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
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
The FREE Vintage Image Download is from an antique post
card that's inscribed "From Jennie, April 19, 1908." We think it's
as the centerpiece of an Easter decoration that's as fancy as
a Victorian confection!
Waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers
(like Lazertran Inkjet).
Scrap newspaper or newsprint.
Cardboard like chipboard or tagboard, about 12"
Polymer clay, pastel pink, lavender and blue,
and bright yellow.
Liquid starch (or your preferred paper machè
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
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
Paint brushes (foam disposables are good).
Sand paper, fine.
Large rubber band.
Straight pins or quilter's pins.
White pencil or tailor's chalk.
Hole punch (1/4" hole).
Scissors or paper cutter.
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
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.
two more layers of paper machè, sanding and spray painting lightly
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?)
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).
Apply craft glue around the cut edge of the
egg. Press it down on the center of the flat cardboard backing,
little weight until the glue dries.
scissors or a craft knife, cut the cardboard backing around the egg,
leaving about a 1/2" rim.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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 two holes, centered at the top of the egg about 1 1/2" apart,
through the cardboard and lace.
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
While the caulk is wet, press the clay flowers
into the caulk where the vertical lines meet the image oval and again
base. if you want to add more flowers (we placed four more around the
in between the other four), just squirt a little
caulk and press on the flower. Let the caulk dry overnight.
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.
Hang your chocolate egg "of huge proportions"
on your door and add a
small "No Tasting" sign.
Choosing the right balloon is important. Ours
was a Hallmark product, labeled "11 inch diameter, helium quality"
which means it is pretty tough plastic.
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
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
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
the decal will develop tiny folds around the outside edge -
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
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