Decoupage Eggs, Revived
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2009
Enliven this season's dozen with more than a dip in pastel dye. Using the simple technique of decoupage, paper cutouts in different patterns and designs are adhered to humble eggs. To find designs, flip through books of prints and take a look in the pantry -- cutouts from paper napkins, butterfly-printed wrapping paper, and traced silhouettes all can dress up eggs and boxes. Beyond that, you'll need little more than decoupage glue and sharp scissors -- or try a few craft punches for a no-snip alternative.
Decoupage is a great afternoon project, whether you're working alone, with friends, or alongside your children. The technique is simple, and the materials are few: Most items are available from Martha Stewart Crafts or michaels.com, and Mod Podge glue sealant can be found at Blick Art Materials. Be creative, and use any papers that inspire you -- just make sure they're no thicker than construction paper. Although some designs require precise cutting, the paper napkins just need a trim -- perfect for kids and those who are short on time.
Follow instructions for blowing out eggs below, then choose one of the design ideas.
Pre-blown eggs are available at crafts stores and online (thefeatheredegg.com, uniquelyemu.com). We used chicken, partridge, emu, and ostrich. Craft punches (available from Martha Stewart Crafts, michaels.com, and croppingcorner.com) make decoupage-ready silhouettes -- no cutting required. Put your favorite punches to work, or look for shapes similar to ours.
Small, sharp scissors (or craft punch)
Sharp craft knife
Mod Podge glue sealant (matte) or similar decoupage glue
Small and medium craft brushes with noncolored handles
Blown-out eggs, wooden eggs, or boxes
Pierce both ends of a raw egg using the tip of a sharp craft knife. Twist knife gently in holes to widen them slightly, with bottom hole a bit larger.
Poke a straightened paper clip into the larger hole; pierce yolk, and stir.
Hold egg, larger hole down, over a bowl. Insert the tip of a rubber ear syringe (available at drugstores) into smaller hole. Blow air into egg to expel its contents. Rinse egg with warm water; drain. Blow air into egg again. Let dry.
Give egg-shaped boxes a natural touch with speckled paint, butterflies, and a rabbit cut from decorative paper (or clip art or color copies). Some insects shimmer with glitter; others pop with vibrant color. Glued along the midline, a few butterflies seem to hover. Boxes from germanplaza.com; butterfly paper from touchofeurope.net; glitter from Martha Stewart Crafts.
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Selected flower- and bird-themed artwork transforms a variety of eggs -- painted wooden orbs, naturally deep-green emu eggs, and tinted and undyed ostrich eggs -- into instant collectibles. These illustrations are cut from decorative papers and clip-art print-outs, but color photocopies of other vintage imagery can serve equally well. The finished eggs sit atop silver-leafed wooden candlesticks. (For silver-leafing instructions, go to marthastewart.com/silver-leafing.) Emu and ostrich eggs from uniquelyemu.com; wooden goose eggs and candlesticks from craftparts.com.
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Bring the whimsy of scherenschnitte, the German art of paper cutting, to your tabletop decor. Blown-out eggs, dyed and adorned with seasonal silhouettes, dangle from a cluster of quince branches to make the centerpiece. Other eggs are inscribed with guests' names and double as place cards and charming favors. Trace our templates, or use craft punches with spring motifs.
Get the Template for the Paper-Cutout Eggs
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Stylized patterns from paper napkins brighten a clutch of undyed eggs. No need for meticulous cutting: A loose trim around the designs will do, as the napkins' edges will blend into the eggshells. Chipboard baskets, packed with the colorful creations and holiday sweets, are decorated with coordinating tags. Baskets from dcccrafts.com; reed handles from basketmakerscatalog.com.
Paper-Napkin Egg How-To