has been seriously lacking. Between a whirlwind mini-vacation and a head cold that left me zapped for five straight days, I’ve managed to accomplish almost nothing in the Easter / Spring decorating department. As I type this, I’m staring at a pile of naked throw pillow inserts and their covers, stacked haphazardly in the corner where they’ve sat since I took them off the sofa to “lighten up the living room” two weeks ago. But I refuse to let Easter go unnoticed. My family is coming over this Sunday for brunch, so I’m pulling out the good cake plates and filling jars with jelly beans. Faking it until I’m making it, right?
SIMPLE HAND PAINTED EGG DECORATIONS
If you’re a fan of DIY art, you probably already have these items on-hand. If not, you can run to Michael’s and find these supplies in the Painting aisle. Or you can get them from Amazon (affiliate links below). I got the eggs from Target, but I’ve also found them on Amazon for you.
Water Color Paint Palette – $7 (Free One Day Shipping for Prime Members)
Paint Brushes – $5 (Free One Day Shipping for Prime Members)
Masking Fluid – $11 (Free One Day Shipping for Prime Members)
Craft Eggs – $13 (Free Two Day Shipping for Prime Members)
If you’ve never used masking fluid, you should know that its purpose is to leave the area you’ve painted it on white. So you’ll want to paint your design first with masking fluid and let it fully dry. This usually takes around 5 minutes. Don’t glop it on super thick, or it will puddle.
Once the masking fluid is dry, use your water color skills to paint the entire egg in your desired color. Allow paint to fully dry and peel off the masking fluid. You should be left with a reverse impression.
If this is all too complicated, just paint the whole egg in a cute pastel color.
Or Just buy these plain wooden eggs with holders and write names on them to use as place cards because how cute are they?! They’re $15.
DO NOT DO THIS WITH REAL EGGS YOU PLAN TO EAT. PAINT CAN BE TOXIC AND CAN POISON YOUR FAMILY. You’ve been warned. Don’t come crying to me when the cops show up.
MAKE YOUR OLD, GROSS CLOTH NAPKINS FUN AGAIN WITH FRUIT PRINTS
I have these old cloth napkins that I bought in my 20s that are bleached out and pretty sad-looking. But for some reason, I’m still holding on to them. I never use them (because they’re an embarrassment). So I figured it’s time to either give them new life or burn the evidence and move on.
Old Rachet-ass Cloth Napkins
Left-Over Project Paint (not washable paint, unless you want to dye your family members’ faces)
I slice apples on the horizontal. That way, I’m always left with a perfectly rectangle core. Usually I slice the core and throw it out for the yard pets, but one day I saw the cute little star pattern inside and thought “Yeah, I’m a mom. I can totally craft with this” and stuck a toothpick into one side, painted the other side and pressed down firmly on one of my old napkins. BAM. Cute little square print with a star in the middle.
So then I went totally crazy and made squares all over the whole napkin. Then I repeated the process with half an orange. Then half a grapefruit. Is it batshit? Eh, a little. Is it fun? Absolutely. Is the end result perfect? Nope. But it is cute enough that I’ll use these for a Springy brunch again.
EASTER ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Remember how everyone was buying up ceramic egg crates back in 2008? Or hoarding their egg cartons? I do because I was. So if you happen to have some old egg crates hanging out in your closet, it’s time to finally put them to use.
I like this project because it nods at Easter without screaming BUNNIES AND JELLYBEANS!!!!! Plus, you can make it as intensive as you want. All you really need is ice cream and sprinkles. So go pick up some ice cream and sprinkles. If you have an old egg crate, use it as a serving dish for the sprinkles. If you don’t, no harm no foul. Use Solo cups for all I care. Who’s going to know you had another option but didn’t love them enough to choose it? I won’t say a thing.
EASTER BASKETS WITH A THEME OF “THIS IS WHAT WAS IN THE PANTRY”
Dump the LEGOs out of your kid’s 2017 Easter Basket because no one is Pottery Barn all the time. Reusing baskets is fine. In fact, I’m about to show you that you won’t even need to wow with the basket if you load those suckers up with sugar.
Stick to a theme. The basket above is themed “Carrots” because I found these plastic carrot “eggs”, carrot jelly candies, and a pack of carrot seeds at The Dollar Tree. Add in the cost of the green grass and a pack of Peep bunnies, and you’ve got a $5 Easter Basket that’ll have your kid hopped up on sugar just in time for the grandparents to arrive and judge your parenting all afternoon! Oh, and probably put something in the eggs. I opted for some random trinket toys I’ve been stashing out of my daughter’s sight since they arrive home from whatever hellish toddler event she’d attended that day. Plastic jewelry, tattoos, stickers, small toy cars, tiny bubbles… more candy! Whatever you’ve got, Mom!
The theme of this basket is “Left-over Birthday Party Decorations” because we all have them. Maybe you don’t have a basket on hand. But do you have a large plastic punch bowl that you never use for punch but always fill with Tostitos? Well, my friend, you have a basket stand-in. Just make sure you’re clear with your kids that you’ve left it out for the Easter Bunny to fill and once they have their goodies, it goes back into the depths of your largest kitchen cabinet. Then I pulled out some of last year’s birthday party decorations (old streamers) and used them as “grass” because why not? Does the kid care? Doubt it. Gifts in this basket include;
Last Year’s Plastic Easter Eggs (wiped clean of grass and mud, of course)
A Box of Shopkins Bandages I’d Been Saving For A Rainy Day (what’s up with toddlers and bandaids???)
A Book I Bought At The Dollar Tree That Has Nothing To Do With Easter
CANDY (Dollar Tree, you’re my favorite)
A Grabby Handle Toy That For Some Reason My Kid Really Wanted Me To Buy But I Said No Because Why Does A Two Year Old Need An Arm Extension
A Flamingo Floating Coaster That Actually Belonged To Me But My Kid Wants It And I Never Use It, So…
Bunny Ears From Five Or Six Easters Ago
This is actually my favorite. It’s also the most expensive, go figure.
The theme here is “You’re a Teen / Tween And I Know You Like Pink”.
I found this cute little gnome at Target in the Dollar Spot and scooped him right up. The basket is from The Dollar Tree (last year) and I just shoved some old pink tissue paper down in it as filler. The Peep Bunny was from a yard sign that was kind of cute but also kind of tacky, so I yanked him off the stick and stuck him down in the back. The eggs are filled with money (obvs, as the kids would say). Then I just ransacked the beauty aisle of every little one-use packet in a shade of pink. Et Voila! Phone cases would also work. If it’s a boy tween / teen, I don’t know.. How about a blue basket with a bunch of shaving cream and iTunes gift cards??? I don’t really understand the male population. Sorry.
A SENTIMENTAL BUT HIGHLY TEMPORARY WORK OF ART FOR YOUR ROMANTIC PARTNER
My yard is overrun with dandelions. So I picked a bunch, made a little sign and put out a jar of jellybeans. This is basically all it takes to win Brownie Points in my house. It’s cute. It’s thoughtful. It seems time-consuming (it’s not). If you have dandelions with longer stems, I highly recommend you place them in a vase and leave the little note beside it. They shrivel quickly.
But it’s the thought that counts, right?
YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS + I’VE GOT ANSWERS.
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