A month or so ago, I was at a craft fair and was drooling over some gorgeous papier mache type Easter eggs. They were so tactile, fragile and delicate, full of texture and patterns. But at nearly £9 each, way beyond my budget for seasonal decorations!
I've been pondering how they were made, and recently saw some polystyrene eggs in my craft shop for pennies. I bought a selection of different sizes, and thought I'd try out some different methods.
Now, I'm no artist (I am however, queen of stating the bleedin' obvious!) so I had no real idea how different materials would work.
I had great fun playing though, and experimenting with different effects and techniques. Some I simply criss-crossed with embroidery thread dipped in PVA. Others I 'papier-mached' with tissue paper. Some I wrapped with lace and painted over with glue, and others I used both tissue paper and cut-outs of lace.
All of them I then painted with artists acrylic paint. I wanted a lime green colour to match the decor in our living room - and the handmade bowl made many moons ago at pottery class.
Whilst the colour was great, the finish was very matt and dull. So I decided to varnish them. This was very time consuming - being egg shaped, you can't paint the whole thing in one go - they have to have something to stand on to dry. Two coats of paint and one of varnish, doing each egg half at a time took several evenings. In hindsight, the ones I covered with tissue paper looked great as they were with no paint, so if you want to have a go, find your desired colour of tissue paper first and save a whole lot of aggro! Also, the ones which had bare polystyrene reacted with the varnish. It sort of 'ate' into it, leaving an unexpected (and unwanted!) honeycomb effect.
When they were all finally dry, I rolled them over a gold ink stamp pad to highlight the raised areas. This worked really nicely - particularly on the lace ones.
Now I've had a play, and know what works well I shall be looking out for other polystyrene shapes. Spheres could be used to great effect for Christmas baubles, and as they are so light, you can simply pin on a ribbon loop for hanging.
Despite the disasters, I quite like the finished effect - kind of dinosaur-eggy - or, as my other half said of the tissue paper ones - "oh they look like wrinkly old testicles"!! I'll leave you with that mental image, but hey fellas, perhaps adding some gilded highlights to your assets might make them more appealing to your lady-folk...?
I'm liking up with White Lily Green's Handmade Thursday - head on over there to see what 'proper' crafters have been making...