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1. Tiny Little Eggshell Planters and Vases
I love it when I can combine a couple of ideas and get something new. The March edition of Martha Stewart Living had a beautiful little one-page article on using the shells of goose, turkey, and duck eggs to make mini vases and baskets. Then I saw something on Instagram about starting seedlings in eggshells. Those ideas got me thinking.
I remembered the eggshells that I had painted black as part of my Haunted Hatchlings Halloween scene. They looked good and, because of a little trick I had discovered, they were also crack and shatter resistant.
I decided to try a variation of those eggshells to make tiny little planters and vases for Easter using the shells of the brown eggs that I had on hand.
Cracking the Eggs
So for a couple of mornings, when making breakfast, I saved the eggshells. I placed each egg in a shot glass and cracked it carefully around the top with a knife so most of the shell would be left intact but I could still lift off the top and empty the egg easily.
I didn’t worry too much about getting a very straight break since the uneven, broken edges add charm.
I carefully washed each egg and let it dry.
Coloring the Shells
I used a gel food coloring (Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors) to color the eggshells. Since they were brown shells, the color did not turn out as clear and bright as they would have with white eggs, but that didn’t matter because this was just the base coat. The interior of the shells turned out bright and pretty. To add to the variety, I left a few shells undyed.
Adding Some Sparkle
I wanted my tiny vases to have some elegance and polish so they could be used even after Easter. So I thinly coated the exterior of each shell with metallic craft paint (Dazzling Metallics “Dark Patina” and Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Metallic “Gold”), and then I squirted them lightly with water from a spray bottle. I let the water run down the sides of the shells to create a mottled finish.
Reinforcing the Shells
To make the shells crack resistant, I painted two coats of Mod Podge on the outside of each shell and one coat on the inside. Although the shells were noticeably more stable after this, I still had to use care when working with them.
Making the Shells Stand Upright
Now I wanted the shells to stand upright. So far I had only used materials that I already had around the house, so I wanted to continue doing that.
I am a bit of a vintage button weirdo, and for some strange reason I tend to hoard them. So I glued vintage buttons to the bottom of each shell as a base.
Adding Flowers and Tiny Plants
This was the funnest part of this fun project. I used a small teaspoon to fill some of the shells with pre-moistened soil, and then I carefully planted tiny succulents.
Other shells became vases for tiny flowers from my garden: Primroses and violets. Of course I knocked a vase over by accident. It didn’t break, but I did discover that the food coloring does bleed into the vase water, so just a warning about that.
Table Decor and a Gift
I’m planning to have one on each place setting and then let my guests take them home.
2. DIY Dinner Napkins: A Simple Project Just Got Simpler
Sometimes to get the table decor I want for a special occasion like Easter, I have to make my own dinner napkins. And recently I decided to make some sets of dinner napkins to give as gifts. This is such a simple task: Measure, cut, and hem the fabric. How could it get any simpler?
By eliminating the measuring and cutting.
While at the fabric store looking for an easy-care cotton fabric to use for my dinner napkin project, I found myself standing in front of the fabric quarters: Those pre-cut pieces of cotton calico fabric that come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and measure 18 X 21 inches – just right for a dinner napkin.
But could I really just buy the fabric quarters and hem them? It seemed too easy, so to make sure I asked a fabric store employee. She confirmed that since they were 100% cotton, they would indeed work as dinner napkins.
Solid-colored fabric quarters work best because they are double-sided. With most patterned fabric quarters, the pattern only appears on one side and the opposite side is blank.
To iron, pin, and hem them took me less than 15 minutes per napkin, so making a set of six took under an hour and a half.
A set of six dinner napkins makes a great hostess gift. I made two sets in one afternoon and bundled them using lace ribbon and vintage buttons.
And I still made them with my own two little hands – even if I did take a shortcut.
3. A Sweet Yet Practical Hostess Gift
You may not have time to make your own hostess gifts, but you can still give something handmade. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love the soft and whimsical dishtowels that Cousin Lolli makes in her fabric studio in Fort Bragg.
For Easter, it’s hard to find anything more adorable than her carrot and bunny dishtowels. She created them using images from vintage children’s books.
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