How to Decorate Ostrich Eggs

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Ostriches lay the largest eggs of any bird in the world, and as relatives of dinosaurs, their eggs are very hard and tough. The porcelain-like shell is the perfect medium for a variety of decorative art projects, and many people make a living by painting beautiful images onto the shells for display in a curio or on a shelf. Regardless of your skill in painting, decorating an ostrich egg is a fun, funky kind of project that anyone might enjoy. At nearly three pounds each, these eggs offer the opportunity to create an art piece with a large impact.

Things You'll Need

  • Ostrich egg
  • Sharp nail
  • Hammer
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Surface preparation product (Gesso)
  • Paint
  • Wax pencil
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue
  • 3D accents

Preparing the egg

  • Use the nail to score a circle 1 inch in diameter on the tip of the egg. Gently tap the nail through the scored area with the hammer, chipping away small pieces until you have a quarter-sized hole.

  • Drain the egg from the shell.

  • Rinse the inside of the shell with bleach and water to disinfect the surface. Wash the outside of the shell to remove natural oils.

  • Paint a surface preparation product, like Gesso, on the entire area you wish to paint. This allows the paint to adhere to the shell.

Decorate the egg

  • Design your artwork, using a wax pencil to make any temporary marks you need as you plan.

  • Paint the scene or image onto the egg. Allow to dry completely.

  • Coat the painted area in polyurethane to preserve and protect your painted image.

  • Prop up on soft cloths and allow the polyurethane to dry completely.

  • Add any accents you desire (stones, ribbon, moss, beads) to the egg using glue.

Tips & Warnings

  • Reserve the egg when you drain the shell. Ostrich eggs taste a lot like chicken eggs and can be substituted in any recipe. Use 1/4 cup of ostrich egg for each chicken egg that is called for in the recipe.
  • If you don't want to take the time to clean the ostrich egg, you can find many online stores that offer clean, empty eggs for sale.

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