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Lara Neel | The Journal Gazette
This egg-shaped basket begins with a balloon.

Build Easter egg basket around balloon

I wanted to do a quick and easy Easter-related craft for a column this month and struggled with what to do. Until, that is, I remembered a project I did as a schoolchild. This project occupied a spot in our living room every Easter.

It was a papier-mâché egg that was always filled with Easter grass and some plastic Easter toys (a bunny, a chick) plus jelly beans. I have fond memories of this item, so I thought I’d replicate it for a column, and maybe some other children can make one for their home’s Easter decorations.

The one I made in school was decorated with square pieces of tissue paper wrapped around the eraser end of a pencil and glued in place to create a kind of ruffled effect. For this project, because I just didn’t feel like cutting up a bunch of tissue paper, I used torn pieces of tissue paper in varying colors, spray adhesive and Mod Podge.

What you’ll need:

•12-inch balloon

•strips of newspaper

•all-purpose flour


•paint or tissue paper and glue

•Easter grass (whether you prefer the shredded paper, cellophane or the edible)

•Easter-themed plastic toys and other fun stuff like jelly beans, candy

What you’ll do:

1) Blow up the balloon.

2) Make a paste using the flour and water. I dumped about a cup of flour into a plastic container and added enough water to dissolve the flour while still keeping it kind of thick and paste-like.

3) Dip the strips of paper in the flour paste, and place them on the balloon until the whole thing is covered.

4) Let dry completely. I did this by placing the balloon on a cup, but the part of the balloon that was on the rim of the cup sank, and I had to repair it (see below).

5) Puncture the balloon with a pin.

6) Cut the “front” of the balloon until you have a decent-sized opening in which to create a display.

7) Decorate it however you wish.

8) Fill with Easter grass and goodies and toys.

Some notes:

By placing the balloon on the cup, with the newspaper and paste on the rounded end, I caused the balloon to be dragged down into the cup. This meant the papier-mâché didn’t stick to it and was a mess.

I struggled with how to fix it before realizing that to do so, I needed to have something for the paper to sit on. So I blew up another balloon inside the broken shell. Then, I patched the papier-mâché and let it sit overnight. This time, when I let it sit, I put it tie-side down into a large coffee can (the plastic kind).

Once it was dry, I started tearing apart my pieces of tissue paper and spraying adhesive onto the shell, then adhering the tissue paper. I left the balloon that I used to make the repairs intact in doing this.

Next, I used the Mod Podge (clear-drying) to cover the entire thing and to make sure the exposed edges of tissue paper were patted down.

I confess, if I were to do this project over again as something to keep (I won’t be keeping this one; it was just completed for purposes of a photo for this column), I would do the squares of tissue paper twisted on the eraser end of a pencil to decorate.

Or I might try my hand at painting to make it look like a decorated egg. Using just a single layer of tissue paper did not hide the newsprint. I also would probably try to paint the inside of it so the newsprint is covered.

I looked up directions online after doing this project and learned that three layers of paper strips are ideal for creating papier-mâché (which explains why my finished egg seemed so flimsy).

Have fun with this and, if you make it, we’d love to see your pictures. Just email them to

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach her, call 461-8364 or email Also, visit her blog at There, you will also find the weekly knitting podcast Math4Knitters.