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April 2016

Five Activities to do in Time for Easter

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These 5 crafts are all about getting into the swing of spring! If you’re into crafting and repurposing things, I’m sure you’ll enjoy one of these creative projects.

Toilet Paper Roll Chicks
Reuse your toilet paper rolls for this fun art project.

You will need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Googly eyes
  • Tacky glue
  • Yellow tissue paper (or old strips of fabric) Yellow paint
  • Thin strips of brown paper
  • Orange construction paper cut in small triangles

Directions:

1. Paint the cardboard rolls yellow
2. Wait for the paint to dry and glue on the eyes and beak (the small orange triangle)
3. Crumble the yellow tissue paper or fabric and glue it on to look like little wings
4. If you want to make your brand new baby chick a nest you can tangle brown strips of paper. Voila! You have baby chick made from recycled materials!

3 Ingredient Peeps

These easy and delicious treats are a great way to hop into spring! Make eggs, or bunnies, or chicks with your marshmallows and then enjoy the sugary goodness.

You will need:

  • 2 ½ Teaspoons of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup cold water for gelatin, and 1/4 cup for syrup
  • 1 cup colored sugar (for decorating)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

1. Put 1/3 cup of cool water into a mixer bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let sit.
2. Combine ¼ cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a pan over medium high heat stirring regularly.
3. Continue to stir until the water and sugar mixture reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Once the syrup has reached the right temperature, stir it for a few minutes to let it cool.
5. Pour the syrup into your gelatin mix and beat on medium high until stiff (8-15 minutes of beating).
6. Put the marshmallow into a large Ziploc bag with one of the corners cut off and use it to squeeze the marshmallow out into shapes.
7. Cover the marshmallow shapes with your colored sugar
8. If you want to add extra decoration, melt some chocolate chips and use a toothpick to draw chocolaty designs on your peeps.

Vegetable Dyed Easter Eggs

There’s nothing better than finding new uses for what’s in your fridge. This Easter, try using vegetables and fruits to dye your eggs!

You will need:

  • 12 white or brown hard-boiled eggs
  • 1T white vinegar per cup of strained dye liquid
  • Neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed

Directions:

1. Boil the water before adding vegetables (using the ratios below) and then let vegetables and water simmer for 15-30 minutes
2. Let the dye cool then pour it through fine strainer into another saucepan and stir in 1T of vinegar per cup of strained dye.
3. Immerse your eggs and place the eggs in the dye in the refrigerator until they turn the desired color.
4. Dry eggs and rub a little oil on them with a paper towel before placing back in the fridge until it’s time to eat them.

4 cups dye liquid made from any of the following:
1 cup chopped purple cabbage per cup of water — makes blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs
1 cup red onion skins per cup of water — makes lavender or red eggs
1 cup yellow onion skins per cup of water— makes orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
1 cup shredded beets per cup of water— makes pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs
2 tablespoons ground turmeric per cup of water — makes yellow eggs
1 bag Red Zinger tea per cup of water— makes lavender eggs

Turn a Colander into a hanging plant holder

There’s no better way to brighten up a room than with flowers and bright colors!

To do this I suggest you find a decorative colorful colander. If you don’t have one lying around, try local thrift or antique shops.

Directions:

1. Wrap the colander handles with a half a yard of twine each (push it together to avoid gaps)
2. Glue down the end pieces of the twine to keep it from unraveling
3. Knot one yard of twine around each side of both handles (you should be using four yards of twine to do this)
4. Line the inside of the colander with sheet moss
5. Fill with potting soil and your chosen plants (pansies look nice especially when accompanied by something leafy like ferns)
5. Finally tie your four lengths of twine together and hang your new masterpiece!

Recycled Fabric Flowers
A fun craft that doubles as great decoration is a win-win.

You will need:

  • Tulle, old shirts, old curtains, or fabric scraps
  • Sticks
  • Cord or twine
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors

Directions:
1. Cut the tulle/shirts/curtains into strips and fold them in half. The width of your strips decides the size of your flower (wider strips = bigger flower)
2. Put a line of glue on one end of your stick and stick one end of your folded fabric to it. Make sure the folded side is at the top.
3. Wrap the tulle around the stick scrunching it and gluing it however you want before gluing the end down.
4. Take a bit of the cord or twine and wrap it around the base of your flower, where the tulle meets the stick several times and glue it down.
5. Let dry, put them in a vase, and admire!

Marie Paterson is an intern at the Chesapeake Bay Trust in the Development and Communications Department and a junior at UMBC majoring in Psychology and Media and Communications.