Your basic home made decorated egg.
1) Wash and lightly sand paper smooth your egg. Chicken and goose eggs are most commonly used, but more exotic eggs like emu, quail and guinea fowl are also used. Make a hole in each end of the egg large enough to blow out the innards (about 3-5mm wide. You can accidentally end up with bigger holes, but unless they are very big you can usually cover them up later. It will just take more work to do it!)
Break the yolk by skewering it with a long pin, so it will fit through the small hole you have made. Over a bowl or sink, blow out the innards of the egg. Or you can try using a syringe to suck or draw out the egg's innards, you will still need two holes to allow pressure to even out as you do it. When this has been done clean your egg of all traces of yolk and white.
2) Coat the egg shell with sealant, let it dry properly and then paint. Place egg on a skewer with a lucky band wrapped round so it wont go all the way through, that way you can rotate the egg and paint it all over at one go. Put the skewer in a glass of sand to dry, so that it won't tip over. You can seal one of the holes now by gluing a thin piece of paper over it, then painting so it looks like the rest of the shell.
You may need to put on a second coat of paint, be sure the first one is dry or it will pull at the undercoat and make bubbles. You can use a hairdryer or heat gun to speed the drying process, but be careful as you can burn and scorch the paint.
3) Cut out a picture of the right size to put on your egg. Magazines are good places to find such pictures, as are wrapping paper and even paper napkins. Be careful of thin printed paper, as whatever is on the other side of it may come through when glued. Match the paint to the picture if possible. Make little cuts into the picture so that it will fit the curved surface like this....
Carefully glue in place, overlapping the cuts to make the picture fit. Cover the pictures edges in braid, puff paint, chain links, beads etc.
4) Attach a loop to the top of the egg for hanging. You can do this several ways, either by going through the holes you made earlier or by gluing a ribbon around the egg and leaving free enough to make a loop. A tassel can be attached to the hole at the bottom, or you can hide the hole under buttons, diamantes, finals, curls of braid etc.
5) Other things to decorate the egg with include glitter, fake flowers, jewels, bows, material, stickers, nail polish, food dye, tiny shells, feathers, beads, etc.
The first eggs we made. Lots of fun! They are sitting on skewers to dry after the last coat of craft spray on glaze, or in this case, hair spray!
For some basic egg colouring fun, go see here my Easter egg page.
A foam egg with a handle, resting on a home made egg cup. The handle, like the skewers I mentioned earlier, made this sequined egg easy to handle for painting and applying the sequins.
A basic cut and hinged egg.
Seehere for examples.
Materials: Eggs - chicken, goose, duck, turkey, Ostrich, Emu. (Pre cut are best.)
Scissors (small and sharp), razor (single edged) Araldite glue, clear varnish, craft glue, pencil, flat paintbrush, paint, egg holder/knitting needle with lucky band wrapped around it, toothpick, tweezers, elastic band, tape measure, and sandpaper. A small hinge, possibly a bit of chain to make a safety catch.
Step one: Clean your egg. Use fine sandpaper to remove any bumps and lumps, but don't thin the egg too much. Pierce your egg at both ends using the smallest holes possible, and blow out the innards. A syringe can be used to draw the innards out also, but you will still need two holes. Gently clean inside of egg using water. Let it dry.
Put a lucky band around a knitting needle to make a home made egg holder, or buy a commercial one. Pop your egg onto it and varnish it. You can use Decoupage Finnish for this. Let it dry, and then paint your egg. Use several coats as this strengthens the egg. Be very careful that the paint is dry between coats or it will go bumpily. I use a stamping heat gun to dry between coats, but you must let the egg cool down after you do this or it also will cause the under layer to lift.
When the final coat is dry place as elastic band around the middle and use it to mark a straight line using a pencil. Remove the band and ever so gently, using the ends of the sharp scissors only, or a razor blade, or a sharp hobby knife, cut it in half.
I shall tell you now, this is not a good way to create a cut egg, and it tends to be jagged and has to be covered with extra braid. To cut an egg nicely you need a mini cutting disc tool, but we have done it with scissors before. Twice. After that, we sent away for pre cut goose eggs. You can get all sorts of cuts, multi hinged, window cuts, jewel box etc, even pre hinged (you have to depend on how good the people you send away to are at hinging though, and their placement isn't always as you would have preferred. We hinge our own). Overall ordering pre cut is much, much easier.
(To paint a pre cut egg, first put on hinge. Then use little strips of stickytape to tape it shut and cover the hinge so it won't be gummed up, then paint. Remove tape, don't worry about the bare patch where the tape was, it will be covered by lace later.)
To apply hinges etc. Take the cut and painted egg. Sticky tape it shut so the edges meet. Leave the area for the hinge clear. Roughen the hinge back a little so it will adhere properly. Bend it back and forth to see if it is a little stiff, if it is dab on some nail polish remover. Prepare some Araldite according to the instructions and apply it to the plates of the hinge with a toothpick. Be careful not to get any in the bending bit, a line of Vaseline can be applied first to this area as a buffer against the glue.
Now place the hinge, glue side down, so the bending bit is in line with the cut. Prop the egg in a cradle made from a towel (see, that bandaging technique you learnt at the First Aid course will come in handy, it's called the 'doughnut' and took me ages to perfect) Dry over night. Do not try to speed this step up by applying heat, as it will not work.
Some people use tiny screws to secure the hinge as well. This requires tiny holes to be drilled into the egg shell first. Glue is still applied to be on the safe side. While you have the Araldite made up you might want to glue on the front finals, any handles or beading that doesn't need the egg to be placed in a different way than it is to assure the hinge doesn't slide off. You can make sure the hinge etc doesn't slide by fastening it in place with a weak sticky tape or blue tack.
Decoration: Braid, beads, tassels, bows etc; plus a stand for the egg to rest on. Sometimes an elegant eggcup will hold the egg, but a proper stand is necessary for eggs that open out. The inside of the egg can be lined with material, or coated with glitter.
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