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Project

Elegant Paper Easter Eggs

They may look like porcelain, but these eggs, from from five to 12 inches tall, are made with papier-mache. No painting is necessary; the color is determined by the paper.

Introduction

Each egg has three layers of paper: one for the shell, one for the lining, and a third in between. Different papers yield varying textures: Rice paper gives the large ivory egg a crinkly surface, whereas plain newsprint, used on the medium egg, results in a smoother shell. You can also experiment with metallic gift wrap or tissue paper in contrasting colors for the inner shells.

Materials

  • Plain newsprint, metallic paper (nycentralartsupply.com), matte medium, or tissue paper
  • Metal ruler
  • Balloon
  • Glass bowl
  • Larger bowl
  • 2 cups matte-finish sealant (such as Mod Podge)
  • Small, sharp scissors
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Sobo craft and fabric glue, #23820-1008, by Delta, dickblick.com

Steps

  1. Step 1

    For a large egg, tear paper for the egg lining into strips (3/4 to 1 inch wide), using a metal ruler as a guide; for a small egg, tear squares, which will hug the form better. Set paper aside. Repeat, tearing pieces for middle and outer-shell layers.

  2. Step 2

    Blow up a balloon until it assumes an egg shape, and tie it off. Set balloon in a small glass bowl, and set that in a larger bowl (to catch drips).

  3. Step 3

    In a bowl, combine 1 cup warm water and 2 cups matte-finish sealant (such as Mod Podge), mixing well. As you work, repeat to make more sealant as needed.

  4. Step 4

    Soak papers for egg lining in sealant until saturated. Take out 1 piece at a time, removing excess liquid with fingers. Working from top of balloon to bottom, apply pieces, overlapping slightly. Add middle and outer-shell layers while paper is wet. Next, reinforce top and bottom of egg by crisscrossing with shorter strips of outer-shell paper. Let dry at least 24 hours. Keep away from heat, which can cause buckling.

  5. Step 5

    Re-adhere any unglued bits of paper, or trim them with small, sharp scissors. With a pencil, mark a jagged line around the upper part of egg. Using a craft knife, slowly cut along line. Pop balloon; if egg dents, push it back out from inside. To make a pedestal, cut egg close to the top; glue the upturned cap to the bottom of egg. Let dry.