Throw a Victorian-style Easter Party

This spring, throw a Victorian-style Easter party for your family. Read on to discover how.


Victorian style easter crafts

(Photo: Barbara Johnson, Ph.D.)


Table decorations

  • Daffodils-fresh or crepe paper (shown) in a jardinière
  • Wire-mounted butterflies of green glacé paper and yellow painted wings
  • Green and gold china
  • Yellow-shaded candles
  • Use lavender and white flowers to create a Victorian-style Easter posy and centerpiece. Gather purple and white anemones, lavender, rosemary, sweet peas and hellebores foliage for an unstructured look. Spiral the stems to distribute the weight so it can stand without support.

Egg displays

  • Place “brownie” (mischievous sprite, elf or hob) decorated eggs in a nest of vines.
  • Place colored eggs in rabbit’s nests of green paper lettuce.

Party souvenirs

  • Eggcups with painted butterflies filled with peppermints


  • Egg-shaped jellies
  • Gold frosted cakes
  • Molded ice cream lilies


easter crafts

(Photo: Barbara Johnson, Ph.D.)


How to create your own!

  • For the centerpiece: Use a basket, artificial butterflies, floral wire and handmade crepe-paper daffodils (right).
  • Make egg-cup favors: Attach Victorian butterfly die-cuts or stickers and fill with candies.
  • Decorate eggs: Paint wooden eggs white and use markers, tissue and crepe paper for outfits and hat embellishments (purchase from cake-decorating store or crafts shop).
  • Embellish bonbon boxes: Use crepe paper ruffled and glued, Styrofoam circles, rosebuds, artificial butterfly, glitter and fill with candies.


wishbone egg cup

Pewter chick and wishbone egg cup, “Best Wishes” circa 1880s-1890s silver-plated “Easter Greetings,” souvenir spoon patented 1894. (Photo: Barbara Johnson, Ph.D.)


Easter Gifts


No holiday celebration is complete without gifts! The Victorians gave Easter gifts just as eagerly and plentifully as they did during Christmas. These tokens are based on “Easter Gifts,” The Designer magazine, April 1901 and “Odd and Pretty Easter Trifles,” Standard Delineator, April 1896:

  • “Easter Greetings” bookmarks, pen wipers.
  • Bookmarks made from white, green or violet ribbon with painted Easter lilies and lilies of the valley.
  • Butterfly-ornamented and egg-shaped bonbon boxes.
  • Candle shapes trimmed with flowers and butterflies.
  • Cards with wildflower sprays.
  • China egg set: egg cup, salt and pepper shakers and butter pat.
  • Crepe paper and celluloid lilies.
  • Little downy chickens made of jeweler’s cotton on pasteboard rocking chairs and harnessed to pasteboard carts drawn by other chicks.
  • Dresden globe lamps.
  • High chocolate cups, richly gilded, with green or red touches.
  • Pen wipers of white kid-leather shaped like Maltese crosses, artist’s palettes and hearts.
  • Porcelain Waterbury clocks.
  • Spoons with enameled floral handles.


Written and photographed by Barbara Johnson, Ph.D., who is the author of Antique & Vintage Fashions, 1745 to 1979 and Valentines, A Collector’s Guide, 1700s-1950s, both by Collector Books. All photographed items are part of her collection.


Source: “Eggs, Daffodils, Butterflies and Ladyes Faire,” The Designer Magazine, April 1901.

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