If you’re like me and you just noticed that Easter is on Sunday, you’re probably scrambling to decorate some eggs. In addition to our typical dyed eggs, this year I thought I’d try embellishing some of our plastic eggs with lettering. Typophiles will love this! I’ve always loved playing around with fonts, from the moment I found books in the library on lettering to my first encounter with a Mac and all its typefaces. (New York and San Francisco whet my 14-year-old graphic design appetite!) I would spend hours practicing letters by hand… proven by this relic from 1989.
You just need fine-tipped paint pens or permanent markers, lettering stickers, and rub-on letters.
These rub-on letters are tiny and take a lot to cover a big area, but are so fun to use. Just place the letter you want on your surface, and rub with a pen or plastic round-tipped end (like a burnisher).
How about a monogrammed egg? I have a special place in my heart for Helvetica.
On the smaller egg, I rubbed letters in a random fashion. I like the chaotic look.
If you like a handwritten look, take your paint pen and write Easter greetings in cursive. Stringy, imperfect penmanship is a-okay. And, shown below, the purple egg has the alphabet in typewriter (Courier) lettering.
If you have some jumbo eggs, try writing favorite lyrics or a springtime poem! Tap into your inner typesetter and have a great Easter.
Each spring, we try to make one Easter egg that stands out from the others using simple decoupage methods with little more than paper or string.
This often includes a look at whatever geeky passion is prominent in the pop culture world, and choosing five of our favorites from this and past years. With exception of the Spider-Man egg, each of these eggs took less than an hour to complete, and kids of all ages can make or help make them.
To use a real egg, gently poke a small hole at both ends, poke a toothpick into one end and mix up the yoke a bit, then hold the egg over a sink and slowly blow into one hole. The contents should easily ooze out the other end, leaving a lightweight, hollow shell. If working with younger kids, a plastic egg will work fine for most of these ideas.
The first three eggs use a basic decoupage method. Paint the egg with a layer of decoupage glue (like Mod Podge) or use one part water and one part school glue. Then, paste the images on the egg. Paint another layer over the top to seal the image. It will dry clear.
• The Classic Geek. The simplest by far, this egg is a scrapbook-style collage of all things geeky. Find small images from old comic books or magazines and layer them over the egg scrapbook-style. This lets you celebrate as many fandoms as you want on one egg. This also works well as a Christmas or holiday ornament.
• BBC Sherlock’s Wall. The floral, black and white, and much-abused Sherlock wallpaper is a quickly recognizable pattern among BBC fans, and free downloadable wallpaper patterns can be found on several fan and design sites. Print this pattern out on lightweight paper and cut it to fit around the egg. Keep in mind that the pattern will overlap itself a little on both ends of the egg, but it won’t be too noticeable. Once dry, use a toothpick and yellow craft paint to draw on Sherlock’s “happy face,” then gently bore five “bullet holes” near the face using a small screwdriver or drill bit.
• Game of Thrones “Paper Bag” Egg. This is a craft I did when I first started writing for my old blog, as well as for a site that was at the time called IHOGeek. I’m proud to say that thanks to a tweet or two from famous Game of Thrones fans like actors Aziz Ansari and (so I’ve been told) Nathan Fillion, this egg idea went viral…and there really is nothing to it!
Cut some round or tear-shaped “dragon scales,” about a half-inch wide, from a brown paper bag. Overlap them in scale pattern until covered. Run the side of a black crayon over the scales to antique them before adding the final layer of decoupage.
No, I don’t let my kids don’t watch Game of Thrones (obviously), but they do love dragons. This egg could just as easily hatch a Norbert, Toothless, Saphira, or Smaug.
• The Fourth Doctor’s Scarf. This is a straightforward string art pattern to make, as it involves just coiling different colored stripes (green, red, yellow, blue, beige, etc.) around the egg to resemble the striped pattern of the Tom Baker-era Doctor Who scarf. To be more precise, alternate the widths of each color. If you’re really a perfectionist, check out these Fourth Doctor scarf patterns designs.
Not into Doctor Who? This same idea can be put in place to make some Hogwarts house scarves.
• Spider-Man’s Web. This egg is a little more time-consuming. It also includes three more materials in addition to the floss: a balloon, about 20 seed beads, and a spider (either the small plastic novelty-like ones that accumulate around Halloween or a little craft store jewelry charm). You can also cut a small Spider-Man symbol out of paper (about a half-inch wide), if you can’t find these other items. The end result should look like a little spider’s web with a “radioactive spider” dangling in the middle.
First, pour a little decoupage mix into a small dish. Cut three or four two-foot strands of light blue, beige, or white yarn, and string a few red or blue seed beads randomly on each. Dip each strand in the mix, careful not to get them tangled, and drag your thumb and forefinger down the strand to wipe off the excess mix.
Blow up the balloon a small ways, so it is fairly egg-shaped. Lay each strand over the balloon in a web-like pattern. Use as many strands as you want, but leave a gap big enough to fit your spider through on one end. Let the egg dry overnight until the strings are stiff, and pop the balloon to leave the outer string art shell.
Finally, hang the spider image or charm on an additional piece of floss and place it through a gap big enough in the shell to accommodate the spider. Position the egg upright and position the spider so it is dangling in the center of the egg. Tie it off on one end. This egg looks best hanging, so leave a little floss at the end to hang it.
Note: I have done this craft with a real egg shell. It looks good, but it takes a little extra effort to crumble the shell and clean it out of the string egg. If working with kids, balloons are the easiest option.
Hang onto each of these eggs and keep an ever-growing basket display of geeky and creative happiness. Who knows where the bunny trail will lead you this year?
Laura’s toe is a lovely bluish purple, thanks to intersecting with furniture while ambulating Ministry of Silly Walks style. Despite her giant multi-hued toe she’s going full speed in her campaign to help out a neighboring eco-friendly farmer. He is trying to hang on to his cows and his land despite some difficulties.
Rachel is trying to nurse her family back to health in time for Easter Sunday. She’s going to spend the weekend using natural dyes on her eggs and stuffing the plastic ones with toxic candy. Does that seem wrong at all?
This week Patricia has been in Biloxi, Mississippi, where her husband has just received photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) laser eye surgery at Keesler Air Force Base. It’s been a trip down memory lane, seeing the base where she did her initial Air Force weather officer training in summer 1996, and it’s also been very educational learning about the devastation that the base and community experienced from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. It was heartbreaking to visit Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis’s home, this week and learn that over 40% of the property’s presidential library and museum collection were lost during Katrina. She looks forward to being back home this weekend to celebrate Easter with her kids and mother-in-law, who have been holding down the fort back home.
Rebecca Angel is busy getting ready for a gig on Friday with her daughter who plays drumset and steel drums. It is really fun having a kid that not only has the talent, but the joy of music, AND wants to perform with her mom!
This weekend, Dakster Sullivan is going to be creating colored eggs with Kool-Aid with her husband and son. They don’t have any troops lined up, so maybe they will take some time and just hang out and enjoy the weekend. Brandon’s been begging to go bowling again, so they might hit up the alleys for some family fun.
For just about anyone who grew up dying Easter Eggs, the smell of Easter somehow mixes with the scent of vinegar. We all remember plopping the fizzy tablets into the cup full of the strong smelling stuff, and waiting patiently for the tablet to disappear. As I became a mom, suddenly in charge of the project, it became my job to remember to stock up on vinegar and fizzy tablets when the Easter season rolled around every year.
Then this year, everything changed in our house. Besides the fact that I have very few willing egg dyers left (the teens abandoned me to hit the ski slopes one last time), I also had a different smell wafting through the kitchen. As my youngest and I prepared our counter top for the big event, we were greeted by a strong, fruity smell. This year we skipped the fizzy tablets, and used Kool-Aid drink mix to color our eggs.
I’d been seeing posts about this idea on Pinterest and other assorted craft sites, and thought it looked too easy to be true. Really? Just Kool-Aid and water? Why had we been paying way too much money all these years for overpriced fizzy tablets, if the only ingredient we really needed was in the cabinet, next to the the iced tea and lemonade mix?
But we jumped in, ready to prove this myth busted.
We filled our cups with simple, room temperature, water (just enough to cover the egg). We stirred in one packet of Kool-Aid. Then we waited.
But instead of waiting a quarter to a half of an hour for some bright colors to appear, we saw the magic working in less than ten minutes. We couldn’t believe it could be this easy!
Sure enough, this was our very first batch. Less than 15 minutes after we dropped those eggs into the water, they came out shimmering and bright. Oh, and the kitchen still smelled fruity and yummy, not like my laundry room, which is the only other place I regularly use vinegar.
The only glitch I could find was that some of the eggs came out with little splotches. Since I love a natural looking product, I loved the spots, but the perfectionists in the group might have issue with them.
I’ve heard rumors (that I believe) that using dark colored drink mix (grape, black cherry) results in pretty bleak looking eggs. If black eggs are your thing, go for it. If you prefer the more spring like colors, stick to cherry, pink lemonade, lemon-lime, mango-pineapple…you get the idea.
Fellow GeekMom, Amy Kraft, went a step further and did some fun decorating techniques. Here’s what happens when you wrap rubber bands around the egg before you dye it. Pretty cool.
Give it a try for yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how easy (and fruity smelling!) dying eggs can be. If you need more inspiration, be sure to check out the extensive post that GeekMom Laura Grace put together this week. It’s full of great ideas for every skill level and interest.
“What the heck is it with Easter? I mean bunnies and eggs? What’s one got to do with the other?” Easter perplexes the heck out of my daughter. She loves the candy and the decorating of eggs of course, but she’s long been incredulous at the array of seemingly unconnected symbolism that is so associated with this spring holiday.
This year we decided to buckle down and do a little research. What we found was pretty interesting. Of course there is the usual history of Easter Egg decorating, the finest examples of course being the Pysanky designs of Ukrainian tradition. Who doesn’t love a good Pysanky egg? Wikipedia will tell you all about the pagan origins of Easter, and the tradition of eggs and bunnies as ultimate symbols of fertility. Still we’d found this information in the past. What we really wanted was a good solid link between bunnies and eggs.
Finally we found it! Well sort of. One theory oft repeated on various Easter history sites is that in the “olden times” people tended to confuse the ground nests of birds called plovers, with the forms (another word for nest) of hares. Occasionally an olden timer would come across one of these nests in the spring and confuse it with a hare nest, subsequently determining that hares must lay eggs in the spring. At least that’s the story the internet tells. I tend to think we don’t give folks enough credit, and probably this whole idea was just part of the overall Easter story grownups told to kids for amusement. Regardless in all the old stories the Easter rodent is always a hare, not a rabbit. Hares and rabbits are different animals, albeit related. Bunnies in particular are young rabbits, not hares. So in fact all this hullabaloo about the Easter Bunny is just kind of totally wrong. At least according to the internet.
But really who cares? Easter is fun. Bunnies, candy, decorating eggs? Sign me up.