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Just Hatched by Hand: Easter Decorations

Martha Stewart Living, April 2007

Spring is the softest of seasons, a time of new blooms, mellow pastel hues, and downy feathered chicks emerging from their shells. These tender moments inspired us to create Easter decorations in similarly gentle colors and textures. The ideas are fresh: Eggs are not dyed but dressed in spools of silky thread, and fuzzy critters done up in lush pipe cleaners and puffy pom-poms can hop easily from your tabletop to an egg-shaped feather tree. We're sure you'll find you have a soft spot for them, too.

Deck the Hall
Although a feather tree is traditionally used at Christmastime, we modified ours to resemble the ubiquitous symbol of the season. Its branches feature egg and carrot ornaments hanging from loops of silver thread, as well as pipe cleaner baskets filled with Easter creatures and more eggs. Millinery blooms flower on several limbs, fastened by their stems. As you hang the ornaments, be sure to intersperse decorations of different sizes and hues for a balanced display. Ours sits in an alabaster tree stand adorned with a cozy nest made of angora yarn, where two chicks keep watch over unhatched eggs. The tree is flanked by two ceramic cups, which hold sweet peas, lilies of the valley, and textured millinery leaves.

Flight of Fancy
A whimsical flowering branch is a natural perch for these handmade baby birds. We wrapped a fallen oak branch with ivory perle cotton thread, and then glued on fabric millinery flowers. To make a centerpiece, bunch several branches, nestling chicks among the buds.

Oval Easy
Tradition may call for Easter eggs to be hidden, but oversize handcrafted specimens are too pretty to tuck away. They're made of Styrofoam wrapped with lustrous perle cotton thread and decorative trim, and then displayed on candlesticks. Among the eggs are a mix of fresh and faux spring blossoms: indigo grape hyacinths, lavender lilies of the valley, and creamy daffodils mingle with iridescent velvet millinery flowers, all arranged in sterling-silver cups.

Hop to It
Entice a few cute bunnies out of hiding with some strategically placed carrot ornaments, plucked fresh from your crafts table. Once you've captured the palm-size creatures, they can be placed in a child's Easter basket or given away to visitors. The bunnies are so easy to assemble, you can create a whole bunch of the fuzzy friends in no time.

Table for Fun
Invite guests to brunch in a garden you've cultivated indoors and you can be sure that April showers won't rain on your Easter parade. A basket at each plate -- made only of pipe cleaners and filled with candy treats and a hatchling -- sets the scene. The bright, sunny centerpieces are made by filling large and small creamware bowls with double and single narcissus in buttery tones -- a lush setting for the wayfaring white chocolate bunnies to frolic in.

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