Make String Easter Eggs
Yankee Plus Dec 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Bring bright color to your home with simple, inexpensive string eggs.
String eggs are a quick and easy way to create lots of cheerful Easter decorations for your home. This project uses homemade wheat paste–a lightweight, sturdy medium that holds the eggs together, the same glue used to hang circus posters back in the day–and colorful embroidery floss, which you can find at almost any craft store. The process does get messy, so get your workspace ready to withstand the goop; well-placed kraft paper is key. (Don’t use newspaper, which will bleed ink when it gets wet.) You’ll also want to have plenty of rags available for wiping your hands. The good news, though, is that the whole thing cleans up easily with water.
Once they’ve dried, you can use the eggs to fill glass vases or bowls, or you might want to dangle them from some branches in a vase. (Just don’t hang them up outside; they’ll likely soften and fall apart if it showers.) It’s a fun and festive way to invite spring color inside.
Materials to Make String Eggs
- large sheets of kraft paper
- 4 cups water
- medium-size saucepan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- medium-size bowl
- small balloons
- embroidery floss, 2-4 skeins per egg (colors of your choice)
- pushpins or clothespins
Instructions to Make String Eggs
STEP 1: Cover your workspace with sheets of kraft paper.
STEP 2: Make your wheat paste: Put the water in the saucepan and whisk in the flour, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Remove from the heat. The paste will continue to thicken as it cools. Transfer the paste to a bowl, and set aside until it’s cool enough to touch. (At this point, the paste will keep, covered, for two to three days in your refrigerator.)
STEP 3: Blow up the balloons to about 2 to 3 inches in length; tie them off, and set aside.
STEP 4: Cut the embroidery floss into 3- to 4-foot lengths. Look closely at each piece of floss: Notice that it’s made up of six thinner threads twisted together. Separate each length of floss in half, so that from one strand you now have two, each one made up of three threads. You’ll use one of these thinner (three-thread) strands for each egg.
STEP 5: Gently coil one three-thread strand into the glue, dunk to coat, and then remove, being careful to avoid knotting it. Wipe off the excess with your fingers. This part can get messy, but you want the strand to have just enough paste to coat well; using too much will cause the strand to stick to the balloon.
STEP 6: Wrap the strand around a balloon in a crisscross pattern, in vertical loops, or in overlapping spirals. Strings should cross over one another enough to build a structure that will hold up without the balloon there to support it.
STEP 7: Dip more strands into the paste and add to the balloon until you achieve the look and coverage you want.