Believe it or not decorating eggs for Easter is a creative activity I had never tried before so I thought it was time to give it a go. Being an art teacher I thought about techniques I currently use with the children in my studio and how I could adapt them to decorate eggs.
So I set about hard boiling some eggs and purchased an empty syringe (from my local chemist) to remove the inners of other eggs. I went shopping for food dyes and rubber gloves then raided my art studio for paints and materials I thought would work best.
MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT I USED
- eggs [hard boiled and blown]
- empty syringe
- food dyes
- rubber gloves
- rub on tranfers
- off cuts of lace fabric
- wax crayons
- mod podge or pva glue
- poster paint
- washing up detergent
- wooden skewer or tooth pick
- polystyrene egg
1. Wax Resist
This is the easiest of all the techniques for younger children to do using a hard boiled egg. Using wax crayons and selecting light colours, draw patterns or names on the egg. Leave the egg in your choice of food dye colour (darker colours work best) for about 15 to 20 minutes. The wax crayons will resist the dye which you will only see in the background areas behind the patterns.
2. Scratch Art
We do scratch art a lot in the studio which the kids love so it was an obvious choice that I try this on an egg too. As the egg is round, it’s not an easy shape to work with, especially when paint has to be applied all over the egg.You could do this in stages and paint one half of the egg first then allow to dry before painting the other half. For this example I forgot to add the washing detergent which made it difficult to scratch.
TIP: To make a good surface for scratch art use poster paint and add a liberal squirt of washing up liquid.
Using the poster paint mixture in a colour of your choice [darker colours work best] paint all over the surface of the egg and allow to dry. [This technique could be used on a blown egg or a hard boiled egg. Depends if you want to keep the egg afterwards and the blown egg is fragile if younger children are doing this.] Using a wooden skewer or toothpick scratch patterns or name.
3. Lace Stencil
For this technique I purchased long strips of lace fabric and wrapped the lace as tightly as possible round a hard boiled egg. I then twisted the ends of the lace to tie off and left the egg in the food dye until the colour looked nice and dark. This technique was not a huge success and the lace pattern was very subtle as you can see in the examples.
I used a blown egg for this one and tore and cut up pieces of pretty wrapping paper then decoupaged them onto the egg using mod podge. An easy technique for younger children.
5. Rub on Transfers
I found packets of rub on transfers in Dollars and Sense in pretty heart designs. They come on sheets of clear plastic and a paddle pop stick. You rub on the transfer with the paddle pop stick until it transfers onto the surface you are adhering it to. Not easy to do onto the egg shape and I found that I had to rub for a while before the whole transfer came off the plastic cleanly. The transfers are delicate and rip easily so this would be suitable for older children. I used a hard boiled egg due to the pressure you have to apply with the stick. The egg looks pretty though.
6. Cartoon Sticky Labels
A while ago I purchased little booklets of stickers from Dollars and Sense and dug them out to try them on an egg. They stuck on really easily so little creatives will cope ok with this simple technique. I found that I had to use a paddle pop stick to get rid of creases on some of the stickers and in the above example I used a black sharpie pen to fill in the background afterwards. It would be a good idea to dye the eggs first then attach the stickers. I applied mod podge over the egg to make sure everything was well and truly stuck down plus it gives the surface a nice sheen. Probably best to use a hard boiled egg for this one.
7. Flower Brads Polystyrene Egg
This one is using the polystyrene craft eggs you can pick up from places such as Lincraft and Spotlight. As they are soft, I decided to push some flower brads into one and it turned out really bright and colourful. It was tricky to line up the brads without some spaces being left and children could even use coloured textas to fill in the gaps or smaller push pins. I’m sure you can get creative with other objects you could push into the soft polystyrene:)
Some of the previous techniques such as wax resist, decoupage, rub on transfers and stickers should work onto the polystyrene eggs as well.
If you decide to try egg decorating with your children or students I hope you have lots of fun. It is a messy technique so make sure you have plenty of newspapers lining the floor or desk or better still, a cheap, throwaway plastic table cloth to protect tables, carpet etc and make sure you or the kids wear gloves when using the food colouring dyes or your hands will be stained for weeks!