A clutch of colorful faux eggs, made from spun cotton, will age beautifully in your permanent collection. 

March 17, 2021
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basket spun cotton eggs
Ngoc Minh Ngo

Temari, the ornate balls they're modeled on, are often exchanged as tokens of friendship and are also meant to be cherished. They're made by wrapping wads of fabric scraps in thread, then embroidering the outer layer. Our shortcut method is less involved, but still eye-catching.

We recommend making a smaller egg first, to get the hang of wrapping the thread, since it's a bit trickier to keep the thread from sliding off the larger, pointier eggs. For the smallest (30-millimeter) eggs, make only a horizontal stripe (see step 6); there's not enough space at the tip for a vertical one.

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of decorated Easter eggs.

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What you need

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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Paint one side of egg; let dry. Paint remaining side; let dry.

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temari eggs project illustration step one
Step 2

Using a pencil, make a mark at the center of the top of the egg, where it is flattest. Measure out 1/8 inch to each side of that mark for smaller eggs, and 3/16 inch for 60-millimeter ones. Make another pencil mark at each of those points, or stick a straight pin into both to help hold the thread as you wrap it, if you like. Repeat the same marks on the flattest part of the bottom of the egg. (These marks will be your guides for wrapping the thread.) Thread a needle without cutting the thread off the spool or skein, or knotting it. Push the needle into the egg at one part of the top mark. Picture a straight line running down the side of the egg, from the top center mark to the bottom one; push the needle back out of the egg on that imaginary line, 1/2 inch below the top center mark. Pull the needle all the way out and slide it off the thread.

temari eggs project illustration step two
Step 3

Knot the loose end of the thread, and trim the excess thread below the knot. Tug the long thread at the top of the egg (end still attached to the spool or skein) to pull the knot until it is flush with the side of the egg.

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temari eggs project illustration step three
Step 4

Make a vertical stripe by wrapping the thread tightly around the egg within the guide lines or inside the pins, until the lines and the knot on the side of the egg are covered. As you wrap, hold the thread taut, and lay each band of thread right next to the previous one, taking care not to twist the thread or allow any slack. The thread should feel like it's almost digging into the egg; this will ensure it doesn't slip off. Stop wrapping at the top of the egg. Cut the thread with 2 inches of extra length.

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temari eggs project illustration step four
Step 5

Thread the needle with extra length; push it back into the egg, gently pushing the threads of the stripe aside so you can pull it back out 1/2 inch below the top point, as in step 2. Slide the needle off the thread and tug the thread until it feels secure. Trim the thread flush with the side of the egg, and gently push the threads of the stripe back together. Repeat steps 2 through 5 to make additional vertical stripes.

Step 6

To make a horizontal stripe, find the flattest part of the side of the egg, and draw a pencil mark the same width you used for the vertical stripe. Repeat steps 2 through 5, working horizontally instead.

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