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Hatching Inspiration

  • Photos by Gentl and Hyers

Welcome spring into your home with any of these stylish and playful ideas for the iconic egg (bunnies and chicks optional).

Show Your Metal

The fabled "golden egg" never looked quite so cool and organic: Ours were dyed in bright colors, then brushed with copper or gold leaf. And you can get as greedy as you like –– the metallic leaf is surprisingly affordable. 

Try This on for Size

Enormous colorful plastic eggs always look glaringly artificial, which is why there's wit in taking them to the natural place –– coating each with hardware-store joint compound to replicate an eggshell texture, then speckling them all over with paint for a quail-egg appearance. Use one (or several) to decorate a mantel or side table, or as part of a centerpiece –– especially on a large table. Photography by Bryan Gardner. 

Bring Nature to the Table

Moss is one of the many happy harbingers of spring, as winter's blanket of snow melts to reveal a refreshingly green natural carpet. Bring its bright color and soft texture to the table by molding eggs in a variety of sizes from sheet moss. Flanking the results with blown-out bird eggs and branches of quince blossoms spotlights their size and hue. 

Make the Package Pretty

Embossed-foil decorations known as Dresdens (they were popularized in Germany in the 19th century) are perfect box toppers for homemade cardboard eggs filled with candy. Apply the metallic embelishments in a graphic grouping, or as a single focal point. 

Plant a Basket of Blooms

Not every Easter basket needs to be filled with candy: These are just as sweet, thanks to clusters of spring blooms planted in a bed of clump moss. Since the baskets are lined with a plastic pot, the flowers can be watered so they'll blossom long past Easter. Plant a basket entirely of mini daffodils or mix spring bulbs such as muscari with maidenhair fern, and primroses. Add to the holiday tableau by resting a few eggs on the moss.

Shape Some Sugar

Think of this crafts project as a modern take on the Victorian era's ornate panorama sugar eggs. The palette of earthy pastels –– created with drops of ordinary food coloring –– is sweet but not cloying, and the eggs can be left solid (as decorations) or hollowed out to become containers for treats. 

Add a Soft Touch

The downy softness of baby chicks is incredibly appealing, and you can replicate that inviting texture with wool roving: Use it to make little yellow chickies to adorn a twig basket and to cover Styrofoam eggs in a variety of colors. (Intersperse natural, untreated eggs as well as gold-leafed ones for a playful basket arrangement centerpiece.) 

Be (Deliciously) Devilish

What to do with all those hard-boiled eggs you dyed and decorated? Make deviled eggs, of course: This year, be inspired by any of the irresistibly inventive flavors here –– from fresh and green to savory and smoky and beyond. 

See the Sunny Side

This trompe l'oeil fried egg may look like breakfast, but it's really dessert: Piped meringue becomes a crunchy nest when piped into oval shapes, then filled with soft, smooth lemon curd. A sprinkle of poppy seeds replicates black pepper. 

Paint Some Eggs

If tempera –– colorful paint made with egg yolks –– was good enough for the Renaissance painters, surely it's good enough for decorating sugar cookies. These egg-shaped cutouts are brushed with pigmented yolk, which bakes into a hard coat of color.