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Welcome spring with a sweet Easter decoration for your door!

Easter decoration photo
(click here for a larger
Easter Decoration craft image)
Here is an Easter decoration that hearkens back to the elaborate chocolate eggs of the past. It is all here - the glossy chocolate orb, pastel sugar flowers, piped white Royal icing, and a vintage image of a bunny with the message "Bright Be Your Easter!"

But, a real chocolate egg would be a little messy to tack on your front door. Our oversized imitation egg is paper machè and paint, with polymer clay flowers and white bathtub caulk icing!

This Easter decoration craft is a VintageImageCraft exclusive. We came up with the idea while reflecting on some gingerbread house ornaments we made years ago, iced with bathtub caulk. It's weird, but it's weatherproof.

The FREE Vintage Image Download is from an antique post card that's inscribed "From Jennie, April 19, 1908." We think it's perfect as the centerpiece of an Easter decoration that's as fancy as a Victorian confection!

Materials for this Easter Decoration

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage Image (FREE PDF download).
  • Balloon, large and round (see Tips).
  • Waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers (like Lazertran Inkjet).
  • Scrap newspaper or newsprint.
  • Cardboard like chipboard or tagboard, about 12" X 18".
  • Polymer clay, pastel pink, lavender and blue, and bright yellow.
  • Liquid starch (or your preferred paper machè glue).
  • Bathtub caulk in a tube, white.
  • White gesso, or white primer paint.
  • Craft paint, dark chocolate brown.
  • Spray paint, any color.
  • Varnish, water-based or oil-based, liquid or spray.
  • Tacky craft glue (like Alene's).
  • Four paper lace doilies, 6" round.
  • Ribbon, 1", wired, sheer pink, about 2 yards.
  • Cake decorating tips for applying decorative icing (see Tips).
  • A glazed tile as a work surface for the polymer clay.
  • Paint brushes (foam disposables are good).
  • Sand paper, fine.
  • String.
  • Paper clip.
  • Large rubber band.
  • Straight pins or quilter's pins.
  • White pencil or tailor's chalk.
  • Craft knife.
  • Hole punch (1/4" hole).
  • Scissors or paper cutter.

Instructions

  1. Easter decoration, step 1Blow up the balloon and knot the end. Tie a few feet of string to the balloon knot and tie a paper clip hook to the other end so you can hang the balloon up to dry. Cover the balloon with a single layer of paper machè (instructions) and let it dry. Lightly sand the paper machè to remove bumps and wrinkles. Apply a light coat of spray paint to tint the paper machè. This will help you recognize the first layer of paper when you apply the second layer.

  2. Easter decoration, step 2Apply two more layers of paper machè, sanding and spray painting lightly between the second and third layers. Hang it up to dry thoroughly. Lightly sand the final layer. (See how easy it is to add a uniform layer when the prior layer is spray painted red?)

  3. Easter decoration, step 3Stretch the rubber band around the length of the balloon, until you have created an egg-shaped section. Secure the rubber band with pins (you'll pop the balloon!). Use a marker to draw a line entirely around the section. With a craft knife, cut around this line (see Tips).
  4. Apply craft glue around the cut edge of the egg. Press it down on the center of the flat cardboard backing, applying a little weight until the glue dries.

  5. Easter decoration, step 4With scissors or a craft knife, cut the cardboard backing around the egg, leaving about a 1/2" rim.
  6. Brush on a coat of gesso (or white primer paint) over the egg and cardboard backing. Gesso takes a full day to dry, so this is a good time to work on the clay flowers!

  7. Easter decoration, step 5Form 12 sets of 4 pea-sized balls of pastel colored polymer clay (48 balls), and 12 of the bright yellow. On a glazed tile, position the yellow ball surrounded by four pastel balls to form a flower center and petals. With your finger, press the four petals flat (about 1/8"), being sure the edges of the petals and the center are tightly joined. Bake the flowers in the oven according to the clay manufacturer's instruction - usually 275° for 15 minutes or so. Remove the tiles from the oven and let them cool completely. Gently pull the flowers off of the tile.
  8. Easter decoration, step 6Print the vintage image on the waterslide decal paper. Let the ink dry for 30 minutes. Trim the image to size. Follow the manufacturers instructions for applying the decal to the center of the egg. Let it dry (see Tips).

  9. Easter decoration, step 7Paint the egg with two coats of brown craft paint, letting it dry completely between coats. Leave a 1/6" allowance around the vintage image. When the paint is dry, apply two coats of varnish to the entire egg.

  10. Easter decoration, step 8Trim the borders of the four paper lace doilies into eight rounded sections to fit around the egg. Apply glue to the 1/2" exposed cardboard backing and glue the doilies evenly around the egg. Let them dry. With the hole punch, punch two holes, centered at the top of the egg about 1 1/2" apart, through the cardboard and lace.


  11. Easter decoration, step 10Time to add the icing! Lightly mark the vertical lines with white pencil or chalk, to help you apply the caulk in straight lines. Put the cake decorating tip on the tube of bathtub caulk (see Tips). We used a "star" shaped tip. Just like decorating a cake, apply the caulk in a line with a series of small pumping squeezes. First - practice on some scrap cardboard until you are comfortable. Begin with the oval around the vintage image. Second, caulk around the base of the egg on the doilies. Third, apply the vertical lines from the image down to the base.
  12. While the caulk is wet, press the clay flowers into the caulk where the vertical lines meet the image oval and again at the base. if you want to add more flowers (we placed four more around the base in between the other four), just squirt a little caulk and press on the flower. Let the caulk dry overnight.
  13. Thread a hanging ribbon through the two punched holes from the front and tie the ends into a small bow for hanging. Tie a large bow with long tails, and tie it to the ribbon between the holes. Arrange the tails down the sides of the egg.
  14. Hang your chocolate egg "of huge proportions" on your door and add a small "No Tasting" sign.

Tips

  • Choosing the right balloon is important. Ours was a Hallmark product, labeled "11 inch diameter, helium quality" which means it is pretty tough plastic.
  • Easter decoration, step 9 We purchased the CakeMate® cake decorating tips in the icing section of our grocery store. They are plastic, inexpensive, and meant to be used with tubes of icing, but they also work with tubes of bathtub caulk. There were four tips for different designs, and we chose the Star tip.
  • There are a million kinds of bathtub caulk. For this project, look for white "adhesive caulk" in a plastic tube. To affix the cake decorating tip to the tube, slice of the nozzle of the tube to a diameter of about 3/8". Stick on the decorating tip. If it doesn't fit tightly, slice off a faction of the tube and try again. When the tip fits snugly, secure it to the nozzle with a strip of masking tape.
  • Slicing off a nice, egg-shaped section of the paper machè orb is tricky. It is important that the cut side forms a flat plane, so it can be glued to a cardboard backing. That's why we have this trick with the rubber band. You'll be able to see easily if the band is stretched straight around the balloon before you mark your cutting line.
  • There are several brands of waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers. We used the granddaddy, Lazertran Inkjet. Whichever brand you use, follow the instructions carefully, especially concerning how to set the paper and inking configuration on your printer. Here are a few tips for this project: (1) Use warm water. This relaxes the decal film a bit so it will drape better on the curved surface of the egg. (2) Gently press the decal to the surface of the egg, smoothing out the excess water and wrinkles with a tissue. Don't rub or you may damage the image. (3) On a curved surface, the decal will develop tiny folds around the outside edge - don't stress. Just press them as flat as you can. They will be barely visible after you apply varnish.
  • The vintage image we provide is 3.5" X 5", and we've given you two identical images (in case you make a mistake!). If you want a larger or smaller image for the size of your balloon, read about how to resize a PDF image.
  • You can use any size or shape of paper lace doilies, as long as you can cut them into pieces that will fit around the egg. If you want this Easter decoration to withstand damp weather for years, substitute vinyl lace from a tablecloth or a fabric lace ruffle.  

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