Those empty egg shells that are left over after making your favorite recipes can inspire ideas for many interesting craft projects. Although using egg shells brings to mind obvious applications for Easter décor, a little imagination can yield orange egg shell “pumpkins” for Halloween, or egg-shaped snowman Christmas ornaments for the tree. Whether you leave most of the shell intact and gently remove the contents for eating, or just crack them open as usual, you can use the egg shells in creative crafts at Easter-time and year-round.
~ Preparing Egg Shells
The traditional craft of decorating eggs by painting, dyeing or otherwise embellishing the shells can produce a lasting display piece – rather than rotten eggs – if you take the time to remove the egg from the shell first. The process is actually quite simple but takes a bit of patience and a gentle touch. Merely use a sharp utensil such as a knife point or large needle to poke a small hole at top of the egg and a second, slightly larger hole at the bottom of the egg. Break the yolk inside by poking it with the needle or a toothpick, then hold the egg over a bowl. Place your mouth over the smaller top hole, and gently blow air into the shell to force the liquid egg out, into the bowl. Avoid contact with the raw egg, and allow the shells to dry completely before crafting, to decrease possible risks from bacteria.
When using egg shells from raw eggs that have been cracked in half and emptied, as for scrambled eggs or omelets, you should also sanitize them by thoroughly drying for several days. To use the shells sooner, you can soak them in a mild bleach-and-water solution for 10 minutes, then dry by microwaving them for a minute or two, to help kill any bacteria.
~ Whole Egg Decorating Ideas
To decorate a whole, blown eggshell, start by thinking of the many animals and other objects that can be formed from this basic oval shape. For example, you can make an egg look like an oversized strawberry by painting it red with tiny white “seeds,” and adding a green felt cap. Or use the oval to create a ladybug, with red body, black head and black dots on the wings. An egg standing on end and colored black-and-white, glued to an orange felt base shaped like “feet,” could be a cute penguin. Of course, a classic Easter bunny can be fashioned from your egg shell, with white feet, felt ears and a cotton ball tail. Display several of these painted eggshells in a bowl or on a table for a cheerful Spring welcome, or add ribbon or string to make accents you can hang anywhere!
~ Egg Shell Mosaics
Mosaic patterns made from eggshells give a wonderful texture to images made on paper, or on three-dimensional objects like wooden boxes, or glass bowls or vases. You can achieve different eye-catching effects, depending on the technique you choose. Shells can be colored first, or painted after attaching to the surface.
A lovely wreath can be created by using white glue or Mod Podge to attach saved bits of colored eggshell from Easter eggs to a painted wreath form. The easiest method is to use larger pieces of shell, then press them into the glue to crush and secure the shells at the same time. For a more elegant look, you can move smaller individual pieces using a toothpick to position them more precisely. Finally, coat the wreath with more glue or decoupage medium to seal and protect the egg shells, and give them a glossy finish. For inspiration, see these photos of sample eggshell artworks: Water Lily Mosaic Box, Oriental Woman Mosaic Box, Mosaic Glass Bowl, and a simple Cardboard Cross Mosaic.
~ Miniature Eggshell Planters
Either painted or left with their crisp, natural white color, eggshells make delicate miniature planters to hold a tabletop crop of tender green grass shoots, or fresh springtime sprouts on your windowsill. Just add a handful of soil, a sprinkle of seeds or dried beans, and occasional light water to the opening of an empty, clean eggshell half. Display the little planters in egg stands or cups, or make your own holder with a strip of sturdy paper rolled and taped into a ring shape.
~ Floating Egg Shell Candles
This is a great way to find a use for birthday and other candle bits - or use new wicks and wax from the craft store. To recycle old candles, break the wax away from the wicks. Melt the wax in pleasing color combinations in a clean empty metal can placed in a pan of hot water on the stove. Place the half eggshells in an egg carton to steady them. Dip a wick into the wax, then put it in an egg shell, supporting the wick upright with a toothpick laid across the shell opening. Pour in melted wax, and let it harden. Float the candles in a bowl of water.
~ Eggshell Chalk
You can transform cast-off eggshells into fun, outdoor chalk sticks for children with a simple recipe. Finely crush about 6 clean, dry eggshells to get 1 tablespoon of powder. Mix together 1 teaspoon flour and 1 teaspoon hot water; add a little food coloring to the water to make colored chalk instead of white, if desired. Blend the flour and water into the eggshell powder. Shape the mixture into a chalk stick, and roll it inside a paper towel to dry. If you have lots of eggshells saved up, multiply the recipe amounts by 3, and mold the chalk in a cardboard tube from toilet paper, or paper towels. Use this chalk on outside cement, but not chalk boards or blackboards, please.
There are numerous options for turning discarded egg shells into objects of beauty. The process can be as simple and kid-friendly as single-color dip-dyeing, or as elaborate as constructing glittery Faberge-type dioramas. With so many enjoyable crafts to be made from egg shells, you may want to add eggs to the menu more often!