These papier-mache Easter eggs are an “iceberg” thing to make – there is a great deal hidden below the surface of the metaphorical water.
I knew that the process that went into making these was not going to be easy to explain, so I made a short list to begin with.
It looked like this –
- Look at a full-size cardboard egg
- Make a miniature egg that is the “right shape” (Milliput)
- I need more than one egg!
- Cast more eggs from this shape (mould making and casting – Polycraft and Alumilite)
- Make bases for the cast eggs to sit on (mould making –
- Make the papier-mache eggs on these moulds (papier-mache)
Then I began to think about all the things that I had not said, for example –
Please note –
- All of the products that I used for mould making and casting can be substituted by others
- The mould making processes and casting materials that I used for these eggs will not be suitable for everything
- There are different sorts of mould making materials, which cure to different sorts of hardness and flexibility (shore)
- If you are considering casting you must take into account what you want to cast and choose the mould / material to suit it
- I approach CASTING as though it is a SCIENTIFIC PROCESS and I DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THE INSTRUCTIONS on the packet / bottle / tub
Then I started to consider all the things that I could not show easily in a photograph, for example,
- I can’t make a poured silicone mould, or cast resin, and hold a camera at the same time.
- I use the lowest odour casting materials that I can find, but I still think they stink and so I only use them out-of-doors – and at the moment we are knee-deep in (unseasonable) snow.
- I was hoping that the weather would clear up, so that I could, at the very least, make some proper poured silicone bases for the eggs, but it hasn’t and I had to cheat.
Due to this, what follows is very far from perfect.
If you are interested in casting things for yourself, you might find it helpful to look at the following videos from YouTube for background information.
The first video shows exactly what I do when I make a mould – I don’t skimp, I am utterly painstaking, it is a hypnotically dull process. It works.
The second video is in two parts, and is not so dull. This person knows what he’s doing but he does not mention fumes once!
What I could not find on YouTube was a good example of casting a sphere.
Essentially, what you do is place the object in the centre of the mould and create feed lines – one for the casting material to enter the mould and another for air to escape from the mould.
Like this –
Printing on tissue paper –
I stick my tissue paper to a piece of photocopy paper with glue – a very little bit of glue all round the edge. It has to dry completely before it goes through my printer. I don’t use it all at once and it stores better this way.
A “professional” print from my print shop –
I have an arrangement with my local printers. I supply them with 600 ppi, colour-separated, tiff files and they print my images onto a paper of my choice, using their exceedingly expensive, ink-jet printer. I pay them money to do this and they don’t laugh at my small pages crammed full of odd things. In fact, we enjoy surprising each other.
They had a roll of their own 80 gsm HP plotter paper and they printed a strip of Easter scraps on to it for me. I was very pleased with the results and held my breath when I made the paper wet with glue – the ink did not run.
I had a quick look for an on-line definition of “papier-mache” and the recipes vary widely.
I think all that I can say is that I use the method and materials that work for me.
The eggs that I make in the slideshow are slightly smaller than the ones that I photographed before.
I have longed to make smaller ones, but have been thwarted by a lack of the “right sort of” paper. (It is astonishing how thick and unwieldy “thin” paper gets at this size.)
The plotter paper has allowed me experiment and has, I think, has produced a superb result.
Many, many, many thanks again to Sharon for mentioning it.
Press the Esc key on your keyboard to escape from the slideshow at any time.
I am fairly certain that commercially made cardboard eggs were never made by this layered paper process !
For one thing, I have tried my layered paper method full-size and it works (with many, many more layers) but the drying time involved is ENDLESS…
If you are looking for full size eggs to decorate, they are still available from a few places – the quality and price varies.
I have found the following on-line suppliers, but I have not bought eggs from them in real-life.
32 Degrees North had some (full-size) decorated eggs too. I have not seen these in real-life for years and years and years.
I am very pleased that they are still made somewhere.