This brood is all smiles, er, beaks as they pose for a family portrait to welcome their latest addition. (The photo hanging behind them was taken before the baby was born.) Mr. Rooster crows that his new son is a good egg, and Mrs. Chicken is pleased that both children inherited the family’s felt features.
Dyeing mixture: 1 teaspoon vinegar, 20 drops food coloring, and 1 cup warm water
Homemade drying rack of pins and foam board
Tempera paint or marker
Egg creature templates
1. Emptying eggs lets you save your creations. An adult should pierce egg at both ends with a utility knife, widening one hole a bit. Poke a straightened paper clip through wide hole; stir yolk. Place ear syringe in smaller hole; squeeze. Contents will pour out. (Wash hands well.)
2. It’s easy to make dye: Cover the work area with paper towels. In a jar, mix 1 teaspoon vinegar, 20 drops food coloring, and 1 cup warm water. Submerge the egg (keep it down with a paper cup containing water). Soak 5 minutes for light colors and 10 minutes for darker shades. Remove the egg with tongs. A homemade rack of pins and foam board makes for even drying and quick cleanup.
3. Dye or paint should be fully dry before beginning. Affix features with white glue (on crepe paper, use tiny dots of glue); let dry at least 20 minutes. Glue on feet or legs first so egg will stand. For ears and combs, dab glue on edge of felt or crepe paper, affix piece, let dry, then fold up. Add small details like eyes with tempera paint or a marker.
Nestle each of your marbleized eggs in its own bed of grass. Using cardboard dividers, create 12 compartments in a shallow box or an empty shirt carton, then fashion a snug nest of dried grass inside each square. Save the lid for storage.
Egg blower, Aunt Marge’s 2-hole Egg Blower, surmastore.com
Several mixing bowls, shallow and deep
Liquid measuring cup
Food coloring, including liquid brown food color, lorannoils.com
Spoon and fork
1. With an egg blower, pierce the top and bottom of each egg, puncturing the yolk; carefully expel the contents. Rinse, and let dry.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine 3 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and a few drops of food coloring. Place egg in dye, and leave it submerged until it turns the desired shade.
3. In a wide, shallow bowl, prepare a second batch of dye — which will provide the swirls — in a darker shade or a different color. Liquid should be 1/2 inch deep. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Run a fork through this mixture, creating curlicues of oil on the surface.
4. As oil swirls, place dyed egg in mixture, and roll it once around the bowl to pick up oil streaks; remove the egg.
5. Gently pat egg with a paper towel.
6. Let it dry. You can experiment with color combinations: Vary the base tints and the swirls to achieve striking contrasts, subtle shadings, or multihued richness.
Easter Bunny Box
Simply pack this charming bunny box with cookies or candy for a one-of-a-kind Easter gift.
Bunny box template
18-by-18-inch card stock
Brown Butter Toffee Blondies or another sweet treat
1. Download the bunny box template and enlarge 250 percent when printing, or print the template and enlarge 250 percent on a copier. Since the template is 18 inches by 18 inches when enlarged, you will have to print or copy the template in pieces, on a few sheets of paper, and tape it together. Once you have assembled the template, cut it out on the solid lines using a craft knife. Remember to also cut out the slots in the large tabs.
2. Trace around the template on a piece of 18-by-18-inch card stock. For the template to fit on the page, the bunnies should be pointing to the corners of the card stock.
3. Using a bone folder, score the card stock along the template’s dotted lines.
4. Cut out the shape you have traced on the card stock. Cut the slots in the large tabs as marked on the template.
5. Fold upward at the center square; score lines to create the box. To close the box, bring the bunny tabs to meet in the center, and align the bunnies. Bring each slotted tab up and over the bunnies; slide both bunnies through each slot. It may be necessary to press the bunnies downward in order to easily fit them through the slot.
6. Fill the bunny box with a sweet treat.
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One great way to say happy Easter is with paper-envelope rabbits — bearing treats, of course.
Pink construction paper
Bunny ear template
1. Seal the flap of an envelope, and draw bunny ears on the sealed side, as shown below. You can draw your own or use our bunny ear template.
2. Cut along the line through both layers of the envelope.
3. Flip the envelope over; what was the side of the envelope becomes the bottom of your treat holder.
4. Cut pink construction paper to make eyes and insides of ears, and glue them on the front of the envelope. Use colored pencil for mouth; glue on a pom-pom nose. Fill with yummy Easter sweets.
Crepe Paper Chubby Bunnies
Beautiful and durable, crepe paper lends itself to countless applications. Glue bands of it to a bunch of eggs, affix tiny crepe blooms, and pile them in a bowl for a simple, elegant display. You also can use the paper to create lifelike flowers with egg centers. Or add crepe ears to an egg and watch it turn into a bunny.
Bunny ears template
Blown-out Easter eggs
Mini muffin-cup liners
1. Using our template as a guide, cut 2 ears (in direction of grain) from a folded sheet of crepe paper. Fold back base of each ear, apply glue to underside, and adhere to egg. Draw eyes with a paint pen. To make a nose: Glue a pom-pom over one of the holes used to blow out the egg. To make a tail: Glue a larger pom-pom over the other hole.
2. To make a nose: Glue a pom-pom over one of the holes used to blow out the egg. To make a tail: Glue a larger pom-pom over the other hole.
3. Arrange a fringed strip of crepe paper “grass” in a mini muffin-cup liner; place bunny in liner.
Spring Chick Cupcakes
This treat is modeled on one of the symbols of the season — baby chicks. With their coconut feathers, nutty beaks, and confectionery details, the cakes aren’t just eye candy; they’re delicious, too.
To hatch one of these, you don’t have to be an expert baker. Making a batch of chick cupcakes is a perfect task for novices, and kids will love to help. The result will be a whimsical hit at the table.
Makes 20 cupcakes.
20 Vanilla Cupcakes
4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 piece (10 inches) black licorice lace, cut into 40 (1/3-inch) pieces
20 whole almonds
140 red candy-coated licorice pastels (about 1/3 cup), or pieces of snipped red licorice laces
1. Bake cupcakes and cool completely. When turned upside-down, each cupcake becomes the body of a chick. Spread buttercream frosting on a cupcake to anchor it to the serving plate while you are working. Use a small offset spatula to coat the sides thickly with frosting, and then mound more on top to create a dome shape.
2. Press toasted shredded coconut into the frosting — it stands in for fuzzy feathers. Hold the plate at an angle while applying the coconut so the excess falls back into the bowl.
3. Place eyes (made from snipped black licorice laces) on chicks using tweezers. Use a whole almond for the beak and red licorice for the feet and comb; both can be pushed into the frosting by hand.
Crispy cornflake chicks in a chocolaty cereal nest are a sure sign that spring is on the way.
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for bowls
3 cups mini marshmallows
3 1/2 cups finely crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup black and brown candy-coated chocolate pieces, crushed
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
2 teaspoons smooth peanut butter
Candies, for decorating
1. Toast coconut in 350 degree oven until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring once. Butter seven 3 1/2-inch bowls; set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. Add marshmallows; stir until melted. Stir in cornflakes. Set aside 1 3/4 cups of the mixture in a medium bowl.
2. Stir 1/2 cup coconut, crushed chocolate pieces, and melted chocolate into mixture in pan. Press into bowls to form nests. Refrigerate 1 hour.
3. Form chicks from reserved mixture (attach 1- and 3/4-inch cereal balls with peanut butter). Decorate with candies. Remove nests from bowls; line with coconut. Add chicks.