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01/04/2016

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Fluffy eggs and hidden root babies {handmade for Easter}

01/04/2016

Every Easter that we’ve been north with the family my inlaws have put on the most epic of epic Easter Egg hunts around their garden. The only other occasion when you’ll see this much chocolate in one place is inside a shop. The girls think it’s absolutely wonderful of course, they collect it all in, and count the eggs and admire the colours, and on Easter Sunday they can help themselves within reason (after that a degree of rationing kicks in for all our sakes, and my colleagues have been known to benefit from a share of the bounty!). But because the chocolate aspect has already been covered off, H and I try to give them a little non-food Easter treat, the more handmade the better.

So this year we found a rainbow pencil crayon each for the girls, and a book for Pip, and I made these:

Space for the Butterflies - how to make fluffy secret eggs

The cutest, fluffiest Easter Eggs you could ever find.

Space for the Butterflies - how to make fluffy secret eggs

And what could that be hiding inside the eggs? Why three little flower root babies of course!

Space for the Butterflies - how to make fluffy secret eggs

Several weeks ago I was playing around with wet felting with the children, and once we’d made various wiggly worms and they’d moved on to something else, I kept playing, wrapping layers and layers of pretty wool roving around the plastic inside from a kinder egg. It’s not a completely perfect egg shape I grant you, but it’s more egg shaped than anything else I had in the house at the time.

I found the best way to get a good felt was to wrap several thin layers around in different directions, then just sprinkle on a bit of hot water to start with and start gently patting. Once it got matted and damp all over, then I would hold it inside my hands and dip it into a bowl of hot water, squeeze gently as it came back out and then add soap directly to the egg. We’d started with our nice child friendly very gentle soap but that just didn’t cut it, and I had a lot more success once I moved on to washing up liquid (we have Ecover but anything ‘stronger’ would probably work even better).

I started by just stroking the fibres down in different directions, you want enough soap that it feels sudsy and then as the egg started to felt I could roll it around in my hands until it felt solid.

Space for the Butterflies - how to make fluffy secret eggs

I found adding extra layers part way through to be quite tricky, some people swear by building it all up a layer at a time and some say have all the fibre there at the beginning, it’s a bit of trial and error, but for me I think starting with lots of thin layers already built up works best, plus if you start with one colour and change to another then you get an egg that’s one colour on the outside and another on the inside.

Space for the Butterflies - how to make fluffy secret eggs

The pink egg is purple inside and the purple one is pink! The blue one actually has some other colours somewhere in the mix but I think they’re all hidden in the middle.  My other top tip is that you need more layers than you think you do.  The pink one was my experimental attempt and it has quite a few more layers than the other two so it’s nice and rigid once the kinder egg bit came out – the other two have slightly flappy lids.

Once the eggs were fully felted I rinsed them in more hot water and then left them to dry for a couple of days.  Then I took a pair of embroidery scissors and sniped them open.  The stitching around the edge is just blanket stitch and three strands of embroidery thread, a loop and a button from my button jar to keep the root babies tucked up safe and sound.  I didn’t make the root babies, I’d been trying to think of what to hide inside the eggs when I spotted them in one of our favourite shops and knew they were just the thing.  The Story of the Root Children has been one of our favourite bedtime stories for ages and it’s very apt at this time of year.

And to accompany the fluffy eggs H and the girls revealed their latest project, a whole clutch of beautiful eggs.  They’d blown them themselves (more Kitty and H than Elma!) and then dyed them with tissue paper and the results were amazing.  We had 10 in the end, strung up along the kitchen windowsills for Easter Sunday in all their gorgeous colourful glory. Definitely a craft to add to the repeat list for next year.

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Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On

If you have a moment, I would truly love a nomination in the MADs and the BiBs blogging awards for writer, craft, or family/school days (all the details are here – short version: anyone can vote, you don’t have to blog or be in the UK and I will be eternally grateful if you do x).  And if you can’t quite decide for who to nominate in the hotly contested pre-school category, can I persuade you into taking a look at Clarina’s ContemplationsDear Little Daisy, Make Do and Push, or A Baby on Board all of which are completely awesome and wonderful 🙂