Whether you need to decorate for Easter or for spring entertaining, these mantel displays, floral arrangements, and centerpieces add just the right touch!
Cover a small galvanized bucket with fresh-cut French pussy willow branches for a lovely "living" vase. To create this look, wrap two rubber bands around the outside of the pot, approximately one-third from the top and bottom rims.
Cut enough pussy willow stalks to embellish the container's exterior. Mix the lengths so some willows are the same height as the container and others are 1–3 inches taller. Attach in a vertical arrangement, keeping the branches very close together by slipping them behind the rubber bands.
When most of the container is covered, add short branches behind only the lower rubber band, hiding any gaps. Use a glue gun to add individual catkins, or wrap decorative twine to hide the rubber bands.
Fill your container with cheerful spring flowers, such as a mix of dark and light pink tulips.
Turn a handful of dyed eggs and a bouquet of carnations into a playful spring centerpiece. Fill a medium-size footed bowl with a few inches of water. Nestle dyed eggs in a smaller bowl (prop bowl on a dish if necessary). Cut carnation stems about 2 or 3 inches long and pack the blooms around the bowl of eggs.
Start with a large-mouth clear cookie jar or canister and place a clear drinking glass in the center. Gently stack dyed, hard-cooked eggs between the glass and jar, alternating egg colors. Fill the glass with water. Cut the stems of your favorite flowers (we used roses, gerbera daisies, tulips, hyacinth, and bells of Ireland) to the desired length, and arrange them in the glass.
Welcome spring's arrival with an array of cool-tone hues accented with sprigs of black pussy willow. A tin bowl and saucer display an arrangement of purple hyacinth, blue grape hyacinth, plum-hue tulips, grape fritillaria, and ruffled columbine foliage. Begin by crisscrossing the willow branches to form a "nest" through which all the other stems can be inserted, weaving each flower just where you want it in the design. Notice how the dark centers of the tulips echo the black catkins.
Gathered from the garden, an alluring clutch of golden, cream, and apricot-hue daffodils plays nicely with twigs of yellowish heritage pussy willow. Arranged in a vintage metal container, the flowers and branches evoke a woodland meadow in bloom. Select several daffodil varieties for more interest. Keep the pussy willow branches long, so they emerge playfully above the mound of flowers.
Centerpiece Tip: For a long-lasting bouquet, cut the daffodils before their buds have opened. You'll enjoy watching their forms change, and the pussy willows will last just as long.
A shallow concrete birdbath can hold just enough soil to make a pretty display of moss, spring-flowering bulbs, and pussy willow branches. It's the perfect miniature garden to enjoy indoors before your outdoor landscape blooms.
Purchase pots of favorite spring primroses, pansies, alyssum, grape hyacinth, or tête-à-tête daffodils. Place a grouping of these plants in the saucer or dish. You might need to remove some of the excess soil and roots from the annuals or separate individual bulbs from their clump.
Fill the container with potting soil, mounding it in the center. Cover the top of the soil with sheet moss. Add short stems of pussy willows, grouped informally as in nature. Keep the plantings fresh by lightly watering the moss surface. Do not overwater if the container lacks a drainage hole.
The common pussy willow is instantly recognizable, but there are so many other unique varieties for the landscape and the vase. Mixing several cultivars in one large arrangement makes a dramatic impact -- and showcases Mother Nature's botanical diversity. Here, the large galvanized jug holds four different types of the branches, while heritage pussy willow stems fill a small accent vase.
Place a 4-inch pot of daffodils in the candleholder. Spin dried grass to form a nest to conceal the pot.
Improvise a pretty Easter basket using a sweet straw hat. Fill it with softly colored eggs, either real or artificial. Hollowed eggs like ours can also be stuffed with paper ribbons that include spring wishes, egg hunting clues, or even names for place cards.
Jewels of another kind fill this cedar chest. Line the box with plastic wrap, then drop in 4-inch pots of budded irises and mosses. Use fillers like spikemoss as the supporting cast for seasonal flowers. After blooms fade, foliage carries on this trunk show.
Turn an open round flower into a decorative nest. We've used peonies, but open roses would also be lovely. Cut the stems short and float on water in a footed dish or glass. Tuck a few little eggs in the middle and display as a centerpiece.
Vintage teacups make pretty containers for tiny flower arrangements. Fill the cups with well-soaked floral foam or use a small metal florist's frog, if necessary, to hold the flowers in place. Look in your yard or at the flower shop for small blooms, such as grape hyacinth or lily-of-the-valley, that match the scale of the cups.
Trough planters like this are inspired by half-round galvanized gutters. Fill with soil and budded bulbs. Top with moss. Tuck in earthy knickknacks, like these ceramic faux fungi, for a woodsy look.
Remove tulips from the pot and wrap bulbs with sheet moss, forming a kokedama (Japanese moss ball). Preserve the shape with fishing line.
Sprout fresh wheatgrass in a decked-out glass beaker.
Mound hollowed out, painted or dyed eggs in a clear compote and add a little water. Then stick stems of delphinium and pom-pom mums in the crevices between the eggs. Simply beautiful.
Warm up your Easter table with this charming centerpiece, easily crafted from basic wood blocks and scrapbooking materials.
Arrange this fun and flowery Easter centerpiece by coupling a faux rabbit with an oversized egg. Then surround the pair with your favorite springtime blossoms, such as the crocuses and various primroses shown here.
Fill the container opening with dry florist's foam. Cover the foam with Spanish moss and secure with greening pins. Allow some of the Spanish moss to spill over the side of the opening. Clip the stems of the dominant flowers to the desired length and insert in the dry foam. The length of the stems should be in proportion to the size of your container.
Cut the stems of the secondary flowers, and tuck in between the dominant flowers. Let some flowers spill over the sides. Cluster and wire green leaves. Add them to the arrangement. Clip grape clusters from a stem of grapes, and using a 3-inch wooden wired pick, add them to the container, allowing the grapes to spill over the side. Fill in with green leaves as desired. Make a loop bow with two different colors of 1/4-inch velvet ribbon. Secure with 22-gauge wire and push it into the arrangement where desired.
We made these affordable table linens using yellow gingham fabric. For the centerpiece, a white planter was tied with gingham and grosgrain ribbons around the top (use hot glue to secure if needed). Fill the planter with wheatgrass from a pet store and poke white silk daisies into the grass. A wooden egg painted pink and lettered with a paint pin nestles in a ribbon-wrapped ramekin full of wheatgrass to make a unique place card.
Large chocolate bunnies bring out the kid in everyone. Set each place at your Easter table with a sweet like this and a place card dressed up with delicate floral stickers.
Glittering paper butterflies add a magical touch to an Easter basket. Color-copy or print butterfly images from copyright-free illustration books or CD-ROMs. Print two copies of each design and glue them back-to-back so they're two-sided. Gently bend up the butterfly wings, lightly spray with adhesive, and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry and glue several to an Easter basket.
Displayed on a bed of garden lettuce in a footed china compote, hard-cooked brown and white eggs grace a spring table. Vary the look by using colored eggs on top of a bed of ferns or hosta leaves. Or use a nest of wood shred and top with a pile of foil-covered chocolate eggs.
This table is filled with frolicking porcelain rabbits and fresh flowers to welcome family and guests with the colors and icons of spring. Use fresh flowers or, for an easier centerpiece, go with potted flowering plants.
Though the flowers in this stunning centerpiece, including hydrangea, larkspur, roses, and sword ferns, come from a florist, you could substitute garden flowers or blossoms from flowering shrubs. For maximum impact and the most natural look, gather the blooms into clusters of like flowers, rather than placing them individually into a more carefully arranged bouquet.
Put the eggs in a clear glass bowl, add a few inches of water, and arrange tulips so the stems are in the water.
Tuck eggs -- either hard-boiled, plastic, or foil-covered chocolate -- inside a folded napkin. These can serve as place cards. Write a name on each egg or tuck a card behind the egg.
Copyright-free holiday illustrations are the starting point for these old-fashioned egg holders. (Books and CD-ROMs of these illustrations are available at bookstores and online.) Color-copy the images or print them from your computer; cut out and glue each one to a strip of colored paper. Wrap the strip into a circle large enough to hold an egg upright and secure ends.
Before using edible flowers as a garnish or in a salad, spray them with a gentle stream of cool water in the sink, then carefully pat them dry with paper towels. Use immediately. Never eat flowers from a florist, a nursery, or a garden shop; they may have been sprayed. The same rule applies to flowers you find growing along a road or in a park.
Add a drainage hole to the container if it doesn't already have one. Fill with potting soil and plant grass seed about 1/8 inch deep, and then water. Place container in sunlight, watering every two days. Grass should be ready in five to seven days. Nestle colored eggs or stones into the grass.
Tulips shine with their own personality, and because they continue to grow after cutting, they'll even rearrange themselves in a vase. Here, the stems have been cut short to gather the flowers tightly into a mass of colorful ruffles.
Pink hydrangeas and grape hyacinths clustered in a crystal compote make for a supremely simple arrangement. A hidden grid of floral or transparent tape across the top of the bowl supports the cloud of blooms.
Pink peonies and orange tulips harmonize beautifully with green hosta leaves from the spring garden. Try gently folding back the outer petals of the tulips to show off their inner petals.
An abundance of fragrant blooms fills a pair of shapely vases. The exuberance of the large bouquet comes from the way its brilliant colors splash against one another, just as they might in the garden. For longer life, cut lilacs from the bush just as the flowers begin to open. Sweet peas make an impact on their own in the smaller vase.
A green-and-white scheme is easy on the eye and perfect for spring entertaining. This bouquet includes viburnum, French tulips, lisianthus, roses, and hosta leaves. After cutting viburnum, crush the ends of the woody stems to help them better absorb water.