Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Egg Luminaries

These ostrich-sized Easter egg luminaries were lots of fun to make!  I had most of the materials already on-hand so they were also budget friendly.  (We love budget friendly projects!)

I hope you'll try them, too!

Battery Operated Tea Lights
Water Balloons
Fabric Starch
Paint Brushes
Tissue Paper
Long Handled Tea Spoon
Clear Spray Paint

How to:
~Blow up a water balloon until it looks like a good egg shape. (That's 'inflate', not 'explode'.)

~Find the bottom center and trace a circle with a marker.  This is where your tea light will sit, so you'll want to leave it open.  We used a toilet paper core since it was a little larger than our tea lights.

~Use your paint brush to spread some fabric starch onto your balloon and then add a layer of tissue.  We just tore random pieces of various colors and stuck them on as we saw fit.  The fabric starch is very thin, so plan for a little dripping.  We also found it helpful to use a wide mouth drinking glass as a stand for our balloon egg, keeping our hands free.  Brush over each piece of tissue to make sure it's fully saturated.  Continue until balloon is covered with one to two layers of tissue.  Leave a little room around the tied end of balloon.  Don't forget, the bottom circle should be free of tissue, too.

~Let dry completely.  We clipped ours to a wire shelf with binder clips.  It was a warm, sunshiny day with a bit of a breeze, so they dried quickly.  (Note:  The temperature will affect the air in the balloons.  Keep them in the shade if it's really warm since it will cause the balloon to expand.)

~Once they're dry, pop the balloon and pull it out.  You're egg will completely collapse and crumple.  Try not to cry.  It'll be okay.  Use a long handled tea spoon to gently reshape the egg from the inside.  I wish I had a photo for you, but this is our first time to make such a thin-walled paper mache object and when our eggs completely imploded, it was, um...surprising.  Not in a good way.  :)  I was too busy reassuring the kiddo (and myself) to snap a photo.

~Patch over top hole (where the balloon knot was) and let dry.  Leave the large hole at the bottom open.

~Seal the egg with clear spray paint.  This will make the paper more translucent and help it hold it's shape.  I inserted the spoon to help me hold and turn the egg for this.  Let dry completely.

~Turn on and set out tea lights, then place eggs over each one.  Done!

The tea lights I have are not very bright and have a yellow tint to them, so I might go on a hunt for a brighter, white light version or I may dig for a string of Christmas lights to brighten them up, but for now the tea lights work just fine.

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