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We’ve all seen the memes floating around social media about how we’re going to have to get creative for Easter this year, with eggs averaging over $4 per dozen across the U.S. (Yes, you can paint potatoes or rocks, if you’d like). While the memes are hilarious, they’re also very relatable because everyone is facing the rising costs of basic essentials like eggs, milk, and butter right now. So while we love to laugh along, we also wanted to provide you with some Easter egg alternatives (some are less messy!) for the bunny to hide this year.
Our list includes some crafts, some store-bought options, and some ideas on how to make these eggless Easter egg projects as Easter-friendly as possible. If you are choosing an egg alternative this year, it does make sense to do a quick cost comparison to make sure the eggs you’re opting for are actually cheaper than the eggs at the supermarket. Keep in mind that supermarket eggs, though expensive, can also be eaten after dying them.
Tip: Download The Krazy Coupon Lady app to get more Easter craft projects and money-saving ideas.
Real eggs average $0.33 per egg right now.
While eggs are pretty darn egg-spensive at the moment, they’re still a pretty cost-effective family craft for Easter. Particularly if your family eats a lot of eggs and can justify hard-boiling a few for the holiday tradition. At around $4 on average per dozen, that works out to $0.33 per egg. We’ve tried to break down the cost “per egg” in our crafts below so you know whether to not you’re getting a better deal.
If your family can’t justify the current cost of eggs (especially if you live in one of the $10-per-dozen areas in the U.S.!) we’ve got a few alternatives for you to try this year. Or if you can easily afford eggs and are just hoping to find some new eggless Easter egg projects for your family, this post should offer up some great inspiration for alternative Easter egg dyes, too!
Easter egg alternatives: DIY your own papier mache eggs for less than $1 per egg.
Using just a few easy-to-find supplies, you can make papier mache eggs. These are a fun craft for the family and — just like real eggs — the Easter Bunny can hide them for an egg hunt.
What you’ll need:
- Newspaper (tissue paper will also work)
- Paint and decorative items
- Blow up a balloon into an egg shape.
- Rip newspaper into 1-inch wide strips and set aside.
- Create the paste with two parts water and one part flour. So for each tablespoon of flour, use two tablespoons of water.
- Dip each newspaper strip into the paste to completely cover it and then place it on the surface of the balloon.
- Repeat until the balloon is covered with at least two layers of newspaper strips.
- Let the balloon dry for at least two days.
- Once the papier mache egg is completely dry, paint and decorate however you wish!
Tip: Some people like to pop the balloon and remove it before painting, but that step is not necessary, and it’s much easier to just leave the balloon intact.
Dyeable plastic eggs cost $0.14 per egg.
These plastic eggs are easy to find and are an affordable Easter goodie without any mess or cleanup. Plus, they’re handy to create some of the crafts we suggest. To get a good deal on plastic eggs, try to look for a set that works out to $0.14 or less per egg.
You can also get plastic white eggs that look identical to real eggs. But as we predicted, Walmart and Target have started releasing these eggs for $3 or less per dozen. While you can absolutely dye them much like regular eggs using the egg-dying kits you find at the store, the colors won’t be as vibrant. Look for plastic decorating eggs and try to find the kinds that are 100% recyclable.
How to dye plastic eggs:
To dye white plastic eggs, we recommend the rice method. This creates speckled eggs and provides a more vibrant color than trying to dye them the classic way.
What you’ll need:
- Food coloring in your choice of colors
- 4 cups rice
- 1/4 cup + 3 teaspoons vinegar
- Plastic eggs
- Plastic sandwich bags
- Add 1/2 cup of rice to a plastic bag for each color you plan on using.
- To each bag of rice, add about 12 drops of food coloring and about 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar to each bag. Don’t forget you can mix colors to create new colors!
- Seal the bag and use your fingers to evenly disperse the food coloring and vinegar into the rice.
- Place an egg into the colorful rice and move it around to cover it in colorful speckles.
- We recommend using gloves or even using kitchen tongs to remove the eggs to avoid dying your fingers.
- Repeat with each egg in each color. It helps to add an extra few drops of dye in between eggs so that the color stays vibrant.
- Remove the egg carefully and let it dry completely before the Easter bunny gets ahold of it!
Tip: Do one color at a time. This reduces the risk of getting different color fingerprints or smudges on each egg as you try to remove them.
Shop plastic eggs:
You could try dying or painting other foods … like potatoes.
Yes, we’re serious! We’ve heard plenty of people joke about this, but it’s a viable option. Potatoes cost around $3 to $4 for a 5-pound bag. As long as you’re getting 13 or more potatoes in that bag, you’re getting a better price than a dozen eggs! Aim for around 20 potatoes per bag and you’re getting $0.15 to $0.20 potatoes, which is a good deal for this project. You can either paint them whole or cut them into egg-shaped stamps. Click here to see our egg painting tutorial.
Make Rice Krispies treats eggs and decorate them for Easter.
Another edible egg, these Rice Krispies treats eggs are easy to make and can be decorated with colorful icing, sprinkles, or other candies. These work out to about $0.58 per egg once completed!
What you’ll need:
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 10 ounces (about 40) marshmallows
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- Decorative icing, candies, sprinkles, etc.
- Food coloring (optional)
- Melt marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan.
- Add rice cereal and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Spray your hands with cooking spray and grab 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the mixture (depending on the size you want) and mold it into egg shapes.
- Set them aside to cool.
- Decorate with your favorite icing or sprinkles.
You can also “dye” these Easter egg alternatives by adding food coloring to the melted butter before adding the rice cereal! If you do have some plastic eggs lying around, you can use them as molds to create these egg shapes. Just spray the inside of the plastic egg with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
Easter egg alternatives: Paint rocks you’ve found outside for an almost-free craft.
Spend an afternoon hunting for egg-shaped rocks that you can paint at home. You can find affordable craft paint at stores like Dollar Tree and Target to make these super inexpensive alternatives Easter egg dyes. Plus, these won’t get smelly if you hide them and forget where you put a couple (we’ve all done it!).
Related: Chicken Coop Costs
Create birdseed eggs to bring in the hungry spring birds.
A great way to get some spring wildlife into your yard is to make these birdseed eggs. Kids can help create them, and then you can hang them from trees with twine for the birds to enjoy. These work out to $0.34 per egg when you tally up the birdseed and gelatin.
What you’ll need:
- 1 box of unflavored gelatin (4 packets)
- 4 cups birdseed (32 oz)
- Plastic eggs
- Mix the gelatin packet in a large bowl with hot water as explained by the packet instructions.
- Pour the birdseed into the gelatin mixture and stir to coat everything evenly. Try to do this step quickly.
- Fill the plastic eggs with the birdseed mixture, being careful not to overpack because you want the egg to close neatly. You’ll use about 1/4 cup of mixture per egg.
- Let the eggs sit overnight (an old egg carton or muffin tin is great for this) so the gelatin can firm up.
- Remove the eggs from the plastic shells and tie twine around them so you can attach them to your tree branches outside an easy-to-view window!
Easter egg alternatives: Consider wood eggs at $0.95 per egg.
Wood eggs are another alternative to real eggs that work out to be a better deal if you’re paying $11 or more per dozen in your area. These can also be dyed with some liquid watercolor paints. Just place the unfinished wood eggs in a bowl of liquid watercolor until they reach the color you prefer. You can reuse these wood eggs as Easter decor in your home for years to come.
Shop wood eggs:
You can get styrofoam eggs for around $0.37 per egg.
Styrofoam eggs are another pre-made option for Easter egg alternatives. You can paint them, decorate them with embellishments like ribbons and beads, or even wrap them in yarn. It is worth noting that styrofoam is slow to degrade and is not an ideal option for the environment if you plan on throwing this craft away. We recommend this one if you’re creating Easter decor you plan on keeping around for many years!
Shop styrofoam eggs:
Have family-friendly craft time with a felt egg kit for $0.53 per egg.
We love this idea for parents of younger kids. No dye is required, and everything is included in this felt egg kit from Michaels. The felt kit (regularly $7.99) makes 12 eggs, and you can currently get 20% off with code DAILY23US at checkout. On sale, this works out to $0.53 per egg. The kit includes felt eggs, stickers, eyes, pom pom, and gems for your kids to get as creative as they want with their eggs.
You could also buy supplies at the dollar store, but you’d need to cut things to size, whereas the Michaels kit already did that step for you!