Dictionary Easter Grass and Nest Fill

Here’s a simple way to make colorful vintage-style Easter grass or nest fill using the very thin pages taken from an old, discarded dictionary. Keep the pages off-white or color them before shredding by using your computer and desktop printer.Begin by trimming the book pages to fit into your printer.

To color, simply create a very light block of color to fill a page using your software. I used varying hues of blue and green. Feeding one thin dictionary page at a time, print a color block onto each page. Yes, this is going to use ink, but not as much as you might think, just be sure to keep it pastel or screen back your colors to save printer juice. Also, I only printed one side of each sheet.

Once the pages are printed it’s time to shred. If you already have a paper shredder- bonus, although it may not shred the strips as thin as you may want. This morning when I worked on this craft, I first gave Martha Stewart’s fringe scissors a try. Not very successful as they really are meant for fringing and not so much for continuous cutting. Too difficult for this project unless you want only 3″ strips.

So, off to my awesome Genesis Paper Trimmer, I sliced small strips along the direction of the writing cutting several sheets at a time.I made a nice big pile of strips,

and fluffed, twisted and lightly squished the pile to separate and curl them a bit. (Then I had flashbacks of doing this with my brand new pom-pons in high school and was reminded of this shot.)

Ok, back on subject…Here’s the grass in action. ’Was hoping to find a few more colorful eggs in the coop this morning, but the ladies hadn’t finished their laying.

After taking the paper grass shots, I ran several errands before writing this post, dropping into my favorite thrift store in town between kid drop offs, only to find a little hand-crank paper shredder for 3 bucks. What are the odds? Seriously, this really is an easier way to go if you have one. But a paper trimmer works well, too.

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41 Responses to Dictionary Easter Grass and Nest Fill

  1. #1 - Patty says:

    Oh awesome shot of you!!! Very cute idea I might try this with a light ink pad.

  2. #2 - shawnnita says:

    Wow how cool is that! 🙂 I love it! Dig the pom pom photo as well. Hard to believe it’s nearly time to colour Easter Eggs already!
    Thanks for Sharing! 🙂

  3. #3 - Paula Smith says:

    Posted a link to this on my newspaper’s Facebook page (I run the newspaper, & am always looking for interesting links for my readers).

  4. #4 - Cheri Litchfield says:

    Great idea! Going to do it for sure. Thanks.

  5. #5 - Kami says:

    Love this idea! I was just thinking about ways to use shredded paper during my sleepless night last night. The cheerleading pic made me lol because I thought the same thing! There really is a trick to making new poms full and fluffy instead limp and crinkly. 🙂

  6. #6 - wendy baker says:

    only you could have this bubbling on the back burner of your mind.
    i begin to wish for a chicken coop more and more daily.

  7. #7 - Theresa Begin says:

    Absolutely Love this one, Cathe. Very cute.

  8. #8 - Talia Halliday says:

    i Love Love Love this idea!!! Great for recycled packaging and shipping too!

  9. #9 - marysworkshop says:

    Love the way your handmade Easter grass looks displayed in your vintage pail with the real eggs- so adorable! Thanks for another wonderful idea, Cathe.

  10. #10 - Elise says:

    Clever AND adorable = YOU!

    I LOVE this idea! xoxoxo!

  11. #11 - Barbara Bechtel says:

    I routinely find paper shredders at the thrift store for a buck or two for this purpose and I use a similar idea for my packaging for my etsy shop. I use them until they burn up and then I buy another one. Paper shredders tend not to have a long shelf life, especially those ones but they work great for that!

  12. #12 - Bette says:

    While I was reading this post, I thought, why doesnt she just use a shredder? I see you thought of that. Heavy duty ones (I LOVE mine) shred 12 pages at a time, and last a long time. These days with the worry of identity theft, I think more people own shredders than paper cutters.

  13. #13 - Marilyn Monceaux says:

    This has to be one of my favorite ideas~~thanks for sharing it!

  14. #14 - Jill says:

    I wonder how it would work to spritz your strips with colored water(food coloring). The crinkling from the wet/drying would just add to the look. I shred paper for projects with an electric one from walmart. There aren’t too many strip shredders out there now, most are crosscut.

  15. #18 - Heidi Woodruff says:

    I also bought a thrift store paper shredder for $3 years ago! I love shredding paper (dictionary, etc).

    I don’t think I could afford the ink to run pages through my printer, though! INSTEAD, what I do is simply water down green paint and paint all the pages first, then shred! Tadah! Wish I had time to do this now and post a photo for you.
    Happy Weekend! ~Heidi

  16. #19 - tj says:

    …Awesome! Thank you so much!

    …Enjoy your weekend!

    …Blessings… :o)

  17. #20 - Saucy Chick Sherry says:

    How adorable you were with your cheerleading and pompoms. Love your text nesting grass. What a lucky find at the thrift store and so timely. Happy inking and shredding…

  18. #21 - Vicki K says:

    No way! That’s is an awesome deal – perfect for these kinds of projects. Our shredder does the diamond-not-very-useful-for-crafts-but-probably-good-protection-against-identity-thieves pattern.

  19. #22 - Kami says:

    I was thinking the same thing! That was one of my first thoughts because I’ve made other things by wrinkling and dipping paper into colored water, then ironing it. The texture is so nice.

  20. #23 - Juliet A says:

    I must have over a dozen different blue and green inks and paints in my craft area – it would NEVER in a gazillion years occur to me to use my printer just for coloring. Wow. Really, wow.

  21. #24 - conversation at goodwill says:

    I love that idea. Perfect for a project I am doing. Thanks for the idea.

  22. #25 - Heidi Smith says:

    awww I remember fluffing my aunt’s Pom Pom’s for her when I was little too! Let me tell you there is nothing more fun than fluffing a new pair of pom poms when you are 5! 🙂

  23. #26 - Cindy Bee says:

    How cute! I think I’ll use your idea for my Easter decorations this year. And what luck at the 2nd hand store. I found a quilt top at a garage sale on Saturday and I told my friend I was going to get another one at the next sale. I did! Sometimes we get just what we need.

    Cindy Bee

  24. #27 - Teresa McFayden says:

    Oh I love this idea Cathe!!

    Thanks for sharing it!

  25. #28 - Heather Ozee says:

    I love it! What a great idea. I’m picturing all kinds of collage uses of running old pages through one coat of color that could be applied to my paintings or mixed into my printable party favors. Thanks for yet another fabulous idea I can actually use!

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  27. #29 - Little Lovables says:

    What a fun idea, love it! And what a cute cheerleader! I was one too.

  28. #30 - Anne says:

    Love the look of this grass — I think I’ll try it! I have a similar scissors marketed to cut chives, which doesn’t work on those, either.

  29. Pingback: How-To: Dictionary Easter Grass @Craftzine.com blog | Easter

  30. #31 - Julia Stratman says:

    Hmm…blue and sliver…did you attend Hillcrest High School? I’m a proud hornet!!

  31. #34 - Jan says:

    So clever! Old phone books could also be used, especially if you like the idea of yellow grass.

  32. #36 - Lulù says:

    Cool and lovely idea, so romantic… I’d definitely try it next week.
    But, since I could NEVER destroy a book (no matter how old it is), I think I will use old newspaper sheets 🙂
    And watercolor instead of color printer!
    Keep posting beautiful ideas like this one, I love your blog!

  33. #37 - Leah says:

    Very cute, I have an old dictionary that I’ve been slowly using up a page at a time, so I may have to do this. I’d probably use a spray ink (something like glimmer mist maybe) or ink pad instead of computer ink because my printer goes through the color ink WAY too quickly…

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  35. #38 - lori colson says:

    Love LOVE your work .IT’S amazing .U surley have a gift i wish i had!!!