A bunny wreath is a nice addition to your door for Easter, spring, or a woodland creature-themed party. When my niece was turning 7, she wanted to celebrate spring with bunnies and flowers, and I obliged. I wanted something subdued and feminine for the door, but I didn’t want to break the bank. So, I headed to the dollar store and my own treasure trove of craft supplies in search of bunny wreath relevant items. The wreath in the photo is what I came up with.
Materials for Bunny Wreath
A wire wreath frame
Pipe cleaners (2)
Wide ribbon of your choosing
Slim ribbon of your choosing
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
1. Wrap the wire frame with the wide ribbon.
I used ribbon with a wire in it, so it was bendable and had a grip. I imagine traditional ribbon with no wire might shift a lot as you wrap. I tried to wrap the ribbon around the frame so that each turn of the ribbon overlapped slightly with the one before it. When I reached the end, I used a straight pin to hold it in place until I was able to dab some hot glue on the ribbon to adhere it to the frame and other ribbon.
2. Make the bunny ears.
Take one pipe cleaner and form the shape of a bunny ear. Twist together the bottom halves of the pipe cleaner to keep the bunny ear from losing shape. Then, attach the ear to the ribbon-wrapped wreath frame with hot glue. Do the same with the second bunny ear. You might want to wait to hot glue the first ear until both are done, so you can better position them.
3. Add a bow.
You could leave the wreath as is or you can accessorize. I might have made a bow tie had the party been for my son. But for my niece, I made a bow out of tulle ribbon and hot glued a decorative flower (with faux pearls at its center) on the knot. Then, I hot glued the bow to the bottom center portion of the wreath.
4. Include a hook.
To make it hang on my door, I weaved a long, thin ribbon through the wrapped ribbon and tied a knot at the top. Then, I hung it from the hook that already hangs on my door. Voila, a welcoming wreath that requires little effort.
Easter centerpieces are a great way to make holidays as festive and special as possible. Even if you don’t want to go all out (and there’s nothing wrong with that), you can make a simple centerpiece to jazz up the table. If your house is anything like mine, the table is the center of all the action at the holidays anyway. Discover these Easter centerpieces that I’ve made in no time at all:
Bunnies and Flowers Oh My
To make these Easter centerpieces, I turned to stuff I already had lying around the house. The electronic candles were a gift, and I had purchased the bunnies and plastic glittered eggs at the dollar store long ago. I picked up some silk and paper flowers, Spanish moss, and some malted chocolate eggs and created the scene in dollar-store-purchased baking pans. If I could have found one longer rectangular container, I would have combined the two Easter centerpieces to make one dramatic scene setter for the tabletop.
Jazz Up Supermarket Flowers
Egg-cellent Easter Centerpieces
The landscaper’s daughter, I’m a big fan of live flowers and plants. Designing floral bouquets is one of my favorite pastimes. But I don’t like spending a lot of money on the flowers and fillers. So, I often head to the supermarket. Carnations are a true bargain because they come in an array of colors and last a long time as long as you keep changing the water. Their full flower also packs a punch. I could not pass up the is bunch in soft and hot pink with a muted beige carnation and silver-painted baby’s breath. All I did was put cool water in the butterfly-covered vase, trimmed the ends of the carnations, and plopped them into place. Then, I added the egg picks that I had long ago bought at Michael’s in a post-Easter shopping spree.
Pull out your best crystal bowl (or even a transparent plastic one from the dollar store). Then, insert a smaller glass or vase in the center of the bowl. I actually used a cleaned out jar of salsa, and I added double sided tape to keep the jar in place. I added water to the smaller jar. Then, i filled the area between the bowl and the jar with colorful plastic Easter eggs. Finally, I created the look I wanted with the bouquet (again with flowers from the supermarket). I kept the flowers in place with a rubber band. And I placed the bouquet into the jar of water. Of all my centerpieces, this is one probably received the most compliments.
Nothing says Easter quite like bunny ears. And floral bunny ears are whimsical and lovely. They add a certain air of femininity and sophistication that is lacking in those furry dollar store ones. The good news is that this floral version provides a rich look at a cheap price point. Learn how to make your own floral bunny ears for Easter or a bunny- or woodland creatures-themed party.
Headband – You can choose a thicker band if you’d like. I was making this for my 7-year-old niece’s birthday party, and she’s small, so I wanted something more demure. I owned a thin, gold headband. It had a bow on it, but I simply removed it.
Silk or fabric flowers and greens – Many of the floral bunny ears you’ll find on Pinterest use giant flowers. Again, I was making this for a small child, so I chose smaller flowers. It’s up to you to choose the look you prefer. And I picked pink and white because of the color scheme of the rest of her outfit. But any colors would work. Make sure you have a couple of green leaves or buds to include, too.
Pipe cleaners – You can use pipe cleaners in any color. I thought the gold went well with pink and white and matched the headband.
Hot glue gun and glue sticks – To make this headband, you must have a hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks.
Design Your Floral Bunny Ears
First, take two pipe cleaners and bend them into bunny ears. Then, wrap each around the headband to attach them. Be careful not to make them too bulky when attaching them. Test how they feel on your heard before adhering hot glue to keep them in place. Before using the hot glue gun on the flowers, test different looks to see what you like. I decided I liked each side to mirror the other with the larger flower in the middle. Finally, hot glue those babies as though your life depends on them staying put. I let my headband dry overnight and added second and third dabs of hot glue to ensure durability.
Besides being the holiest time of year for Christians, Easter also just might be the most adorable holiday ever. With all the bunnies, chicks, and colorful eggs, it is hard to imagine anything cuter. As a result, I find it’s the perfect time of year to get creative in the name of making the holiday more festive.
Last year, however, I was so deflated that I almost missed the opportunity. In 2015, we buried my grandfather a week before Easter, which cast a sadness over the holiday. My heart simply wasn’t interested. But the day before we celebrated, my then 3-year-old son asked about the Easter Bunny. And it was enough to make me think that we needed to go all out at the holiday table. It is what my grandfather, who was most committed to living the sweet life, would have wanted. So, I kicked into high gear and my determination resulted in the images above. I literally pulled these details together in one day. Here’s how:
Deviled Chicks – Make a small pin hole in the bottom of eggs you’re planning to hard boil to prevent cracking. Add a bit of vinegar to the water, too. Gently boil the eggs. Cool the boiled eggs. Clean them. First, cut the top of the egg (instead of cutting it in half as you normally would. I used an espresso spoon to carefully remove the yolks. Make your usual deviled eggs. In a pinch, I often just combine egg yolk, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, lemon, and mayonnaise. Some people like paprika on top, and if you fall into that category, include it in the mix from the start, so it blends and does not influence the look of your chicks. Finally, simply use a cake decorating bag (or a Ziploc bag with a hole in the corner) to pipe the devilish part of this dish into the bottoms of the eggs. Top each one with the other piece of egg white. Use carrots, cut into tiny triangles, for the nose and peppercorns or capers for the eyes. Some people add more (slightly larger) carrot triangles for feet under the egg, but I didn’t. I just placed the chicks on a bed of spinach.
A Happy Bouquet – To say my family was feeling drained and down last year on Easter would be an understatement. We needed something on the table to put a smile on our face (besides the food, which is always a good bet). And I had lots and lots of plastic eggs from the dollar store. Since the Easter Bunny could not possibly fill them all for the hunt, I decided to put them to good use. I placed a small cup inside one of my best crystal bowls. I put some tape under the cup to hold it in place because I had to move the centerpiece from my home to my brother’s home, where we celebrated. I then purchased an affordable and colorful bouquet from the supermarket and arranged the bouquet in a way that was pleasing to me before placing it in the vase. I then put the plastic eggs around the bowl to cover the cup inside the bowl. Voila!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries – I often make chocolate covered strawberries. They are pretty simple. You wash and dry the strawberries, melt chocolate chips in the microwave (at 30-second intervals), then dip and coat the strawberry with chocolate, place it on parchment paper, and place it in the fridge to set. Then, pick out your favorite little dish. Use some of the leftover melted chocolate on the bottom of your purchased chocolate bunny and stick it in the center of the dish. Let it set and add the strawberries around it. Couldn’t be simpler and what a wow effect!
In every supermarket in Italy, you will find large chocolate eggs stuffed with gifts during the Easter season. Some chocolatiers and pastry shops will also make a customized egg for you, so you can fill it with whatever trinkets you like. Some people go all out and give their beloved jewelry inside the egg or a special toy for their child. Many Italian specialty shops in the United States sell the pre-packaged versions of these seasonal Italian treats. They’re usually wrapped in pretty foil and offer a plastic toy on the inside. Often, the treats inside are pretty disappointing. So, I thought I’d try my hand at making one of those customized eggs, so I could stuff them with my own gifts.
STEP 1 – Melt chocolate.
Get a big bag of chocolate chips. So far, I’ve used milk chocolate and semi-sweet, but you could use any kind you’d like as long as you like the taste. Put two to three cups worth of chips in a microwave-safe bowl. (Adjust the measurements based on the size of the egg form you have. Mine was the jumbo size.) And then begin melting the chocolate at 30-second intervals. Use a spoon to stir the chips after each 30 seconds worth of heating. When you stir the chips and they melt (as in the photograph), they are done. You can also use chocolate melting candy (like you would find in Michael’s or A.C. Moore) and a candy melting machine. Then, you would follow the manufacturer’s directions for melting the chocolate.
STEP 2 – Fill the form.
You can purchase candy molds at stores that sell baking and candy products or online. I bought mine on Amazon.com. There are many different sizes available. You could make mini eggs or jumbo eggs and everything in between. I chose a two-pound mold. Of course, I’m keeping the chocolate egg hollow, so my end product is never actually two pounds. In any event, it’s rather large. In any event, I begin by dumping all the melted chocolate from the bowl into the center of the egg. Then, I use the back of a spoon or spatula to cover the entire inside of the mold. I try to evenly spread the chocolate so that the sides are not too thin. If the sides are thin and the center is dense, the egg may fall apart when you take it out of the mold.
STEP 3 – Refrigerate the one half of the egg.
This is easy. Put the completely coated chocolate egg half – bottom down so the plastic mold is touching the shelf – in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to set. When you take it out, you should just have to carefully apply slight pressure on the sides and center of the plastic mold to pop out the egg. Then, put that piece in a dish and put it back in the fridge, so it doesn’t melt at room temperature.
STEP 4 – Repeat steps 1 to 3 to make the other half.
STEP 5 – Melt some more chocolate.
Melt a much smaller amount of chocolate this time around. You will need it to seal the two egg halves together. For my 2-pound mold, I melted about 2 tbsp worth of chocolate chips. Have any sprinkles you’d like to add to the seal nearby and ready to go.
STEP 6 – Insert your gift.
I picked up baking molds in Easter shapes and mini cookie cutters at the dollar store. Then, I put them in food-safe treat bags and inserted one into one half of an egg. You could put anything in there – a small toy, a mini whisk, a key ring, other candy, etc.
STEP 7 – Seal the edges of the egg.
The purchased chocolate eggs are sealed perfectly (mostly because machines do the work for people). Yours probably won’t be so perfect, but that’s okay. You’ll have to fill in gaps with more chocolate and the seal will be visible. I was careful to wait a minute or two before beginning to seal the edges because if the chocolate is too hot, it’s going to melt the edges of the egg halves as well. Also, I made sure to have clean hands at all times while doing this project, and I used my fingers to smooth out the chocolate. Then, I immediately add sprinkles. to the seams, while it’s still wet. Here’s what it looks like:
STEP 8 – Wrap it up.
In Italy, you’ll find a little plastic cup holding up the egg, so that it stands upright. I didn’t have that, so my mom suggested I cut off the bottom of a paper or plastic cup. That worked beautifully. I then wrapped the egg in aluminum foil. Before wrapping both in decorative cellophane, which I topped off with a ribbon. I used a pretty ribbon, and I plan to add tags in the shape of a rabbit to the next one. You could also use a piece of tissue paper over the cellophane if you don’t want people to see your paper cup. The point is that now you have a fabulous, Italian Easter gift.
We’re off dying eggs and cooking a traditional Italian feast. Don’t worry, this time around we won’t be eating bunny. That would be wrong, not that we haven’t done it in the past. Glad to have that off my chest. But I digress. Here is a rundown of some of the Easter content I’ve written over the years, which you might find helpful or interesting:
The Bergen County Zoo, part of Van Saun Park in Paramus, has always been among my favorite places. As a kid, my mom would gather up our cousins and take us all there for a visit with the animals and a picnic. We would buy a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (back then, it wasn’t called KFC) and eat and frolic in the playground before strolling through the adorable zoo and taking a train ride. Now, it’s a joy to take my son and niece and nephew (and other young family members) for some good old-fashioned fun.
That’s why I was among the first to register for the zoo’s Easter Egg Hunt, which happened on Saturday. To my shock and delight, the entire event was free. There was an egg hunt (5 eggs per child), face painting, pictures with the Easter Bunny, story time with a live bunny, frog origami making, and cookies and juice at no charge, not even an admissions fee. Even though there were some big lines to participate in these activities, the kids had a blast. Baby Boy played with the plastic, jumping bunnies he found in his Easter eggs while he waited to have a duck painted on his arm. And he happily devoured an oatmeal raisin cookie while taking a walk through the zoo. Running buffalo, a friendly horse, and a nesting goose were among the highlights. Afterward, we headed to the picnic area, where I hid more eggs that I had filled at home, and we ate homemade everything – chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, string bean and potato salad, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the shape of bunnies. Jumping in the pile of leaves near our picnic table was a bonus that this mamma didn’t see comin’. You can check out the animals we encountered below. And consider heading to the local zoo yourself.
Baby Boy and I are preparing to leave for a very long stay in Ischia, Italy, home of my ancestors and my husband. So, Easter is the last holiday we’re going to be spending with our American loved ones for some time. We are probably going to miss some of our favorite occasions, including Halloween and Thanksgiving. After all, the Italians think of them as Oct. 31 and any ol’ Thursday. I’m crying just thinking about it.
So, it was important to savor every moment of our Easter celebration. It started with our annual cookie decorating and egg dying party at my mom’s house (see photo above). We invited so many people this year that we didn’t fit into our house, and my mom who started this time-honored feast back when her great nieces and nephews were toddlers, hopped to party planning and cookie baking.
Although my niece (far left) and Baby Boy (far right) look like they are happily painting their egg-shaped cookies with icing, they were just faking. They mostly just ate their art (sometimes right off the paint brush). We later had to hide the cookies and icing from them. Sneaky, sneaky grown ups!
On Easter morning, Baby Boy found a lovely basket of goodies – and more – from the Easter bunny. His treats included a big picture book of his favorite Jake and the Neverland Pirates, bunny ears, a Peter Pan T-shirt, and a fishing rod for the tub. Some books and bubbles, purchased from local dollar stores, which are the bunny’s best friend, rounded out the offerings.
Lucky for Baby Boy, the Easter Bunny left us a batch of yummy pancakes, which Papa’ brilliantly smothered in nutella and whipped cream. Of course, Baby Boy needed two forks to inhale this delectable breakfast.
Post-pancakes Baby Boy was up to his usual mischief at Nonna’s Easter party.
Silly Baby Boy got himself stuck in the basket that Nonna uses to corral books for the grandkids. But I, his mamma, prefer to think that this is what the Easter Bunny left for me – his sweet self in a basket. There is, after all, no better gift. And it was a happy Easter for all.
Easter isn’t here yet, and I’ve already eaten my weight in jelly beans. My father knows I like the colorful bits of sweet heaven, so he bought me a big bag from Stew Leonard’s. As I toiled at my desk, writing one story after another for my various clients, I ripped through that bag until the seven black ones remained. I tried to tie up the bag and hide it in my file cabinet, but I knew it was there. It would call my name. Francescaaaaa… Francescaaaaa… The next thing I would know I would have a film across my keyboard, from fingers sticky with sugar. And I’d have no recollection of the 50 beans I just stuffed into my mouth.
Then, I’d just start lying to myself. I would say that I was showing restraint by not eating the black ones. But I just don’t really like the taste of licorice. I feel shame. But it won’t stop me from eating another big bag all by myself next Easter. Please, dear Easter Bunny, save me from myself. Keep me away from the sweet, sweet beans.