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Crown your Easter table with this elegant Easter Egg Pot with a classic pussy willow frieze!

Easter egg pot craft photo
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Easter Egg Pot craft image)
Picture your Easter table with spring flowers cascading out of this vintage Easter Egg Pot! The Victorians loved gold leaf, trompe l'oeil painting, neo-classic design, and oversized eggs, so we brought them all together in this Easter craft. We thought it was high time that we offered a craft with some decorative painting, so we chose a simple starting point - pussy willows. They are basically brown lines with gray ovals. You can do it!

The body of this vintage-look Easter Egg Pot is the good old paper machè balloon, and the feet are wooden drawer knobs. What makes it all shimmer is the gold leaf and antiquing glaze.

Parading around our Easter Egg Pot are charming vintage images of little girls wearing pastel bonnets and egg shells, and holding bundles of pussy willows. You'll see the link below to download the Free vintage images as a PDF file.

Materials for this Easter Egg Pot

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage Images (FREE PDF download).
  • Balloon, large and round (see Tips).
  • Waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers (like Lazertran Inkjet).
  • Scrap newspaper or newsprint.
  • Small, round, wooden drawer knobs.
  • Gold leaf sheets (see Tips).
  • Gold leaf size.
  • Liquid starch (or your preferred paper machè glue).
  • White gesso or white primer paint.
  • Craft paint; white, dark brown, gray, black.
  • Spray paint, any color.
  • Varnish, water-based or oil-based, liquid or spray.
  • Acrylic glaze medium.
  • Tacky craft glue (like Aleene's).
  • Hot glue gun.
  • Paint brushes for background color and varnish (foam disposables are good).
  • Artist paint brushes.
  • Foam cosmetic applicator wedge (makeup sponge).
  • Masking tape.
  • Small 1/2" wood screws, three.
  • Sand paper, fine.
  • String.
  • Paper clip.
  • Small bowl, about 5.5" diameter rim.
  • 12" ruler.
  • Straight pins or quilter's pins.
  • Pencil.
  • Craft knife.
  • Scissors.
  • Small manicure scissors.


  1. Easter egg pot, step 1Blow up the balloon and knot the end. Tie a few feet of string to the balloon knot and tie a paper clip hook to the other end so you can hang the balloon up to dry. Cover the balloon with a single layer of paper machè (instructions) and let it dry. Lightly sand the paper machè to remove bumps and wrinkles. Apply a light coat of spray paint to tint the paper machè. This will help you recognize the first layer of paper when you apply the second layer.

  2. Easter egg pot, step 2Apply three more layers of paper machè, sanding and spray painting lightly between each layer. Hang it up to dry thoroughly. Lightly sand the final layer. (See how easy it is to add a uniform layer when the prior layer is spray painted red?)

  3. Easter egg pot craft, step 3Place the balloon, string end up, on the small bowl. Secure the bowl to the balloon with masking tape. With a pencil or marker, draw the jagged top cut lines, so the final opening is at least 6" in diameter (you may want to place a standard 6" flower pot in your egg). Cut the jagged top edge with scissors or a craft knife.
  4. On the bottom of the egg, trace around the rim of the bowl with a pencil to mark off a circle. Mark three, equidistant dots around the circumference of the circle (see Tips). Push a pin through each dot so you can feel the holes from the inside. Remove the pins and insert the three small screws through the pin holes from the inside. Apply a little glue around the screw heads to secure them.
  5. Easter egg pot craft, step 4Seal the three wooden drawer knobs with varnish and let dry. Cover the knobs with gold leaf, following the manufacturer's instructions (see Tips). Brush on a coat of varnish and let dry.

  6. Easter egg pot craft, step 5Brush on a coat of gesso (or white primer paint) over the egg, and inside if you wish, and let dry. Brush on two coats of white craft paint, letting it dry between coats.
  7. Apply hot glue to the drawer knobs and push them onto the three screws protruding from the bottom of the egg. No hot glue gun? Craft glue will work, but won't be as secure.
  8. Stand the ruler up against the egg and determine where the top edge of the gold leaf band should be. Tape the pencil to the ruler and draw a line completely around the egg (hold the ruler and rotate the egg, or vice versa). Now, move the pencil 3 1/2" down the ruler and draw a line for the bottom edge of the gold band. Now is a good time to mark the final location of the eight decals with eight very small dots evenly around the center of the band.
  9. Easter egg pot craft, step 6Print the eight vintage images on the waterslide decal paper. Let the ink dry for 30 minutes. Trim the egg template and use it to trace around the images. Trim the images to the egg shapes, being sure to cut away the pencil lines.

  10. Easter egg pot craft, step6Brush gold size within the two pencil lines. Be sure the size just covers the pencil lines.

  11. Easter egg pot craft, step 6Apply the decals to the wet gold size over those pencil dots you marked earlier - remember? Follow the manufacturers instructions for applying the decals. Avoid getting excess water or finger oils on the size. Let the decals dry until the size is ready for the gold leaf application (see Tips).

  12. Easter egg pot craft, step 7Apply the gold leaf to the size, following the package instructions. Use a soft paint brush to pounce the leaf to the size, and brush away the excess leaf. Use a soft tissue or cloth to burnish and polish the leaf. The images should be completely free of leaf. Brush or spray on a coat of varnish and let it dry.
  13. Mix up some thin antiquing glaze from brown craft paint, acrylic glaze medium, and a few drops of water (follow the directions on the acrylic glaze medium). Brush it over the Easter egg pot, a section at a time, and wipe it off immediately with a soft rag (damp if necessary). You want a very light antique patina over the surface.

  14. Easter egg pot craft, step 8Time to paint pussy willows! Brush on a thin line of brown craft paint along the top and bottom edges of the gold leaf band. Add small brown V shapes where you want the pussy willow blossoms. Let it dry.

  15. Easter egg pot craft, step 9Use the manicure scissors to cut the end of the foam cosmetic applicator into a small oval shape.

  16. Easter egg pot craft, step 9Dip the end of the applicator in the gray paint and "stamp" pussy willow blossoms along your stems. Let dry. With a thin artist brush, add black shading along the bottom of the stems, and white highlights to the tops of the blossoms. Let it dry.
  17. Varnish the whole thing again and let it dry.
  18. Drop a pot of tulips or hyacinths into your Easter Egg Pot and make it the centerpiece for Easter morning brunch!


  • Choosing the right balloon for your Easter egg pot is important. Ours was a Hallmark product, labeled "11 inch diameter, helium quality" which means it is pretty tough plastic.
  • What the heck do we mean by "mark three equidistant dots around the circumference of the circle?" Well, you need to put three ball feet on this pot, and they need to be spaced evenly around the bottom of the pot, like a three-legged stool. Once you've drawn your circle on the bottom of the pot using the small bowl as a template, find the center of the circle (which should be the exact bottom point of your pot). Draw a line from the center point straight out to the circumference line. That is the radius of the circle, like the spoke of a wheel. Use a compass (or your eagle-eye) to draw another radius line, 120° from the first line. Now draw a third radius line, 120° from the second line. You should have divided the circle into three equal sections. Where these radius lines meet the circumference line is where you'll glue the wooden ball feet.
  • Gold leaf is an extremely thin sheet of metal that is glued to a surface. The glue, called size, is brushed on the surface and allowed to dry until it is tacky, usually 30-60 minutes. As soon as the gold leaf touches the size, it sticks - forever. When the leaf is placed, you gently pounce and brush it with a soft brush to remove the excess leaf. You'll end up with a pile of gold flakes you can sprinkle on bare areas, but they are not much more use than that. We used Gold Leaf and Size produced by Mona Lisa Products.
  • Gold leaf can be messy, and the size is sticky for 24 hours, so be prepared for that. The drawer knobs should have come with mounting screws. Screw them into the knobs so you can hold the knobs through the process. Set up some way to hold the knobs (clothes pins, a foam block, hooks for hanging) while the varnish and size are drying. Why varnish them first? The wet size will soak into unsealed wood and the gold leaf won't stick completely (VOE - Voice Of Experience).
  • There are several brands of waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers. We used the granddaddy, Lazertran Inkjet. Whichever brand you use, follow the instructions carefully, especially concerning how to set the paper and inking configuration on your printer. Here are a few tips for this project: (1) Use warm water. This relaxes the decal film a bit so it will drape better on the curved surface of the egg. (2) Before applying the decal to the egg, dab both sides on a tissue to remove excess water. (3) Gently press the decal to the surface of the egg, smoothing out the wrinkles with your fingers. Don't rub or you may damage the image or the surrounding size. (4) On a curved surface, the decal may develop tiny folds around the outside edge - don't stress. Just press them as flat as you can. They will be barely visible after you apply varnish.
  • A few coats of varnish inside your Easter egg pot will make it water resistant, but not waterproof. You can coat the inside with casting resin or Liquitex Lite to completely seal it.
  • If you want a larger or smaller vintage images for the size of your balloon, read about how to resize a PDF image.
Want to know more about gold leaf? Visit The Gold Vault - Gold Leaf Project Kits. This site is all about craft gilding using imitation gold leaf. There are free, fully illustrated tutorials showing how to apply gold leaf to wood, paper and leather and even apples! They also show various methods of creating antique and other distressed finishes to gold leaf.

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