Updated: Nov 21
Every year I cut pussy willow (goat willow) with it's fluffy buds and place them in a vase inside. I get out my favourite Austrian painted eggs and hang them up to remind me of the beautiful colours of spring and the promise of new life in this lovely season.
Now I have hens who lay beautiful, pastel coloured eggs and I am always wanting to find ways to use the shells. Usually I bake the empty egg shells, grind them up and add them to the chickens food to give them some extra calcium (great for hens who are laying eggs). So they are rarely if ever thrown away. But when you are presented with some fabulous coloured eggs in pale blues, greens and rich chocolate colours it's hard not to go hunting for something to show them off.
The spring tradition of bringing pussy willow inside is a German one, although my mum always used to do it when I was growing up in England. Living in Norway I have found that so many people do it too and everyone here is enthusiastic to look for the first signs of spring after a long cold winter. Bringing the outdoors in is something we do without thinking about it!
So you can imagine my delight when I saw some photos of hanging egg shells on willow or birch twigs and I was determined to try this simple Easter craft myself.
All we need is a few eggs, some pieces of ribbon and superglue. You could use hot glue instead, but I like the speed of superglue. Small pieces of ribbon that you've saved from pervious projects (please tell me I'm no the only one who does this!) are ideal for this craft.
Take a blunt ended knife and gently tap all around the top of the egg to make a hat. The top of the egg is the pointed bit. Once you have gone all around the top, gently lift it off and tip the contents of the egg into a bowl. A little tip: the darker the egg shell, the thicker it is. Pale coloured eggs have thinner shells, which means they are easier to chip through, but might not be so durable.
Give your egg shell a careful wash inside and out, and let it dry.
Cut a length of ribbon about 8-10 inches long and find the middle.
Put a dab of superglue on the bottom of the egg shell and attach the centre of the ribbon. Give it a moment to dry and then glue the sides with one dab on each side at the top edge. Make a little bow or a knot at the top of the ribbon to create a hanging egg shell basket.
Fill with some tiny flowers, a few snips of apple blossom or some tiny candies or chocolates. Hang on your willow or birch branches to make an unusual and sustainable Easter tree.
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