Cascarones: Colorful, confetti-filled eggshells, unless you’re in my family. We fill them with candy, making them one of my favorite Easter crafts.
Cáscara is Spanish for “eggshell.” Normally filled with confetti or small toys today, cascarones originated in China and came to Europe with Marco Polo, where they were often filled with perfumed powder and given by men to women they wanted to court. The custom made its way to Spain and then Mexico, where the eggshells were decorated, filled with confetti, and smashed over peoples’ heads in celebration.
This past weekend, I got together with friends and family for a casarone-making party. Read on for instructions and pics!
How To Make Cascarones
First, You Must Hoard Eggshells
You need to have an abundance of clean, unblemished, empty eggshells with one end neatly removed. Depending on how often you use eggs in their raw form and how many cascarones you want to make, you may have to collect them all year. (Best start now for 2015.) To remove the end without damaging the eggshell, use egg scissors, a spring-loaded egg topper, or small scissors. Rinse the eggshells well, let them air dry, and put them somewhere safe while you wait for the crafting to begin.
I’ve been hoarding empty eggshells for years, using some along the way to start seedlings. We used a mix of small and large, white and brown shells for our weekend crafting.
Next, It’s Time To Dye And Decorate
Decorate your eggshells using your favorite technique. You can dye them naturally, wrap them with craft tape, tie-dye them, apply stickers, or let your inner Picasso shine by painting them with acrylic paint. I recently saw a technique where the artiste cut bits out of decorative napkins and decoupaged them onto the eggshell using Mod Podge.
We went with the standard grocery store egg dye. Our white eggs emerged in bright pastel colors, the brown ones in really cool earth tones.
Prepare Fringy Covers For Your Eggshells
Stack layers of colorful tissue paper and use a 5 to 6 inch saucer to draw a circle on the top layer. Cut the stacked circles out and then fringe the edges by cutting about two-thirds of the way from the edge of the circle to the center. Make sure to leave the middle solid — that is what will hold the treats inside. Separate the layers of fringed tissue paper circles.
Fill With Your Favorite Candy (Or Other Stuff)
Place your eggshells upside-down in an empty egg carton and fill them with treasures of your choice. I’m nostalgic about cascarones, so we went with traditional Easter candy: jelly beans, gumdrops, and malted milk eggs. (Yes, I know sugar is bad for you and artificial food coloring is toxic, but it’s Easter people.) If you want to steer clear of candy, fill the eggs with small toys or confetti. Or go wild: Find tiny gifts your loved ones will like or create hand-written pictures and messages. You’re only limit is your imagination (and the size of the eggshell).
Finally, Seal Up Those Easter Cascarones
Holding a filled egg upside-down, squeeze a thin line of glue around the outside of the opening. Place a layer of tissue paper on top, and squeeze down from the top with your palm to adhere the tissue paper to the egg. Do this at least two more times with whichever tissue colors you desire. Turn the egg over and voilà! A beautifully decorated egg sitting in a colorful nest.
Have you made cascarones before? Will you try them now? What are your favorite Easter crafts?
Image Credit: Mary Gerush