Traditional egg decorating with dyes is fine, but if you are looking to add more intricate designs to your eggs, decoupage is for you. Decoupage is a centuries-old art form that involves gluing paper to objects. It's surprisingly easy, and less messy than using dyes. Best of all, you can decorate your eggs with any design you wish. Add some trim and embellishments, and your eggs even take on an heirloom quality.
What You'll Need
To create decoupage eggs, you will need some hollowed out egg shells, designs output on a laser printer, decoupage glue like Mod Podge, a paint brush, ribbon, and an assortment of trim and embellishments, like sequins, cording, beads and tassels. Be sure your designs are printed on a laser printer rather than an inkjet printer so the ink does not run.
Hollowing Out an Egg - Part 1
Using hollow eggs allows you to keep the eggs forever. They are also very lightweight, so you can hang them on trees or in wreaths. The process to hollow an egg is simple. Keep the egg in its cardboard crate, which makes a handy work surface. Start by placing a piece of masking tape at the top of the egg; the tape helps prevent the egg from cracking too much when you punch a hole in it. Take a long pin and pierce a hole at the top of the egg, right through the masking tape. If you have trouble pushing it through the shell, tap the pin lightly with a hammer. Make about five holes in the same spot to weaken the shell.
Hollowing Out an Egg - Part 2
With the egg still sitting in the carton, slide a wooden skewer through the pin holes, and keep going until the skewer comes out the bottom of the egg.
Hollowing Out an Egg - Part 3
Place a straw on one of the holes and blow the yolk out the other end. If the straw goes through the hole and into the egg, you will be blowing bubbles into the egg rather than pushing out the contents. Keep the straw at the surface, and the yolk and egg whites will come out easily when blowing. When the egg is hollow, rinse well and let dry.
Preparing Images for Decoupage
Decoupaging an egg might appear to be difficult because of the curved surface, but it is actually easy with two important tricks: First, cut slits in the images about every quarter inch. The slits allow you to contour the image around the curves. (In the image, you will see that I also punched a hole in the middle of the circle. This accommodates the hole that was punched in the egg.) Secondly, soak the trimmed image in some tap water for a few seconds. The water relaxes the paper and helps it lay flat on the surface of the egg.
Gluing the Paper to the Egg
Apply a thin layer of decoupage glue to the egg, and place the wet paper on the egg. As you smooth out the paper with your fingers, you will notice that the slits overlap as they follow the contours of the egg. Gently blot the excess moisture and glue with a paper towel.
Continue Adding Papers
While the top and bottom of the egg are covered with circles, the middle sections should be decorated with rectangular pieces of paper. Again, cut slits in the paper and soak it in water. Apply some more decoupage glue to the egg, and position the wet paper on the egg. Continue in sections until the entire egg is covered with paper. If you find that there are gaps, don't worry. We can cover those up with embellishments later.
Seal the Egg
Apply a layer of decoupage glue over the entire surface of the egg. Use the skewer to hold the egg upright while applying the glue. Let the glue dry. You will know it's ready when the glue is clear and not sticky to the touch.
Embellish the Egg
Adding decorative details like cording and sequins not only makes the egg more beautiful, it helps to cover any gaps in your images. To thread a ribbon through the egg, place the pointy end of the skewer on the ribbon and push it through the holes of the egg.
Add Beads and Tassels
Slide beads and tassels through the ribbon to give the eggs a "tail." See what you have handy around the house – pendants, buttons, and charms all work well.
Display Them All Year Long
While these decoupage eggs are technically made for Easter, they make perfect decorations throughout the year. For a unique gift, you can also decoupage eggs with photos of friends, family members or pets.