So this isn’t really something I do everyday, but it’s a craft my mom used to do with me when I was a kid, and Henry’s been bugging me to show him what to do ever since we brought out our wee Christmas centerpiece:
Only the red egg is a real eggshell; the other is wooden.
After I bought the beautiful red, white and gold egg in Prague at my friend Camille’s wedding, I wanted more, so I asked her to bring me some the next time she was there. She brought me these gorgeous eggs, done up not in paint, but wire:
The craftsmanship on these is simply astonishing. That they survived the journey to me by mail is even more amazing!
When I was a little girl, my mother and I would blow eggs occasionally and paint them as an Easter craft, but I saw no reason to restrict us to spring for this one. So today, we blew eggs!
It takes some finesse, but it’s not particularly hard once you get the hang of it.
- 1 dozen white eggs (larger is better)
- dish soap
- 1 tapestry needle
- 1 spoon
- paper towels
- markers (waterproof like Sharpie would be better than what we used)
Here’s what you do: First, thoroughly wash and dry each egg. Salmonella and e-coli lurk on egg shells, so you want them to be really clean. Next, using the tapestry needle and the spoon, hammer the tip of the needle into the “bottom” of the egg, making two small holes right next to each other. The shell may crack a bit, but that’s okay. Then enlarge these to be a single hole:
I like to then use the tapestry needle to break up the yolk inside the egg, so it will be easier to blow out. You can make a smaller hole, but it gets harder to blow the inside of the egg out through the hole if it’s small, and these were definitely fun for the kids to “help” with, so I made the holes fairly substantial.
On the top of the egg, make a single small hole. That’s all you’ll need. If you want to hang these up, later, you can make a hole the size of the one on the bottom to string ribbon or thread through. They make nice Christmas ornaments or “Easter tree” decorations, but I like to just group them in a bowl.
Now, putting your mouth on the top of the egg, blow the insides out through the hole in the bottom. Then rinse the insides out with water (blowing all of that out, too), and sit them in their cardboard egg box to dry for several hours. Once you get the hang of it, you can empty out a dozen eggs in less than 20 minutes.
That’s it! They can now be painted or drawn on, and are surprisingly sturdy, if kids are careful. Sitting them on paper towels to keep them from rolling off the table (and to catch any drops of water still in them) makes things easier. I like to hold mine top and bottom between my left thumb and forefinger, and rotate the egg as I decorate it. Patterns, pictures, whatever works.
These keep indefinitely, so if you don’t decorate all of them this time, you can save them to whip out on a rainy day another time.
Tons of quick fun, and pretty to boot. Of course, dying them first makes them even prettier, but less of a blank canvas. Brown eggs are also not quite as much fun to work with, but can be used. I suppose other eggs would also work, but have never tried them. Some shells are surprisingly hard to break!