Ever admired a mosaic but thought it would be too difficult to make? Think you'd need lots of special tools and equipment? This tutorial proves that making a mosaic is not only easy, but you've probably got everything you need in your cupboards at home. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make three different versions of gorgeous mosaic Easter eggs.
- Egg shells
- Food coloring
- White vinegar
- Glass bowls
- Non-toxic white glue
- Paint brush
- Cotton pads
- Paper towels
- Rubber gloves
1. Prepare the Eggs
When collecting your egg shells, wash them thoroughly and remove any contents before leaving them to dry on a paper towel. When dry, pour some vinegar on a cotton pad and gently rub the surface of the shell. This will remove any stains, dust or oil from your hands.
When the shell is completely dry, remove the inner membrane. Just pull it out of the shell, but if you can't remove all of it, you'll find that it's easier to remove when you break the shells.
Clean the whole eggs and boil them in a pot of water. You need hard-boiled eggs so keep them boiling for about eight to 10 minutes.
Tip: When you are boiling eggs in a large pot, put a thick glass bowl or plate on top of the eggs. This will push the eggs against the bottom and will help to avoid breakage during boiling.
2. Make the Mosaic Pieces
Pour some water in to the glass bowl, enough to cover an egg. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar, which will help the shell absorb the dye.
Add the food coloring. I've used liquid dye but you could use powder colors. For a pale tint, add a few drops. For darker colors, add more drops. Stir to mix the color well. Food coloring is non-toxic but the stains are quite persistent. It's wise to wear rubber gloves at this stage!
The first mosaic is made from dyed shell pieces on a natural un-colored egg. I've chosen earthy tones in green and beige.
Put the egg shells in the color mixture. Leave for about three to five minutes. You can take the shell out of the mixture to check the shade. If necessary, put it back in for a few more minutes. Note that white eggs are much easier to dye and need less time.
If you're using darker eggs like I am, leave them in the dye for a bit longer. For each egg mosaic, you will need about two halves of an eggshell. Dye as many shells as needed for each color, depending on the number of eggs you are planning to make.
Use the egg carton, or in my case, a plastic carton as a shell holder. Just turn it upside down and cut off the bottom of each casing. Leave the shells to dry for about 10 minutes.
Now for the fun part: smash the shells! Use the back of a spoon or your thumb to break the shell into pieces.
Leave some large pieces in case you later need a specific shape to fill in a gap.
3. Form a Mosaic
Prepare your work space for the next step, arranging all of the materials you'll need.
Start with a medium piece of shell and build the area around it. Remember to leave a small space between each piece of shell. You might find it easier to work with tweezers at this stage, as the shell pieces can be quite fiddly.
Use non-toxic school glue. It shouldn't be diluted with water as with most crafts. You will need a thick paste to avoid the glue from being absorbed in to the egg.
Apply some glue to a small area of the egg, and add small pieces of shell with your tweezers. You could also try applying glue to the back of each piece of shell before attaching it to the egg surface. I prefer the latter method as it gives a much cleaner result.
If the curve of your little shell piece doesn't fit the area you are working on, don't worry. Attach it to the egg and then push the edges with your nails until you feel a little crack. The glue will hold it in place and the surface will be smoother.
Keep adding pieces. It's takes time but the result will be a great reward.
4. Create an Ombre Mosaic
For an ombre effect with your egg shells, follow the same steps as before but this time, dye the egg instead of the shells.
Choose different shades of egg shells to create an ombre effect. You can use two to four colors per egg. If you use more than four colors, the result won't be as visible or effective.
My favourite part again. Smash your egg shells and group according to color.
Start from the top or the bottom of your egg with the darkest natural shell color.
Continue with the next tone in color. Keep adding shells until you reach about two-quarters of the egg.
Then follow with the lighter colored egg shells.
And complete your artwork with the palest color.
You can also try dyeing egg shells in four different shades of the same color.
Following the same steps as before, fill the egg surface by adding shell pieces from the darkest shade at the top to the lightest color at the bottom.
5. Create Colorful Tie-Dye Eggs
The last design using mosaic egg shells is inspired by spring's colorful landscapes. Balance the spoon on a bowl and place the empty shell on top. Try positioning the egg around the middle of the bowl so it doesn't create a mess.
Pour one to two drops of color directly on the shell. Now add a different color next to the previous one. Try not to overdo it, because mixing too many colors will create a brownish color.
Allow the eggs to dry before rinsing with water to remove excess color.
The result should look similar to tie-dyed fabric.
Make sure the shells are completely dry before you start breaking them up.
Start placing different colors of shell piece by piece until you have the desired result. Try filling just half the surface of the egg, or arrange your colors in rows and sections. The possibilities are endless.
Decorate Your Home With Mosaic Eggs
There are loads of ways you can decorate your home with mosaic eggs for easter. Pop them in egg cups, add a pile of eggs to a bowl for a colorful centrepiece, or add string and hang them from the branches of an Easter tree.
They also make fantastic gifts as alternatives to chocolate eggs.
How did your eggs turn out? Do you have any more ideas on how to customize your mosaics? I would love to see your mosaic eggs. Post your links in the comments section below.