A decorative bowl piled with delicate Easter egg ornaments makes a perfect centerpiece for the holidays or for a springtime display. Drape a mantle or doorway with a string of colorful, glowing egg lights made by hand.
Easy to craft from a variety of paper mache recipes, the finished creations can be fitted with low-watt Christmas tree bulbs for display. Create difference sizes and shapes by varying the molds used to shape the eggs.
- fine-grade paper (type varies)
- paper mache paste (type varies)
- craft-gauge wire OR
- one package small party balloons
- wire cutters (optional)
- newspaper sheet
- petroleum jelly
- Christmas tree lights
Choosing the Molds or Frames for Paper Mache
Small-sized party balloons are the perfect choice for making egg-shaped molds for the ornaments. Inflame them until they reach an oval shape; attempt to fill the balloons as equally as possible to create relatively uniform eggs.
Craft a dimensional oval frame from lightweight craft wire for a more permanent frame (although the wires will show when the eggs are lit). A sheet of wadded newspaper can be used to till the egg frame, leaving one corner protruding for later removal. A small wire loop fashioned slightly larger than the circumference of a Christmas bulb’s plastic socket should be attached and left open at the base of the egg for future use.
Smear the balloon or paper-stuffed wire frame with Vaseline or petroleum jelly before layering the paper mache. Use an empty jar or plastic lid as a stand for balancing the egg while applying and drying the paper mache layers.
Types of Paper Mache Recipes
While paper mache pulp usually produces a smooth finish, many recipes produce a hard shell that minimizes illumination from low-watt bulbs. A simple, traditional paper mache made with colored or white gift tissue or dyed tissue paper instead of newsprint will provide maximum illumination, color, and texture for an artistic finish.
Apply small pieces directly to the surface along with a mixture of craft glue and water (about fifty-fifty) or thin paste made with of flour and water. Apply several layers (at least four), but keep the egg’s “shell” thin enough that light can easily shine through it.
Leave the wire loop for the bulb socket uncovered, so the Christmas light socket will slide into place and the bulb can illuminate the finished egg ornament.
Painting the Paper Mache Eggs
While white paper mache layers are wet, apply a water based paint mixture or watercolor paints directly to the “shell” to add color. Using thin paints or paints mixed equally with water will create a thin layer of color that light easily penetrates. For patterned or colored papers, no adaptation is necessary, since the color, design, and texture will be decorative enough.
Once the paper mache is dry, deflate and remove the balloon. Slide the light inside and add power so the eggs will glow, illuminating the delicate colors and paper layers. Pile the eggs in a bowl for display or string them up as a creative novelty light strand for decoration.