NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Whether hard-boiled or plastic, candy-filled or hand-dyed, nothing says Easter like a basket full of colorful eggs. But if the Easter bunny was eggs-tra generous this year, don’t just toss your eggs out when the holiday is over. There are a variety of creative ways to repurpose your Easter eggs this spring—from mixing them into your garden soil to creating eye-catching arts and crafts projects. Read on for our top tips on how to put those eggs to good use.
1.Create a Mosaic
Forget tile and stone—you can assemble beautiful mosaics with shells from your Easter eggs. “Break up the shells into small pieces and keep colors separate,” instructs Valeen Bhat, director of Private Picassos, an art education company based in Brooklyn. “Plan a pattern or design, fill in a small section with glue and then dab the eggshells on top.”
2. Nourish Your Plants
Looking to give your garden a boost this season? Eggshells can help add calcium and potassium to your soil to help keep plants healthy.
“Plants use potassium for disease resistance and hardiness, and calcium is used in plants for a variety of functions,” says Melinda Myers, a horticulturist who has written several books on gardening. “For instance, blossom end rot on tomatoes is due to a calcium deficiency.”
Just crunch up your eggshells and add them to your soil. And don’t worry about the dyes on your Easter eggs harming your plants. “Those are usually food coloring dyes and are very safe for the soil,” Myers explains.
3. Get Devilish
If egg salad sandwiches don’t tickle your fancy, you can use your hard-boiled Easter eggs to create other delectable dishes. Deviled eggs are one great option, and there are countless variations on the classic side dish. Here’s a recipe for curried deviled eggs courtesy of spice company McCormick.
- 12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or 2 green onions, thinly sliced (green part only)
-Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in small bowl. Mash yolks with fork or potato masher.
-Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, mustard, pepper and salt until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe mixture into egg white halves. Sprinkle with chives.
-Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.
4. Put Them in Meatloaf
Who knew your Easter eggs could be the secret to a fantastic meatloaf dinner? Simply place hard-boiled eggs in the middle of your raw meat mixture, bake and enjoy.
“Not only is it tasty to put the hard-boiled egg inside the meatloaf, but it also looks wonderful,” says Helena Spensatelli, creator of the food blog Saucy Girl’s Kitchen. “It's so unexpected. You're cutting into the meatloaf expecting more of the same, and then you come upon this egg tucked inside.”
You can find several recipes for meatloaf with hard-boiled eggs with a simple online search. Or, try this delicious recipe from Spensatelli that also incorporates barbecue sauce, bacon and sautéed veggies.
5. Compost Them
The nutrients in eggshells make them a good addition to your home compost pile. Just be sure to rinse out your eggshells first.
“Get all of that egg debris out of there so you don’t get raccoons and rodents going into your compost pile or digging into your garden,” Myers advises.
If you don’t already have a compost pile, you can find helpful tips on how to start one on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
6. Make Flower Art
Eggshell pieces can be incorporated into fun and easy art projects for small children. The website allfreekidscrafts.com suggests creating flower art by following a few simple steps.
First, remove the shells from your Easter eggs, keeping some eggshell pieces as big as possible. Next, draw flower stems on cardstock or construction paper. Have your child add a circle of glue to the top of the stem, filling the entire circle with glue. Now here comes the fun part: Place a large piece of eggshell directly over the glue and let your little one smash it down as hard as they can, breaking the eggshell into small pieces. Let the pieces dry into the glue and viola! You have a lovely piece of art to proudly display all spring long.
7. Roll Them
For the past 135 years, the White House has invited young children to participate in the Easter Egg Roll, an annual celebration on the White House lawn. The most famous event of the celebration is the egg roll race, which involves pushing Easter eggs with spoons. Of course, you don’t have to travel to the nation’s capital to get in on the fun this year. If you’re looking for an easy way to entertain your kids in the days after Easter, create your own Easter egg roll, and don’t be afraid to get creative.
“There are several ways to roll the egg,” says Rachel Hollis, an expert from Celebration.com. “You can make up your own house rules.”
8. Make An Egg Planter
For an adorable kid’s gardening project, try creating planters out of eggshells. First, remove the eggshell, then add potting mix and flower or vegetable seeds and watch your plants grow. (Tip: When using hard-boiled eggs, carefully flake off the top half of the shell and slide the egg out so that the bottom half remains intact to hold the soil and seeds.)
In warm temperatures, you can even move your planters outside. “You can just bury the eggshell planter right into the ground,” says Myers.
9. Shake 'Em
If your child’s basket is full of plastic eggs, you can help him or her easily transform them into festive maracas in less than 30 minutes.
Instructions featured on allfreekidscrafts.com call for just a few additional materials, including plastic spoons, markers, popcorn kernels and white tape. Simply fill a plastic egg with kernels, tape plastic spoons to the sides of the egg, then tape the ends of the spoons together. Next, use the markers to draw colorful designs on the white tape. Kids will love to shake their instruments and dance around the house – just make sure to hide the maracas before bedtime!
10. Design a Candleholder
Your brightly dyed Easter eggs can be repurposed to create stunning candleholders. Stop by your local craft store to pick up some votive candles and glass votive holders. (If you’re concerned about using real flames, you can purchase flameless votive candles.) Remove and crush the shells from your Easter eggs and either separate the eggshell pieces by color or mix various hues together. Fill the votives halfway with the cracked shells and display the finished products throughout your home.