How to Make Large Papier-Mache Eggs

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Make large eggs from papier-mache by using basic balloons as the egg forms. Read the balloon packaging to ensure the balloons inflate to a size -- and shape -- suitable for your project. Balloon packages sold at party stores often list the average diameter of the balloons, so you know in advance what to expect. Regular school glue and water can be used to make the papier-mache paste.

Making the Paste

Mix equal parts white school glue and water in a container such as a margarine tub or plastic soup container with a lid. The lid isn't necessary, but it allows you to save the paste for future use instead of mixing a new batch for every papier-mache layer you add to the eggs.

Preparing the Paper

Papier-mache requires a lot of scrap paper, such as outdated flyers, newspaper ad pages, or even pages from old phone books. Thin paper that absorbs liquid works better than thick glossy paper such as magazine covers. Clean paper towels may also be used, but it's best to stick with one type of paper per layer, or the finished eggs may be sturdy in some areas and flimsy in others. Tear the paper into strips approximately 2 inches wide and 4 to 6 inches long; they do not have to match each other.

Making the Eggs

Step 1: Inflate the Balloons

Inflate oval balloons to the desired size, tying them to seal them. Inflate one balloon per egg.

Step 2: Cover the Work Surface

Protect your work surface by covering it with an old plastic tablecloth or tarp. If you don't have either, wax paper may be used.

Step 3: Steady the Balloons

Set each balloon atop its own shallow bowl atop the work area with the balloon knot facing down into the bowl. Use disposable bowls or bowls that are not used for food purposes.

Step 4: Applying the Paper

Dip one strip of paper into a bowl of the papier-mache paste while wearing rubber gloves. Run the strip between your finger and thumb to release some of the excess paste; then smooth the strip atop the balloon.

Step 5: Apply More Paper

Dip a second strip into the paste, removing excess paste and layering the paper so it overlaps the first strip slightly. Continue covering the balloon with strips of overlapping paper, rotating the balloon as needed, until all but the knotted area is covered with papier-mache. Allow the balloon to dry for several hours or overnight.

Step 6: Add a Second Layer

Repeat the papier-mache process with a fresh layer of paste-coated paper strips, allowing it to dry as well. Once it is dry, press each egg gently -- if it caves easily, you may wish to add another layer of papier-mache. If it feels as sturdy as you want it to, the papering process is nearly complete.

Step 7: Closing the Hole

Pop the balloons with a needle. Fill the eggs with non-perishable candies or small toys, if you like, or simply seal the hole with more strips of papier-mache. Cover the hole area with the same number of layers of papier-mache used on the rest of the egg if you do not want the egg to have a soft spot. Allow the papier-mache to dry once again.

Decorating the Eggs

Decorate each egg with layers of tissue paper, or paint them with acrylic craft paints. If using tissue paper, select paper that does not bleed color. Apply a thin layer of the papier-mache paste to the hard egg; then smooth the tissue paper over it with your hands. An artist's brush dipped into the paste helps seal loose edges. Create bands of color with different hues of tissue paper or paint.

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