Friday, April 10, 2020

How to Make Embroidered Felt Easter Eggs--with a Secret Pocket for Surprises!

I HATE this pandemic staycation, but it's no lie that it's given me more time to work on Easter crafts, so there's that, I guess...

Also, handwork soothes my anxiety, gives me and the kids something constructive to focus on, and is something fun that we can do together to make some happy memories. So there's that, I guess!

This particular project also fills an actual Easter need that we have. At our house, the Easter Bunny leads the kids on a giant, far-ranging, whole-morning clue hunt that they have to follow in order to finally find their Easter baskets full of treats. To do that, the Easter Bunny likes to use our family stash of container eggs, but the thing is that I do NOT purchase plastic Easter eggs. Instead, I hoard whatever plastic Easter eggs the kids have happened to receive from other sources over the years. But somehow, some of those plastic Easter eggs walk away every year.

This is such a problem, you guys! A few days ago, we got out our Easter decorations and Syd helped me sort them. You want to know how many plastic Easter eggs we found?

Five. You guys, five plastic Easter eggs will not keep my kids busy running around on a clue hunt while Matt and I spend the entire morning in bed.

Obviously, we need more container eggs, and we need to DIY them, and they can't take a ton of time to make (I'd make these papier mache Easter eggs again in a heartbeat, because they were so cute, worked awesomely, and lasted for about five years before I finally composted them, but... they ain't quick to craft!).

It took just a few minutes to think up the idea for these little embroidered felt Easter eggs, and not much longer than that to make them!

The vast majority of the time spent on crafting these eggs is in the embroidering, which you don't even have to do if you don't want to. But this is just about the easiest embroidery project you can think of, so if you've got time to listen to an audiobook and hang out with your kids, I highly recommend doing your Easter eggs up all fancy.

Even better, there's an envelope closure on the back that's also quick and easy to hand-sew with your embroidery floss, and it's secure enough to hold a miniature candy bar, a Hot Wheels car... or a piece of paper with a Very Important Clue written on it!

Here's what you'll need to craft these Easter eggs:

  • felt. Normally, I use Eco-fi felt, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. For special little handicrafts like this, though, I dip into my very small stash of wool felt that I buy here
  • Easter egg template. You can draw your own, of course, but I use the four-to-a-page Easter egg template from Skip to My Lou. 
  • embroidery floss, needle, and scissors.
1. Cut out one full egg template, and decorate! You seriously do NOT have to have any sewing or embroidery skills to do this. Just knot one end of the embroidery floss, start it from the back, and get to stitching!

If you think your work looks ugly, the trick is to keep embellishing it! Nothing--I promise you, NOTHING!--can look ugly when it's covered in enough pretty embroidery floss.

I did discover that the kids and I had an easier time thinking of cute embellishments when we lightly chalked some curved lines for our stitching to follow. Chalk will rinse right off of felt with a little running water, so it's a good choice for drawing any kind of pattern or template directly onto the felt egg front.

2. Make two more partial egg templates. In the photo below, you can see that I've got one full egg front, and two different egg backs that overlap each other by a couple of inches in the middle:

That overlap is important, because it's your envelope closure. To make it, first pin the bottom egg piece lined up with the bottom of your egg front, then pin the top egg piece lined up with the top of the egg front. Blanket stitch all the way around the egg to make it look like this:

If you wanted to hang this egg, you'd just have to stitch embroidery floss through the top and tie it into a loop.

If you wanted to stuff the egg, you'd just have to cut out one complete egg back (perhaps you could embellish that, too!), blanket stitch the two together, and stuff it before you'd quite finished stitching it completely closed.

The kids and I have a few more of these in progress, and plans to embroider some more together later today while we listen to Dracula (we finished Pride and Prejudice a couple of days ago, and now we get to watch the Colin Firth miniseries together!!!).

I hope the Easter Bunny finds them useful, and that none of them wander away...

Six Months Ago: The Scented Candle Workshop
One Year Ago: Homeschool Science: The Gummy Bear Osmosis Experiment
Two Years Ago: Nashville is Country Music
Three Years Ago: The Three-Day School Week
Four Years Ago: Earth Hour 2016 and 1980s Trivial Pursuit
Five Years Ago: Civil Rights for Kids
Six Years Ago: Geocaching on the B-Line Trail
Seven Years Ago: Finally, the Sun!
Eight Years Ago: On the Knitting Spool
Nine Years Ago: The Roller Derby Highlights Reel
Ten Years Ago: Dandelion Stir-Fry
Eleven Years Ago: ATC Swapped
Twelve Years Ago: Felt Food for Fun

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