‘But if I try, it’ll look like a dog’s dinner!’ exclaimed my lovely customer Mary at my recent pop-up shopping event.
Well, let's call her Mary. She’s kind of sensitive about her self proclaimed, complete lack of artistic ability.
Mary was admiring a display of white Easter trees and hanging Easter decorations. She was browsing the glass hanging Easter eggs, cute hand crafted fair-trade Easter decorations and various other hanging Easter tree decorations on offer.
‘They look gorgeous don't they? But I've no idea what I'm doing. I’d make a mess of it! Besides, where would I even put something like that?’
Easter trees and hanging decorations are BIG this year and the trend is only set to grow.
According to Pinterest, there’s a 195% increase on Easter tree ‘saves’ this year.
In a recent Telegraph interview, Lisa Rutherford, seasonal events buyer at John Lewis, stated ‘Growth [in Easter decorating] is incredible, year-on-year. People are really getting into Easter with trees, decorative eggs and bunting. It’s a really inexpensive way to celebrate a special time of year.’
I know, from what my customers tell me, that a perceived lack of flair for this type of decorating is a concern you might resonate with. You’ve seen the surge in available Easter decorations in the stores and would love to get in on the action but you’re just not quite sure what Easter decorations to buy and what to do with them.
Maybe you assume that those lovely pastel Easter touches are exclusively for arty, crafty types who have a real gift for all this stuff.
Well, I’m delighted to be able to tell you that’s just not the case.
Let’s take the newest and arguably the easiest Easter decoration to pull off - the Easter Tree.
You might think this is just another Easter ideas trend we’ve adopted from our cousins across the pond but not a bit of it. This tradition is firmly European, having it’s roots in Germany. You can also find Easter trees in many other German influenced countries such as Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Hungary.
Known as ‘Ostereierbaum’ (which translates literally as ‘Easter eggs tree’) it is the decoration of trees and bushes with Easter eggs and other small hanging decorations.
Although the tradition is known to be centuries old, it’s origins have been sadly lost. Eggs are thought to be a universal symbol of new life though and as a representation of new spring growth after a long winter, you can see why it might have come to be so popular.
Let me tell you a story about Volker Kraft.
It’s Easter 1965. To delight their young family, Volker and his wife Christa decide to hang 18 plastic Easter eggs on a fledging apple tree in the garden of their summer home in Saalfeld, Germany. A pretty little celebration of spring. Volker’s inspiration has come from a small lilac bush decorated with Easter eggs he used to pass on his way to school, back in 1945. Who knows, maybe in the immediate aftermath of such dark times, it represents a little beacon of hope to the young Kraft. The hope of new beginnings. Somehow, now as a young father in 1965, it’s likely that he yearns to recreate that sense of childhood joy for his own children.
And so it begins.
At it’s peak, between 2012 and it’s final year in 2015, the Kraft’s garden apple tree boasts 10,000 eggs.
That’s a lot of eggs.
While advancing years has meant that this German pensioner and his wife were forced to end their 50 year ritual a few years back, their story remains remarkable and definitely one of taking the Ostereierbaum tradition to the extreme.
Let me reassure you that you don’t have to compete with that. Your goal is simply to create a nod to the season, not a tourist attraction!
You want to put something together that will lift your spirits and make you smile each time to walk past it. Not drain your entire energy resource and make you wish you'd never started.
Here’s my ‘Ostereierbaum’ this year. It sits on my hall table.
I’ve added some willow stems to a vase and used it to hang a variety of eggs and ornaments. It seriously took around ten minutes to put together and you definitely don’t have to have a huge artistic flair to attempt it.
So here’s my super-easy 3 step guide to creating your own Easter tree.
Step 1 - Gather twigs
Gather some twigs or willow stems in a vase or invest in a plain white decoration tree. You can buy willow stems from M&S and many other high street stores. These white Easter trees are ideal as you can re-use them to add a nod to whatever season it is. Add hearts for Valentines day, pumpkins and witches at halloween then add this little white Easter tree into your Christmas decor.
Fancy trying to channel your inner Martha Stewart? Why not take a walk in the woods, find yourself some natural branches and spray them white?
Step 2 - Buy decorations
Buy some Easter hanging decorations in a variety of shapes and sizes. Decorations of different heights, shapes and sizes help to give it scale.
Fancy having a go at decorating your own eggs? Check out this video from Hobbycraft on How to make marbled Easter eggs.
Step 3 - Hang said decorations
Hang your eggs and decorations on your tree. Unlike your Christmas tree when you might put the biggest baubles and decorations at the bottom and decrease the size as you work your way up, I think randomly arranged decorations on an Easter tree work best. Try to hang them evenly spaced and mix up the colours.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be arty or particularly into crafts, creating your very own Easter tree that friends and family will admire and complement you on, is really that simple.
Follow these 3 easy steps and I can honestly reassure you that it won’t look like a dog’s dinner.
Unless you own a labrador. It might look like dinner to a labrador. They’ll eat anything. Fact.
I'd love to know if I've inspired you to give it a go. Why not visit our Facebook page and share a photo of your Easter tree? I'd love to see it! Alternatively, pop your comments below.