Easter Plans

April 4, 2011

bright easter eggs

Now that April Fool’s Day is over and done with (I’m still laughing!), my mind has turned to Easter. I’m really excited about it. The first thing I said to the family when I saw our yard was that it would be the perfect spot for a giant Easter Egg Hunt. So we’re hatching plans to host one.

It’s only been 2 months, and we’re still making friends, but hopefully we’ll be able to gather a fun crowd. The invitations are almost done, a huge box of plastic eggs have been shipped to me, and now I’m ordering ribbon to hang in the garden.

These photos show the eggs we dyed last year. I posted photos of the gorgeous dye baths, but never shared the actual eggs. Didn’t they turn out wonderfully? We used NotMartha’s dyeing instructions. The more intense colors stayed in the dye longer.

pastel easter eggs

I’ve asked around, and it sounds like decorating hard-boiled eggs is not really done here in France — trying to find more info on that little detail. It’s one of my favorite parts about Easter, so we’ll probably decorate eggs either way.

What are your April plans?

P.S. — I put more fun Easter links in the sidebar.

colorful easter eggs bright easter eggs

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TN April 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

Honestly I don’t recall what we did last year. My son was only 10 months and prb too young to hunt for eggs and eat chocolate.

But this year here in Paris (at the In-Laws house – it is my mother in laws bday also!) we will def be dying eggs and hiding them. Then eating them! Also we will prb hid the plastic kind full of chocolate and and Easter basket too!

I remember as a child even an young adult my dad would go all out for Easter. He just loved watching us look for our baskets everywhere in the house. YES I think I was 20 when he stopped hiding a whole basket for me ;-) But I would always have a special treat.

I want to make sure my son has some of these “American” traditions that I cherished as a child while we are here in France.

I asked my husband if they hid baskets full of Chocolate and he said yes. When I asked about decorating Easter eggs he said “You can do what ever you want”…it wasn’t an answer but basically we can make our own traditions. French or American. OR both is what I think is best.

Have fun Gabi glad you are making lots of friends.


2 Design Mom April 4, 2011 at 8:05 am

I love stories about enthusiastic fathers. So sweet!


3 elisabeth*itsyfactor April 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

How wonderful that you’re hosting an egg hunt for all your new friends!

I throw in my vote for hand dyed Easter eggs. You’re family is so busy learning about French culture, why not share a little bit of ours with them? That’s what I would do, though I know it will be a lot of work to dye all those eggs. Maybe you could start the party with egg dying?

We used to go to an Easter egg cracking contest every year. They probably hosted 60-100 people and paired us up against one another in twos. We each competed with our hard boiled eggs against one another, trying to crack the other egg. The last egg standing was the winner! It was great fun, and something that people of any age can do. I’ve always wanted to recreate that, but still haven’t had the yard to do it.


4 Design Mom April 4, 2011 at 8:06 am

Good point, Elisabeth. Maybe one of the activities should be dyeing the eggs. Hmmm. I’ll have to think on that…


5 Ashlea Walter April 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

Ooh, just thrilled with this post and the great links on your sidebar. I just love Easter and since Wren is egg-obsessed, she is equally fascinated and wow’ed by the candies and decorations we’ve been seeing out and about. Thanks for the inspiration!

Side note: the link to “alternative Easter baskets” is broken. 404 error… I’ll check back later!


6 Design Mom April 4, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thanks for the heads up, Ashlea. The link should be all fixed now. : )


7 Kelly April 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

They don’t decorate or dye eggs here, at least not in my experience…maybe it has something to do with the difficulty of finding white eggs. But they do hide chocolate- my in-laws love to go all out for my kids!


8 Design Mom April 4, 2011 at 8:46 am

I was just wondering about that, Kelly. I’ve never dyed non-white eggs. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.


9 Yeri April 4, 2011 at 8:53 am

Something tells me you’ll find a way to make the brown dyed eggs look beautiful! Can’t wait to see!


10 This girl loves to talk April 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

eggs are brown in australia and they still dye perfectly fine. We do it every year.


11 TN April 6, 2011 at 7:13 am

Oh that is right…French eggs are brown…if you do a test let us know how they turn out!


12 P.B. Lecron at A French Education April 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

Watch out, most eggs here in France are dark beige. I found white ones recently, though, in a health food store, of all places…so don’t despair!

When my Franco-American hybrid kids were small, we would blow out and empty eggs, then paste on colorful tissue paper before varnishing them. That compensated for the tinting problem! An alternative is to actually paint them … Fortunately, you have the requisite manpower in your family!

Be thinking about grass, too, for the baskets. You may have to use real straw or grass, or cut up raffia that you can find at garden stores or craft shops.

The French custom is to hide chocolate eggs, so better count on having some of those, too. Have fun!


13 Stitchfork April 4, 2011 at 9:12 am

When we moved into this neighborhood years ago, we hosted an Easter egg hunt and invited all the neighbors – who we had never met! It was a fun way to meet parents and kids. And go for the dyed eggs as something different for your guests.
xo Cathy


14 Sammy April 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

Sounds fun!

Over here in Germany hard-boiled eggs are dyed, too. Traditionally onions and other natural colors are used, but bright colors are also widely popular.

Germans also paint empty egg-shells and hang them on spring branches (“easter bouquet”). Is this done in America, too? I loved this as a kid even more than dying boiled eggs, because I could paint patterns and flowers and rabbits… and didn’t have to eat my art ;)
Small holes are carefully picked into the top and the bottom of the egg, then the egg is blown out and let dry for a while. Then it can be painted and hung by fastening yearn on a piece of toothpick and letting the toothpick disappear into the egg.


15 hyzen April 4, 2011 at 9:52 am

You can still dye the brown eggs, but obviously they don’t come out as bright–you just have to soak them a little longer in the dye, then embrace the more muted, deep tones. :)


16 Michelle April 4, 2011 at 11:00 am

The colors, love them!


17 grace April 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

Beautiful colors!!!


18 Sandy April 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

Right now I’m teaching my students about American holidays (I’m student-teaching high-schoolers in China) and one thing I really dislike about enormous class sizes (80 kids per class) and short class periods (40 minutes) is that I can’t ever do any kind of teaching but direct instruction. I would absolutely DIE (pun intended) to bring in a boatload of boiled eggs and have them dye them, but it’s not feasible. In China, people eat all sorts of bird eggs, so it would be fun to do some others as well. Alas, no such luck. Actually, I’m wondering if I could do it as an extracurricular, maybe on Easter Sunday. Hm.


19 LCR April 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

awesome colours and ‘dye jobs’! This got my Easter excitement going… makes it officially seem like spring:) Thanks for the links.


20 Heather HS April 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

When I taught in France, I taught my kids about the Easter bunny. They thought this was totally bizarre, since in France, the chocolate is brought by the bells. Since the church bells don’t ring from Good Friday until Easter Sunday, the kids are taught that the bells go to Rome (not sure why Rome… maybe because that is where the pope lives?). When they come back, they bring the candy.

Seems like a weird tradition, but weirder than a bunny that brings chocolate eggs?


21 karen @ our slo house April 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Yeah, I’m pretty sure ‘dying eggs’ is an American thing. We emigrated to the States from South Africa, and we never dyed them.

Easter egg hunts? Yes.
Easter bunny? Yes.
Dyed eggs? No.
Waking up to ginormous Easter baskets? No.


22 Marjorie April 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Lovely colors !

Well that’s right in France we’re not used to dye eggs but it’s nice to discover new traditions ! Usually we say that the easter bells put down some chocolate eggs in the garden and the kids have to found them.


23 Shannon April 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

A new thing I’d like to try is wind-up toy races. I read about it at The Purl Bee and think it would be so fun, especially as my kids are getting older. My grandmother has some old wind-up Easter toys (chicks and bunnies) that I’ll have to talk her into letting us use (they’re antiques!) and I’m keeping my eyes open for them when I’m out and about.

My mother creates a beautiful Easter tree every year using a tree branch and decorated eggs and spring-inspired ornaments. I’m urging her to put it up soon so I can take a photo to post!


24 Paige April 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

So fun! I love the bright colors.


25 Kaila Lifferth April 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

our favorite past Easter tradition was a huge community egg hunt held in Orem, Utah that included a grown up egg hunt where grown men (and women, though the men were more fun to watch) would race for sparkling juice, candy, movie tickets and cash. Now that we’ve moved, we’re thinking of hosting a huge egg hunt herewith our friends just so we can get in on the fun.


26 bdaiss April 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

We are fortunate that two communities here do major Easter egg hunts. Last year my boy found the glass egg at one! (They separate the kids by age group and there are a few “special” eggs for each group, including a handblown glass egg. You can see it here: http://prairietrails.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/happy-uh-easter/) We’ll do the same hunts this year, and have all the family over for dinner. I think I’ll be using those dying instructions – so beautiful!


27 Freida April 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Over here, in France, it’s all about finding lots and lots of chocolate bunnies or hens or eggs hidden all over the garden…Then, normally, even though it is a contest to see who find the most sweets, the kids put all their find in one basket and share all the goodies equally amongst themselves. I love how sharing seems natural from start.


28 Angela April 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I am definitely going to make the decoupaged eggs this year, i must have missed them last year and they look so gorgeous!
Last year we spent Easter in France and to our big surprise after the Sunday mass all kids were invited to go hunt for eggs in the garden…
It’s a Dutch custom too. Thanks for sharing Europe ‘through your eyes’!


29 Sarah April 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm

We never had Easter egg hunts, but I remember painting eggs. You do have Easter bonnets though, right? One of the best things about Easter, in my opinion. Other than finally getting to eat whatever you were off for Lent!


30 terina April 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm

they have full on egg markets in germany. and depending on your area, depends on how they are decorated. i’m sure in bavaria they would be amazing.


31 This girl loves to talk April 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm

one tradition my kids have loved the last few years is carscerones eggs. Basically I keep all egg shells from eggs I use to cook with for ages (slice the top off to keep most of the egg intact. wash and dry egg. Then fill with confetti. Then you use a little bit of tissue paper glued over the top. YOu then smash the eggs with your hands above peoples heads. I think it is mexican tradition.



32 emeeks April 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

If I remember correctly, when I lived in Paris, around ten years ago, we couldn’t find any eggs that weren’t brown. Brown eggs are difficult to dye, so we never even looked for dye since we couldn’t find white eggs.


33 Tanya D April 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I hope you have better luck with your French friends than I did in Switzerland. I invited lots of my Swiss friends to an Easter egg hunt and almost all declined saying that Easter egg hunts are only on Easter Sunday with family and it would be too confusing for their children to do another hunt. A couple were actually slightly offended that I would do this in the neighborhood park, creating confusion for their children even if they weren’t participating. We had it anyway with Americans and a few open-minded Swiss friends. Cultural differences are can be hard to understand sometimes. Good luck! You couldn’t have a more lovely setting for a hunt this year.


34 Tanya D April 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I saw the comment about the German egg trees and I’m so curious to know if they do this in France too. Egg trees are very popular in Switzerland and we’ve adopted that tradition since moving here. You don’t have to have an actual tree. People buy all sorts of fun flowering branches from the farmer’s market and use them to display the eggs at home. We bought lots of beautifully hand-painted eggs on a trip to Prague during the easter season which now adore our tree. You can see my tree here: http://beenlostonce.blogspot.com/2009/04/easter-tree.html

Please tell us about any fun Easter traditions your French friends do.


35 r8chel April 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Well then. It sounds like the French need you to introduce them to our tradition of dyeing Easter eggs. :)


36 MK Countryman April 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I grew up in Mississippi and Easter is such a beautiful time of year there. Now I am raising my kids in MInnesota and it is so hard every year for snow to be on the ground…or wet and cold. This will be the latest Easter in 10 years and I really want to host an egg hunt….but not sure what to do or how to do it. My kids are 10, 8, and 5. I don’t want all the big kids to get all the eggs, but not sure I want to host three different egg hunts. Can you post about what you will be doing at the egg hunt/party? and how long it will last? or will that ruin it?


37 Ivy April 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm

We were in France for the past 2 Easters and dyeing brown eggs just isn’t quite the same. Our eggs were beautiful, but they were jewel toned, no bright colors at all. Still fun all the same, but be prepared for teal and mauve eggs :)


38 heather April 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

It’s so cold in SLC this year, I’m trying to create Spring in my house for Easter!



39 allysha April 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

As missionaries we had big plans for dyeing eggs and having a big easter egg hunt until we remembered that all of the eggs we had access to were brown. Oh well.


40 Ivonne Loving April 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Gabrielle, you should totally document how the French celebrate Easter, maybe do something like US meets France. I find how fascinating different cultures are. In Argentina, we had no Easter egg hunt. We would get baskets full of chocolate bunnies and we went to church. Back home, I am glad we have to hunt for eggs and we decorate them also. It gives us great family memories. I am very curious to see what the french do.


41 Dari April 5, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I love the bright colors!! I am going to try them this year. Where did you find your wire egg basket? I want to find one!


42 Aron April 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

really amazing photos!


43 Nicole O April 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I love dying eggs (and your pics are gorgeous) but what do you do with all of them when the hunt is over?


44 Kristina Doss April 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

What gorgeous eggs! The post reminds me that I can start the fun, beautiful tradition of dyeing eggs with my daughter, who is old enough now. Can’t wait!


45 P.B. Lecron at A French Education April 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Another thought about the beige-brown eggs coloring dilemma: don’t fight it–don’t dye them! They’re pretty as they are if you simply tie a gingham ribbon around them once they’re hard-boiled and glue a small cut out flower in the middle of the bow. (You might need to secure the ribbon with a dab or two of non-toxic paste for the hunt.) Speed craft!

p.s: Ultra chic(k) with dark brown ribbon and white polka dots…You’d love the trip into a French mercerie to see the ribbon collection!


46 FreeRange Pamela April 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm

We colored brown eggs this year, and I think they turned out beautifully. (http://www.free-range.org/2011/04/24/free-range-easter-eggs/) Anyway, I really decided to chime in because I am so impressed that you have enough friends to invite to a party after only 2 months. I think I must be doing something wrong because we have lived in our new town for 6 months and we would be really struggling to amass party guests! The invitations look lovely, and I’m sure the map insert was fine!


47 Megan March 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Thanks for linking to my site, I’m so glad my experiments helped!


48 Michelle April 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Hello! Loved watching your sweet family and the adventure you are on! God Bless you ALL and Happy Easter! We have just moved from California to Singapore and have been enjoying the culture and learning so much! Our kids are all back in the states in career or university-our first Easter without them:( Enjoy your Easter Egg Hunt! And, that fabulous house full of the People you love! xo


49 soona April 8, 2012 at 6:33 am

Thank you for the great links!
I never experience coloring eggs, since I’m from Japan and we don’t have Easter. But now we live in the Netherlands and today I tried the dye baths with my 3 year old son. (http://sooona.exblog.jp/18102281/) We enjoyed it so much! Beautiful and fun!
Have a lovely easter weekend!


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