Masking Tape Eggs

These Easter eggs are a great project to attempt with your children.

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This one is fun to do whether you are working alone or with the youngsters. The only difference is when I did this with my kids, I used food coloring for the dye; but if this is to be an "adults only" project, then using the real dyes that you can get at the art supply store will give you deeper and more dramatic colors. Experiment first with the easy to obtain food coloring and then decide.

Materials and Tools:

hard-boiled eggs
craft cutting board or kitchen cutting board
masking tape
sharp craft knife
food coloring or egg dye, prepared in cups
several small pieces of cardboard (about 4" x 5")
push pins
paper towels
spoon
polyurethane and plastic or rubber gloves (optional)

Steps:

1. Prepare the eggs by boiling them. Allow to cool and dry before proceeding. Also have the dye prepared when you begin.

2. Meanwhile, you can make stands to hold the dyed eggs while they dry. Push three of the push pins through a piece of the cardboard. They should form a small triangle. Place a plain egg on them to see if it holds securely. If not, rearrange the pins until they do the job.

3. Cut many lengths of masking tape 10" or 12" or so long and press to a craft cutting board or your kitchen cutting board.

4. Cut the tape into many narrower strips using a craft knife. You can cut straight strips or curvy strips; you can bring them to a point at each end or leave them blunt cut. There is very little that you can do that would be wrong. It is best however to keep them rather narrow - no wider than 1/4" at the most.

5. It is a good idea to start with just a two-color scheme. Apply a strip of the tape to the white egg, pressing it as smoothly as possible to the egg. When one strip comes to an end, start with another. And another ...

6. After several strips have been applied, place the egg into the dye. When it is dyed to your satisfaction, remove it, gently tap with a piece of paper towel to remove any drops of dye, and place on the tacks to dry.

 7. When the egg is completely dry, carefully remove the tape one strip at a time.

8. Should you desire to make the egg shine, put on a pair of plastic gloves. Dip your finger into the polyurethane and touch it to the palm of the other gloved hand. Spread it around; then gently but firmly roll the egg around in your hands until it is completely covered with the polyurethane. Place on pins to dry. Add a second coat if desired.

Note: Once you have tried this simple two-color egg, you can change it by dyeing the egg a light color first, then add the tape and then dye in a darker color. For multicolored eggs: Tape, dye, add more tape, dye a slightly darker color, add more tape, dye a slightly darker color, etc. Always allow the egg to dry before adding more tape and another color. Continue as with the basic two-color egg.

When using food coloring for the dyeing and polyurethane for shine, be certain not to use the water-based polyurethane. It makes the food colors run.

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