We try not to go too mad with chocolate over Easter, and try to do something a bit different as a gift for grandparents rather than buying a standard egg, particularly because Grandad can’t have chocolate. This year I had a brain wave one day when thinking about what we could make. I’d been meaning to do some papier mache with the boys for a while, and it occurred to me that balloons blown up small would be the shape of eggs. So that’s what we did!
I blew up 2 balloons, one for each set of grandparents, and ripped up some pieces of paper in various bright colours to give small-ish strips. Then came the really fun part – getting messy! We mixed some white PVA craft glue with some water until it was nice and runny. Andrew very much enjoyed helping me with that part. We made sure we put our protective plastic mat down on the table, and then started dipping strips of paper in the watery glue. As we pulled them out, we stuck them onto the balloon (we did one at at time). I held on to the balloon to keep it in one place, then when we needed to do the bit that was touching the mat, I lifted it up and held it by the tied end, which we left poking out.
Once both balloons were fully covered in lots of overlapping strips of paper, I tied an elastic band around the poking out bits and we left them hanging to drip dry in the garage (unfortunately it wasn’t a very nice day when we did it otherwise they would have been great drying outside). After a couple of days they were well and truly dried out. Then I got a skewer and popped the balloons inside to leave a nice egg-shaped hollow structure. At the end where the tied with poked out, I got some scissors in and cut around the centre to give two halves.
To give the inside a different colour and texture, I cut four squares of foil and we had fun pushing them down into each half egg. To finish off the edges we stuck some red tape around each rim. Then all that was left to do was fill the eggs with surprises and give them for Easter! We chose some chocolates from a lovely chocolate shop in Keswick on holiday, and some Cumbrian sheeps milk cheese for Grandad.
This Easter Andrew is at an age when he has just enough of an attention span to have a go at some simple crafts. Of course if it involves chocolate he’s very keen to help, and his attention span is somewhat increased when it comes to edible molten gooeyness – I wonder why?! But he’s also very into stickers and sticking, so I knew we could also have a go at making some cards that involve sticking.
Chocolate mini (or pinny) eggs
Andrew has been calling mini eggs ‘pinny eggs’ since he first had one a couple of weeks ago when we baked these cupcakes. I’m not quite sure why, given that he can say ‘m’ (as in mummy) and I’ve only ever called them mini eggs, but he’s obviously just got it into his head that they are pinny eggs. The ‘p’ sound is made with the same part of the mouth as the ‘m’ sound – the lips coming together and then opening again – but the ‘m’ also involves air being let out through the nose (it’s a nasal consonant). Anyway, that’s enough of a linguistic digression!
I was given some moulds for making chocolate mini eggs a few years ago. This year we made some white chocolate ones with Green and Black’s lovely vanilla white chocolate, and some dark chocolate ones with Asda Extra Special 75% cocoa dark chocolate with cocoa nibs which give a lovely crunchy texture (we made these as presents but had to sample them of course!) The moulds create half eggs when you pour molten chocolate into them, and then we sandwiched each pair of halves together using some milk chocolate. We left them to set in the fridge overnight between each stage and also before packing them up into presents.
We used cupcake cases to put a few of each type of egg in. Here they are all ready to give to Andrew’s grandparents (who have been told not to read this until tomorrow!)
Egg collage cards
These were really simple to make. First I cut an egg shape out of some yellow card – my tip for getting a nice even and symmetrical shape is to fold a rectangle of card in half lengthways and cut a semi-oval around the opposite side to the folded edge, then unfold it and you have an egg. I then stuck strips of double-sided tape all over the egg and removed the backing to the tape, which left a sticky surface all over the egg. We chose various scraps of paper, tissue paper, felt and mesh from my craft stash, in nice bright and spring-like colours, and I cut them into small squares and rectangles. Andrew then had fun sticking them all over the egg, with a bit of help from me. He found it ‘really funny’ (his words) that his finger tips kept sticking to the egg as he stuck bits on 🙂 When it was all covered, I stuck it onto the front of a pre-folded white A6 card with double-sided tape. It was a simple as that.
I’ve been getting Andrew into helping me make simple cards recently. I bought a bargain bumper pack of plain white A6 cards with envelopes, and we’ve had a lot of fun together sticking things onto them. We made one for Granny’s birthday and Andrew and Joel’s cousin’s Baptism last month, and now Mothering Sunday is the occasion. I know it’s a bit late to use this idea now for a Mother’s day card, but I thought the daffodil design would work well for Easter too, so I’m sharing it on here. It’s not an amazing picture; I just about had chance to take one whilst still not feeling well earlier in the week before we had to get them in the post to arrive by today. Thankfully we made them just before the bug struck, and hopefully you get the idea from this picture.
It was very simple to make. The yellow petals are a ‘pinwheel’, which you make by cutting a square of card the size of the space you want to fill and cutting a slit from each of the four corners to almost the centre; you then fold alternate corners (there are now 8) into the centre and stick them down with double-sided tape. The orange middle bit is made from an egg box, by cutting out one egg holder and cutting a zigzag shape into it from the top; we then painted it orange and stuck it into the centre when dry, using double-sided tape. The stem is a green drinking straw cut to size and stuck on with double-sided tape. Obviously I did all the cutting, but Andrew was very happy to help stick and paint.
We made one for each mum – Granny and Grandma. We have heard that they like them, so that’s a success! I have been given my own live daffodil and a handmade card from my boys 🙂