5 ways to create Easter decorations on a budget

Last year, we spent the first Easter in our new home. It was such a magical time, everything being so new in our home. And on top of it, it was a year we’d had so much snow ever since February. It’s rather unusual where we live, so I celebrated every flake that fell from the sky. And sure enough, when Easter came in April, we were snowed it. One of our new neighbours even turned on the Christmas lights on his giant fir tree. We even built a snow Easter bunny! But money was tight, and I was challenged to create some Easter decorations on a budget.

easter center piece with rabbit figurines and flowers

It’s tradition that we invite our dearest, closest friends over for an excessive Easter Brunch every year. But after having just built a house and moved, and with so much more space to fill, holiday decorations were quite a challenge. And even if you haven’t just moved into a new home, every holiday can be quite expensive. So today, I’m going to show you how to create easy, but beautiful budget-friendly Easter decorations from things you may either have at home or can find at a dollar store.

budget friendly easter decorations
1. Save money by reusing artificial flowers each year

Firstly: Yes, real flowers are beautiful and smell divine. I agree. But even if you aren’t like me – who has a black thumb instead of a green one – buying fresh flowers every Easter will cost you. There are some beautiful artificial flowers out there. And there are some horrible ones that already look cheap from a distance. So, even if you wish to create Easter decorations on a budget, don’t save money on the artificial flowers. Because even if you invest a few bucks more for beautiful ones it will still save you money on the long run. You won’t have to buy new flowers every year. Instead, you can reuse your flower arrangements every Easter anew. And if you find yourself on the wealthy side one year, you can still add fresh flowers to the mix.

artificial white cottage rose

Ikea is always a good place to find inexpensive but beautiful artificial flowers for budget-friendly decorations (no, I’m not getting paid to write this). Try to find “seasonal” flowers like buttercups, daffodils, hydrangeas or peonies. Cottage roses are a classic, too. And if you go with muted, matching colours or pastels, you have all the more freedom to use colourful vases or pots.

flower arrangement with easter eggs

For this tiny bouquet, I used buttercups and artificial snowball hydrangeas in cream and green. I found a terracotta pot I had left from our wedding, and painted it in a cool rose-pink with acrylic paint. I trimmed my flowers, bound them together with wire, stuck them in a mini willow wreath and finally glued them to the terracotta pot with hot glue. Then I added a few speckled plastic mini-eggs and glued them to the arrangement, as well. It really is an easy, satisfying craft and doesn’t require a lot of time. In fact, the longest amount of time you will have to invest is the time it takes for the paint to dry. And it’s not only a good Easter decoration on a budget – you will also have a lovely gift for your dear ones to give away.

easter center piece with artificial flowers
easter center piece with flowers and rabbit figurine
2. the cheapest easter decoration you can find…

… is one you already have at home, if you’re not vegan. So, my vegan friends, please bear with me for a moment.

You made scrambled eggs last week for breakfast and threw away the eggshells? You threw away a versatile Easter decoration. If you have never blown out eggs in your childhood, you were certainly missing. It does require a little delicate handling and time, but it’s inexpensive and fun. If you don’t know how to blow out eggs, a little online search will give you a quick idea. Make sure to wash out and dry your egg shells properly. I prefer painting them with acrylic paints in pastel colours, but you can use many techniques to decorate them, like gluing sequins or ribbons on the shells or using decoupage. There is really no limit to your creativity. And since you’ll need those eggs for your amazing Easter Brunch anyway, you can as well make use of the shells for decorations.

easter nest in a bowl with flowers and feathers
3. use what you already have at home

And while we’re already at that, you can use a lot of things you already have at home for your easter decorations on a budget. That old advent candle holder tray you have in your basement? Decorate it with flower garlands and rabbit figurines, add plastic eggs or your painted eggshells and use egg shaped candles where once your Christmas candles have been. Simple, right?

easter candles and flowers on a tray

And I admit, I love those decorative, lacey trays and flower pots you can buy everywhere. They are so versatile. You can, for example, use them to hold a few easter eggs. It’s practical, budget-friendly and looks so pretty. Use another as a makeshift vase for your artificial roses or peonies and a third as a candle holder, place all three on a decorative tray, and you have a marvellous center piece!

easter center piece in white

You’re hosting an Easter Brunch or having a lovely Easter dinner or breakfast with your family? Don’t forget that you can also display your delicious food in decorative ways. These puff pastry apple roses, for example, are easy to make and look decorative as they are. But storebought Easter candy also makes a great decoration on plates or in bowls. Your dyed Easter eggs? It looks so pretty to gather them in a small bread basket and add some flower garlands or blossoms.

colourful easter eggs in a basket
4. raiding the dollar store for budget-friendly decorations

If you want to create easter decorations on a budget, you will have to go to a thrift or dollar store at some point. Dollar stores are better than their reputation. Yes, there were those times when most items there were tacky and looked as cheap as they were, but you can find little treasures there, too. White is a classic and easy to combine. It’s minimalistic and versatile at once. Try to find white or pastel coloured little figurines of rabbits or birds. They don’t have to be huge. Two small figurines placed in front of a flower pot will give your home a subtle Easter touch without being overwhelming. These two together cost me one Euro.

two white easter bunnies and a flower pot with roses
5. combining is key

Now that you have painted your blown out eggs, bought some bags of plastic or glass eggs and all those pretty flowers, it’s time to combine it all. Use vases or bowls you already have at home. For this easter nest, I used plastic dollar store Easter eggs and painted real eggshells. I filled a glas bowl I already owned with willow and artificial flower garlands from the dollar store. Then I added the eggs and a few single flowers and feathers. It’s so simple, but makes a beautiful center piece for your Easter table.

easter nest in a glass bowl with flowers

You see, there is no limit to your imagination and creativity! Be careful with mixing too many, too bright colours if you want to go for an elegant, subtle look.

easter deacorations on a budget with an easter nest in a glass bowl

Easter decorations on a budget don’t have to look cheap. It only requires a bit of your time and creativity, and a trip or two to the dollar store. Don’t forget to like or subscribe if you liked this and make sure to share your own DIY Easter decorations on a budget!

budget friendly easter decorations

veggie packed spring bowl with wild garlic dressing

I have admitted it before: I don’t like spring and summer. And many allergics might nod their head now in silent agreement. But there is one thing I am looking forward to whenever the temperatures go up: an abundance of fresh, ripe and delicious vegetables. And this veggie packed spring bowl will definitely bring a delicious garden of healthy greens to your plates.

healthy veggie packed spring bowl with asparagus and halloumi

And the best part? All those veggies are topped by crispy halloumi cheese (or tofu for a vegan version), walnuts and a wild-garlic dressing with lemon and ground almonds. If you haven’t heard of wild garlic yet, you are certainly missing out. But fret not, this veggie packed spring bowl is your chance of getting to know this awesome superfood.

veggie packed spring bowl with asparagus, halloumi cheese and wild garlic dressing
Ramson / wild garlic

Wild garlic – also known as ramson or bear’s garlic, depending on where you live – doesn’t come in bulbs or cloves. It comes in elegant, deep green leaves with a heavenly scent. The plant is also known for its antiseptic, antibacterial and antibiotic properties and is even considered to lower blood pressure. It doesn’t get any better than that? Oh, it does! Because its aromatic flavour – that faintly resembles the garlic you know and possibly love – is perfect for breads, dips, pestos and many other things. You see, I could gush for hours, and there will be more posts about the many benefits and uses of wild garlic in the future. So consider this a sneak peek of things to come.

wild garlic blossoms
wild garlic blossoms
Wild Garlic Paste

This recipe requires a wild garlic/ramson paste. It’s vegan, very easy to make and I make sure to always have some in the freezer during the spring and summer months. To make ramson paste, you need to wash the leaves of wild garlic thoroughly and cut off the stems. Then blend about 40-50g of the ramson together with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, until it forms a smooth, spreadable paste. You can freeze the wild garlic / ramson paste in ice cube trays in little portions for about 4-6 months. It’s a delicious dip on its own, can be used as a sandwich spread or to flavour dressings like the one you will need here.

veggie packed spring bowl with asparagus
a spring bowl packed with superfoods

But wild garlic isn’t the only plant that makes this veggie packed spring bowl so healthy. Superfoods like spinach, asparagus and walnuts boost your immune system and health after the cold winter months.

veggie packed spring bowl with asparagus

You can easily adapt this spring bowl to your dietary requirements and preferences. For a low carb version, simply serve the veggie-packed spring bowl without the rice. And if you live vegan, the halloumi cheese can easily be replaced by tofu of your choice. I would recommend to marinate the tofu in soy sauce before frying it, though.

healthy veggie packed spring bowl with asparagus
asparagus, red radishes, lettuce and cucumber on a tray

Ingredients:

(yields 2 really big portions)

For the spring bowl
  • 3/4 cups (about 120g) basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp (about 10g) black rice
  • 250g asparagus
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves (or lettuce)
  • 1/2 of a large cucumber
  • 8-10 red radishes
  • 4 tbsp crushed walnuts
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • 1 green onion, cut into fine rings
  • 200g halloumi cheese (or marinated tofu for a vegan version)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
For the dressing
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp wild garlic paste (see instructions above)
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sweetener of choice to taste (honey, stevia or maple syrup work well)
cucumber, red radishes, avocado, walnuts and halloumi cheese on a tray

Cook your rice according to the instructions on the package. Usually, it takes two cups of salted water per one cup of rice to get a good result. I use my rice cooker, but an ordinary pot will do just as fine.

The dressing

For the spring bowl dressing, fill the lemon juice, ramson paste, water, two tablespoons of olive oil and ground almonds in a mason jar and shake very well. Use salt, pepper and sweetener to taste. Then shake again and set aside.

the assembly

Wash and clean your vegetables. After that, cut the red radishes, your cucumber and green onion in fine slices. Remove the pit and skin of your avocado and cut it in slices, as well.

Wash your spinach leaves or lettuce. If desired, cut the lettuce into smaller pieces.

In a pan, heat the leftover olive oil. Wash and clean the asparagus and fry them in the hot oil for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Then add the halloumi cheese or marinated tofu. At last, add the cut avocado to the pan and fry everything until the asparagus is browned and the halloumi cheese (or tofu) is crispy. Salt to taste.

fried halloumi cheese, asparagus and avocado in a pan

Now you only have to assemble your veggie packed spring bowls! Fill two bowls with rice. Then top the rice with one half of the cucumber and red radish slices and the spinach leaves or lettuce. Add the avocado and one half of the asparagus and halloumi / tofu to each bowl. Drizzle with your wild garlic dressing and sprinkle with crushed walnuts and green onion rings.

Enjoy your veggie packed spring bowl while the asparagus and rice are still warm.

two veggie packed spring bowls with asparagus and halloumi cheese

Don’t forget to like and subscribe if you enjoyed this recipe and to let me know if you tried it!

healthy vegetarian veggie packed spring bowl with asparagus and halloumi cheese
healthy vegetarian spring bowl with asparagus and halloumi cheese

the perfect puff pastry apple roses

I have a confession to make: I don’t like the spring. The only season I dislike more is summer. I’m a cold weather person. Yes, that kind of thing does exist. But just like this… it’s March again. And spring is just around the corner. Everyone is waiting eagerly for the first warm days, for flowers and sunshine and backyard barbeques. So here is a recipe for you that brings spring to your kitchen and flowers to your plate: Delicious puff pastry apple roses. And the best part? These beautiful pastries are so versatile and easy to make! 6 ingredients and 9 steps are all it takes.

You want to surprise your sweetheart with a candle light dinner for two? Try orange and thyme flavoured pasta with crispy salmon and serve puff pastry apple roses for dessert. What better way to start a cozy evening together? They are a wonderful, delicious goodie to bring to your best friend’s birthday party, as well. Hosting a tea party? No problem. These elegant pastries will turn your table into a piece of art.

I promise there will be a recipe and instruction in 9 steps at the end, so please bear with me.

cake and puff pastry apple roses
perfect puff pastry apple roses
Yes, it’s a trendy dessert

But why, you may ask, why yet another recipe for this particular dessert? Yes, I agree, there are a billion recipes for puff pastry apple roses out there. I’ve seen them with cream cheese, with jam, with cinnamon roll dough instead of puff pastry or made into a pie. You might think the world doesn’t need yet another variation. But I’ll tell you something: if you are like me, and you have a beloved munch-monster at home that will demand the same dessert over and over again, you learn a few tricks and hacks along the way. I have such a beloved munch-monster around, and he loves – you guessed right – puff pastry apple roses. It’s one of his favourite desserts, and I make them for his birthday party every single year.

I’ve seen my fair share of pastry fails online, and I’m here to show you in 9 simple steps how to avoid making certain mistakes that I’ve seen a lot.

So listen closely, I’ll show you a few tricks.

Ready?

how to make perfect puff pastry apple roses in 9 steps
Common mistakes

The first common mistake I’ve seen are apple-slice-petals that are way too thick. If you cut your apple slices too thick, they will not look like a rose, and even worse, your puff pastry might get soggy in the oven. But if you’re like me, and you missed the last “how to use a knife” master class of your local Michelin-star decorated chef, you will need to cheat a bit. Because you’ll want apple slices thin enough to see the light shine through. So dust off your old mandolin slicer and slice away those apples! Just remember to pick apples that are not too large for the tool.

And since I missed the last “how to use a knife” class, I use a piping tip to punch out the apple core in each slice. It will save you a lot of time, and most of the apple slice will stay intact.

The second thing I’ve noticed is that the roses often consist of only a few petals. It can look nice, to have only five or six petals in your puff pastry rose, but I prefer my roses opulent and rich. Instead of five or six petals, I aim for layering at least 10 or 12 apple slices per pastry for a rich bouquet. Yes, that does mean you will need about 120-140 slices for twelve roses.

puff pastry apple roses before baking

Sounds complicated?

I promise you, it’s not.

puff pastry apple roses
In the end, it’s basically just 9 simple steps and 6 ingredients:
  • 1: slice those apples and microwave them
  • 2: punch them
  • 3: cut the pastry
  • 4: spread the jam
  • 5: sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar
  • 6: spread out the slices
  • 7: wrap them
  • 8: roll them
  • 9: bake them
perfect puff pastry apple roses in 9 steps

Not that bad, is it?

Are you ready for the full recipe now?

puff pastry apple roses in 9 easy steps

Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 2 packages of puff pastry
  • 3-4 ripe, red apples
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup peach or apricot jam (other jam will do just fine, though)
  • 5 tbsp caster sugar, mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 12 muffin or cupcake paper liners

(yields 12 apple roses)

puff pastry apple roses in a muffin tray

Slice the apples until you have about 120-140 slices on a mandoline slicer (yes, that’s a lot, but the slicer will help you). Microwave your apple slices in a microwave-safe bowl filled with water and lemon juice for short intervals until they are soft and flexible enough for rolling them. Then punch out the cores with a piping tip according to the step-by-step picture. Be careful, though, they will be hot! Cut your slices in halves.

Cut your puff pastry into twelve stripes. Spread the apricot jam thinly on the puff pastry stripes, then sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar. Now place the slices on the jam and let them overlap as seen on the picture. Fold thehalf of your puff pastry that isn’t covered in apple slices over said apple slices, then roll them to a rose and place them in cupcake liners.

Bake them in a muffin tray for about 30-40 minutes at 180°C/ 350°F. Check them every now and then, but it’s not the end of the world if the top of your apple slices get a little dark and crispy.

Voilá! You’ve done it! Now impress someone with your puff pastry apple roses! They are best when made fresh. Try them with vanilla sauce or whipped cream!

Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

perfect puff pastry apple roses