It seems like YESTERDAY we were preparing for our 2016 Easter in the Woods collaborative shoot with Lenzo, featuring our Milk Bar cubby and goodies from a slew of other traders. Just in time for this year’s long weekend, we thought we’d give you a DIY tutorial so you can make your own whimsical papier mache eggs to liven up your Easter table setting. It’s also a fun school/kinder holiday project for kids who like to get their hands goopy. Plus, any excuse to revisit these gorgeous set shots by Nikole Ramsay, really.
YOU WILL NEED:
Water balloons – these give the best size and shape (regular balloons stay round unless you blow ’em up BIG, which you can of course do if you want a mix of sizes).
Flour, water, and a saucepan
Paint – your chosen colours plus white
Silver spray paint
Masking tape, scissors, pegs, and string.
Blow up your balloons and tie string loops around the tops. Set up a ‘drying’ line of string and use pegs to hang the balloons – you’ll want to set this up in a spot that you can use for a couple of days worth of drying time. And trust me, you want to set this part up before you get your hands all gluey!
Shred up lots of newspaper into pieces – the tearing part is important as this helps the mache blend together (using scissors won’t work). Take a few tablespoons of plain flour and a cup or so of water and bring to the boil on the stovetop, stirring til smooth. Add more water if you need, you don’t want it too thick or thin (think pouring cream consistency). You can skip the boiling part, however your glue won’t dry as rock hard – you could probably *build a house with bricks and boiled flour/water glue, it’s that good.
*disclaimer, please don’t build a house with flour and water
Take a balloon and start layering gluey pieces of paper to cover the entire surface. You’ll be doing three layers, so don’t go overboard – so long as the whole balloon is covered you’re good.
Be sure to carefully arrange your paper around the balloon knot, to make it easier to remove it later on.
Hang those puppies up to dry! Overnight is best, but as soon as they are dry and hard, you can do your next layers. Three layers is best, but you can always do more, especially if you want them to be sturdier so the kids can play with them for longer. You don’t need to make fresh glue each time, just cover it and add a little more water if it’s thickened too much.
Once your eggs are completed, spray the bottom half with silver or gold spray paint. It’s better to do two thin layers than one thick, so go easy. Hang them and let them dry thoroughly.
This is the really satisfying part. Gently stretch the balloon knot out and snip a small hole (don’t cut the entire end off, you want to be able to pull the remnants out). You’ll hear the balloon slowly crackle away from the papier mache inside (this is a great step to do with the kids, they’ll love putting the ends up to their ears to listen). Full marks if you can pull the entire deflated balloon out the end, although it’s okay if you lose some inside.
Instead of faffing about with more papier mache (since you’ve probably long washed out the pan), cover the end holes with torn pieces of masking tape.
You can now paint the egg tops! Start by working your way around the centre of the egg and creating your ‘boundary’ line. It doesn’t have to straight, in fact all our eggs were diagonally painted.
Sit to dry in a mug. You may need to paint several layers to completely cover the newspaper showing through – we used Haymes paint and found two layers was spot on.
Finally, you can paint your spots, or whatever design you like! Irregular sizes and shapes, and random placement looks best, and is also the easiest fix for those brush-stroke mishaps.
Check out these table-setting shots from last year, featuring cakes and sweets from LaManna Patisserie, partyware from Born to Party, straws from Sippah, and table trinkets from The Woodsfolk. Inspired much?!