I’m not terribly crafty, but I do enjoy an occasional craft, especially the easy ones. I like projects that can be completed in less than an hour and don’t require a trip to the craft store. And this Do-it-Yourself Easter Tree idea fits well within my crafty parameters. It’s super easy, fast, and can pretty much be done with things you already have lying around your house.
To start you’ll need to find a lilac bush from which you can steal a small branch. When our kids were little we’d trek across the neighbor’s yard (sometimes in ankle deep snow) to grab our branch from his bushes (with his permission, of course). You pretty much have to know in advance where to find the lilac bush because this time of year (in Minnesota at least) they look like this.
They basically look like a big mess of sticks all mushed together in one spot. If you can get closer to them though, you’ll see something more like this.
With our recent warm weather the lilac buds are already starting to come to life but don’t expect to see that every year.
Once you’ve determined the size of your tree, you’ll need to find a pot to hold it. You can use anything you have around the house. I’ve used cute plastic Easter buckets left over from past years, a large vase, or an old flowerpot. At one point in time I had a “cabbage-shaped” pot that we received as a wedding gift. When we got it I thought it was so ugly, but now I realize how perfect and adorable it would be for this project. Alas, I have already given it away. (Note to young moms – your taste changes as you age. Plan accordingly.) Okay, back to the project.
Take your pot and fill it with sand, dirt, or rocks. It doesn’t matter but you will need to add water and you want it tight enough to hold your “tree” upright. We use sand. I’ve been known to dig it out of the sandbox and most recently I used some from a sandbag we purchased once to add weight to our rear-wheel drive car (which was sold about 15 years ago). If your pot has a hole at the bottom be sure to cover it so that sand and water don’t leak out. I dragged a disposable pie tin out of the garbage and cut it to fit the bottom of the pot. (Don’t worry; I washed it first.)
Now that the sand is in the pot you are ready to “plant” your tree. Just stick it in the pot and make sure it’s secure. Add some water and you’re ready to decorate. I actually used two branches because the ginormous pot I had chosen dwarfed my “tree”.
To decorate you can use whatever you’d like. Because we did this every Easter when our kids were little, I’ve managed to collect quite a few ornaments through the years. But you can use small trinkets, crosses from old necklaces, eggs that have been blown out and decorated (which, by the way, is a fantastic way to expand your lung capacity), or cut out paper designs. Really, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. I’ve only ever blown the insides out of one egg, and even though it’s completely faded now I still use it because I’m pretty sure part of my lung is still inside there. Let’s just say back then I didn’t have the Internet to consult for easier methods – like breaking up the yoke with a toothpick first. That would have helped immensely!
I suggest using a glue gun and some ribbon for making the loop to hang your decorations.
After your tree is decorated you’ll want to cover the sand with Easter grass, or Spanish moss.
If you start this project about a week or two before Easter it’ll be in full bloom by the time Easter rolls around. It just takes a few days for the tree to come to life. This is super fun for kids to check on each day. It’s like a science project/new life lesson all in one. Have fun!
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.