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Project

Polymer Clay Easter Eggs

Create your most sophisticated Easter eggs ever using an innovative polymer clay technique from artist Liz Smith.

Materials

  • Large egg
  • Egg blower
  • 2 packages white clay
  • 1 package blue (or other color) clay
  • Pasta machine or craft/clay rolling machine
  • Polymer clay blade
  • Doll needle or very thin knitting needle
  • Acrylic rod (sold for use with polymer clay)
  • Polyester batting
  • Oven
  • Sandpaper in 240, 400, and 800 grits
  • Water-based polyurethane (optional)
  • Linen or denim cloth (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Remove inside of egg with egg blower, according to egg blower instructions. Rinse inside and out and allow to dry.

  2. Step 2

    Mix 1/4 package blue (or other color) clay with 3/4 package white clay to make a light blue.

  3. Step 3

    Make a "Skinner" blend (a strip of clay with a color gradient) using the light blue and white. To do so:    a. Roll a whole package white clay through the pasta machine, set at the thickest setting.     b. Roll the light blue clay you have created through the pasta machine at the same setting.     c. Trim each strip of clay into an elongated right triangle, and abut them along the hypotenuse to     form a rectangle.    d. Fold the rectangle in half, matching up short ends, and run through the pasta machine fold -- first on thickest setting. Keep folding and flattening until the colors blend together in the middle (about a dozen times total).    e. Turn clay 90 degrees, and run through one more time, white side first, to make a long strip with white at one end blending into light blue at the other. Trim and square off the 4 sides with a blade.   

  4. Step 4

    Flatten the rest of the unmixed blue clay into a slightly longer and slightly thinner rectangle than the gradient rectangle. Trim and square off the 4 sides with the blade. Lay blended clay on top of the solid blue clay. Carefully roll the two strips together, starting at the white end, to form a fat "jelly roll" log.

  5. Step 5

    Compress the jelly roll to remove air bubbles and elongate it slightly. Place log on a flat surface and roll back and forth, pressing from the center outwards, until you have formed a long "cane" about 1/2 inch in diameter.

  6. Step 6

    Cut slices about 1/8 inch thick from the cane with the blade. Place slices on eggshell, abutting edges, to cover whole egg.

  7. Step 7

    Pay attention to the location of the bottom hole of the eggshell, and poke a small hole through the clay slice that covers it with a doll needle or very thin knitting needle. This will allow air to escape during baking.

  8. Step 8

     Hold egg in the palm of one hand, and smooth out seams between the slices by rolling an acrylic rod over them. Be sure to re-poke the small bottom hole if it gets smoothed closed. 

  9. Step 9

    Lay egg on its side on a bed of polyester batting, and bake in an oven according to polymer clay manufacturer's directions (usually 275 degrees for 25 minutes).

  10. Step 10

    When egg is cool, sand it under water (either a stream from the faucet or a shallow bowl) using wet/dry sandpaper in 240, 400 then 800 grits; let dry.

  11. Step 11

    If you like, you can varnish egg using water-based polyurethane, or buff the egg with a linen or denim cloth for a smooth matte finish.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, March 2010

Reviews (19)

  • 4 Oct, 2011

    Liz Smith rocks!! She is so talented, generous, and lovely. I first found her on Etsy www.etsy.com/shop/madeinlowell where she offered a link to this segment. I am a huge fan of her gorgeous felted cupcake pincushions as well as those darling coffee cozies and her wonderful polymer clay jewelry. She also features her mother's stunning and simple watercolors on greeting cards; I've ordered for myself and as gifts. What a great find she is!
    xo,
    Lara

  • 8 Jul, 2010

    UPDATE TO PREVIOUS POST: I emailed Liz and asked her what she used, and this was her response:

    "Thanks for watching the Martha Stewart segment, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    We didn't include the egg hangers in the materials list because the egg we demonstrated was a standing egg.

    I have never found any ready made items to hang my ornament eggs with so I made my own. I use 1/4 inch cup hangers and bend them closed into a loop, then I spray paint them white.

    Hope that helps!"

  • 8 Jul, 2010

    In her Etsy shop, Liz refers to it as a "painted brass loop." I found something similar at ottofrei.com. It looks like she either used a screw eye, screwed into the polymer egg, or an up eye, glued on. You would have to paint either one before attaching it to the egg. You might be able to find them locally wherever you buy jewelry making supplies. Just ask for jewelry findings.

  • 18 Apr, 2010

    Wendy4123, thanks for the great online resource. however, they didn't have those things that are inserted into the top of the egg to hang. Do you know what I'd call them in order to google them? They look like they would work for other things rather than eggs. We have a seasonal brass tree in our home that I continually decorate for seasons, birthdays, etc. Thanks, again - Wendy.

  • 17 Apr, 2010

    I've never done anything like this before, but I went to PolymerClaySuperstore.com and got everything I needed and it turned out great!

  • 16 Apr, 2010

    I love this project and love working with polymer clay. Where would one find the devices used at the top of the egg to thread ribbon thru them for hanging? What are they called? Thanks.

  • 4 Apr, 2010

    about smoothing, she used an acrylic brayer. Very good idea. Get it as smooth as you can before baking. Then sand sand sand...... then... sand.
    Lastly I buff mine with a dremel tool and buffer wheel but heavy denim and elbow grease works too.
    Finishes, I don't care for the ones made for clay. Too goopy. Future floor wax is commonly used. It's got a more dull shine. My personal favorite is varathane by rustolium. Great stuff for clay. Dries smooth and glass hard.

  • 2 Apr, 2010

    Perfect! Thanks for posting her Etsy shop address. I was hoping there would be one mentioned here.

  • 31 Mar, 2010

    I noticed that it was not mentioned on the show that Liz Smith has an Etsy store. I was on Etsy later that evening and noticed one of her eggs was a featured item. Here is the link to her store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/madeinlowell

  • 31 Mar, 2010

    I noticed it was not mentioned on the show but Liz Smith has a great Etsy page. I was on Etsy later that evening and one of her eggs was featured. Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/madeinlowell.

  • 31 Mar, 2010

    I noticed it was not mentioned on the show but Liz Smith has a great Etsy page. I was on Etsy later that evening and one of her eggs was featured. Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/madeinlowell.

  • 30 Mar, 2010

    Use very fine sandpaper to smooth egg. The type that's used on car finishes. You can find in auto supply stores like Pep Boys.

    You then can dip it in Future Floor Wax. Let it dry and then bake it for about 10 more minutes.

    There are also special Poly Clay finishes that can be applied for shine, but Future works just as well.

    Or, you can hand polish with a piece of denim. That's supposed to have give the surface a nice shine, but not as good as Future.

  • 29 Mar, 2010

    we did our eggs with daycare kids and it was fun..though the video doesnt show how to make eggs smooth around it still is bumpy plus what to use to hang them after drying....how do you get them shinny?

  • 29 Mar, 2010

    we did our eggs with daycare kids and it was fun..though the video doesnt show how to make eggs smooth around it still is bumpy plus what to use to hang them after drying....how do you get them shinny?

  • 29 Mar, 2010

    The segment said one roll would cover one egg.

  • 26 Mar, 2010

    I was just wondering how many eggs will that ammount of clay cover? It is a wonderful project and i cant wait to get started. I just need to figure out how much clay to buy!

  • 25 Mar, 2010

    I thought this was a terrific segment. Very interesting craft, original method, informed and patient guest. The result is also awesome. I enjoy more simple crafts too -- cutting, marking and adhering -- but this was a treat.

  • 25 Mar, 2010

    I thought this was a terrific segment. Very interesting craft, original method, informed and patient guest. The result is also awesome. I enjoy more simple crafts too -- cutting, marking and adhering -- but this was a treat.

  • 24 Mar, 2010

    Oh wow! Glad to see polymer clay art on your show. At the end of the segment you asked to see other peoples. I have a whole section on my etsy shop.
    Here is the direct link. (not sure where else to send you pictures. Hope this is ok.)
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtmakersWorlds?section_id=5355622

    I'd love to see more polymer clay art. I make polymer clay canes much more detailed than the one used in your story. http://ArtmakersWorldsAlpha.etsy.com