Photo Easter egg
As photography has increased in popularity among hobbies, it seemed only logical to me to place snapshot images on Easter Eggs. Although I tried a similar technique years ago, new technology and products have enabled me to make, what I believe, is a superior egg to those made the first time around.
Materials and Tools:
raw eggs at room temperature
snapshots (see Steps 1 and 2 for details about selection, photocopying, and cutting)
paint, gold leaf and/or paper napkins, etc. for decorating
small paintbrush for applying glue
Decorating the Outside of the Egg
Although selecting the photos is the logical first step, you may find it best to actually decorate the outside of the egg first.
- When covering the egg with paper napkins, use the decorative type. Cut off the border and pull the layers apart. Tear into small pieces and apply to the egg with a generous coating of white glue mixed with water painted on the egg. Brush over the tissue after it has been applied, overlapping all edges so no shell shows through.
With napkins, it is easiest to cover nearly the entire egg before cutting, leaving a small nickel-sized area uncovered on the front. Allow to dry, then cut out the opening, cutting through both the eggshell and the layer of tissue. This method will give you a sharper, cleaner cut edge.
If you will be painting or gold leafing the egg, it is best to cut the hole first, then paint or attach gold leaf. If the cut edge gets too ragged, run a line of hot glue around the opening and, once cool, cover with gold or silver leaf.
- Select photographs to use as subject matter. The images should be small enough to fit inside the egg with extra room at the top. If the selected images are too large, use a scanner or a local copy shop to reduce them to size. If you use original photos, they will be sturdy enough to stand by themselves in the egg. If a photocopy is used, it is best to either laminate the picture or glue it to an index card for more body, then cut out the image.
- The background inside the egg can be painted, left white, or covered with another photo. If another photo is used, a photocopy will work without further backing. The picture itself should be a relatively uncluttered image such as a beach, a road, a house, etc.
- Using cuticle scissors with blades closed, poke a small hole in one side of the egg, then open the scissors and cut an opening. If you follow the outline of the egg itself, there will be no need to draw guidelines to follow. The opening should be large enough to easily accommodate the photos inside, but small enough so that there is still the illusion of looking inside of something.
- Thoroughly rinse out the inside of the egg with running water. If you will be painting the inside of the egg rather than covering it with a picture, remove the membrane so it will not flake out later.
Family pet pictures make great photo eggs, too.
Place the egg, opening side down, on a piece of paper. Draw a line around the egg about 3/4 inches away from the egg itself. Cut this out. Draw a second oval inside the first about 3/4 inches from the outer edge. Cut many slashes from the outer edge to the drawn oval. Push it into the egg. It should fit reasonably well with most of the inside of the egg covered. Any protruding paper can be snipped off. This will be your pattern. Place the pattern on the background photo, trace around and cut it out. Slash around the outer edge and push it into the egg. It should hold snugly without any gluing. Cut the selected image and fit it into the egg. It should look as though it is on the "ground" and not floating in the "air." Experiment to see where the image looks the best. It will give the illusion of more dimension if it is not placed too far to the back. When the placement is determined, glue the image into position using a small folded strip of cardboard glued or taped to the back of the picture, as well as to the inside back wall of the egg. Optional: If "grass" is desired, cut many tiny pieces of green tissue paper and place them in the egg. Make a small stand for the egg with a ring of cardboard, or create a holder by stacking several small cabon rings.