Monday, March 30, 2015

Get dirty for Easter!


Every now and then, I actually create one of the zillions of things I've pinned on Pinterest. These pretty Easter eggs were one of them. After I posted a picture of them on Facebook the masses (two people) demanded that I show how they were done, especially after I explained that they were really easy.
I should also have explained that they were cheap and extremely messy.

Seriously, if you don't like sticky things on your hands, skip this craft.

SUPPLIES


You will need:
  • A washable plastic or glass tray to rest your sticky eggs on
  • One dozen eggs (I used plastic craft eggs, available at Walmart for $2), because I'm klutzy and did not want to clean up egg yolk.
  • Mod Podge (or your favourite gluey substance that doesn't dry too quickly)
  • Three luncheon-sized napkins (6.5" x 6.5")
  • Scissors
  • A cheap paint brush (though the ModPodge jar stipulates a bristle brush)
  • A plastic, washable work surface as shown below
I found this at IKEA as a set of three funky liners to put under a cake on a cake stand.
The hardest thing to find were the napkins. Mostly because I wanted to get them really cheap, like dollar store or Walmart, but all they had were solid-coloured or kids' birthday party style and I had a particular vision of what I wanted.

I finally found the ones I bought at a boutique-y pastry shop at the mall. My next stop would have been Hallmark. 

INSTRUCTIONS

When I looked back at the pin I'd found, I realized that the instructions were in Japanese, but it wasn't too hard to figure it out based on the comment, "DIY Easter eggs with paper napkins."

1. The first step is to prepare your materials.

Just as a good chef has her food prep done before she actually starts cooking, making crafts goes much more smoothly (with fewer surprises) when things are set up right.  

Start with the napkins. Trim the embossed edging off of the sides of the napkins.

That crimping is what holds the two plies together.


You will be left with a square about 4" x 4"
Don't worry about being precise. The smaller square will be just right for wrapping one egg. 

Separate the two plies of paper (you will only be using the printed one).

Discard (and recycle) the unprinted layer, but keep the printed leftovers.
Fold out each napkin and cut it into four equal squares. You should end up with 12 squares.

The kit of eggs that I bought had little cardboard rings which proved quite handy for keeping the eggs from rolling around willy-nilly. I highly recommend them.

This is what your set-up should look like. More or less. 

Each of the prepared squares of paper should be laid out individually so you can just tap one with a sticky finger.
Sort of. I actually pushed the large tray to the centre of the table and used the plastic work surface right in front of me. So, turn this picture vertical to see what I mean.

2. Get dirty!

One of my favourite parts of making something -- anything -- is getting dirty!
There's something about getting your hands right in there -- into the pastry dough, into the glue, into the fresh earth -- that feels good and honest.

This craft is about to make you feel very good and very honest.

Brush one egg liberally with goop Mod Podge. 


After a couple of eggs, you'll get a good feel for how much to use. 

This is about the right amount.
The egg should be slippery, not tacky. Don't worry about being pretty. 

Your next step is to use your hands to rub that glue all over the egg, working fairly quickly.

It was only after I got the glue on my hands that I realized
I would not be able to photograph this myself.
Lay your egg (bawk-bawk-BAWK!) in the middle of the square, aligning it on the diagonal.


Pinch the corners together sloppily. 

Yes, I said sloppily. You won't have a lot of time to work with the napkin before it starts falling apart, so just kind of smush it to cover the bald spots. (The first time I did this craft I was fussy about making nicely mitered folds. It was pointless.)

My first egg: the glue started to dry before I had the paper down. It was easily salvaged, as you'll see.
If it starts to get tacky, you can paint on more glue. 


As long as it is slippery, you can roll the paper against the egg. 

CAREFUL, however. The paper does begin to break down and you can end up with "flyaways" or tears.

Oops.
If this starts happening, stop handling the egg immediately. You will fix it later. Toddlers may find this really frustrating, so if you know your child will be upset by this kind of thing, move on to another craft.

If I'd thought this photo through, I would have put the first one on the left. 
After a couple of eggs, you will get a really good feel for how much Mod Podge to use and how long you can "work" the egg before the paper starts to tear. 

The first time I did this craft, I think I stopped between each egg to wash my hands. This time, I accepted that I was going to get dirty. It helped a lot that I had prepared the napkins ahead of time. 

The next step is to patch any bald spots. 

You can see the patch I used on the brown-yellow egg on the right. 
Using the clipped leftovers from the napkins, cut small pieces of similarly-coloured paper to fill in any gaps. 

Apply a second generous coat of Mod Podge to each egg, using your hand to roll and smooth the paper against the egg. Any of the sticky-uppy bits will soften and stick to the egg. (You may have to daub a little Mod Podge under the paper.)

Allow the eggs to dry at least half an hour before trying to move them. They may need a few touch-ups if the paper tears while they are being moved. 

And that's it! 

Spanish moss or plastic "grass" -- whatever matches the style of your napkins and your decor.
Nothing left to do but enjoy all the prettiness!


There are lots of possibilities. Imagine using this the chevron band on this napkin to detail the eggs!


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