Many years ago, when the OnlyChild was just a baby and we still lived in the cold north, I met a woman who had spent quite a bit of time in Japan. She taught me how to make Washi Eggs.
"Washi" means Japanese Paper, and it is a strong, wood pulp-free paper made without chemicals. It is used for origimi and many other paper crafts. It's quite easy to find in stores such as Michael's.
Today, I'm going to show you how to make Washi Eggs. They're great for Easter decorating, but I keep mine out all year because they are so beautiful!
First, we'll gather our supplies:
Washi (one sheet per egg)
Sharp Scissors with a pointed tip
Cellulose/Rice Glue or Elmer's diluted with water
Eggs - blown out, rinsed, and thoroughly dried
Wine (or tea, coffee, water) - this is going to be a relaxing and enjoyable craft so create your atmosphere
Measure around the middle of egg. Add 1/2 cm to this measurement and mark the total on paper.
Measure around the egg, end to end. Take half of this measurement and mark on paper.
Cut paper to correct rectangular size.
Find the centre of the short sides of the paper. Mark 1/2 cm above and below the centre point on either short end. Connect the marks to draw two lines across the length of the paper to create a centre strip. Your markings should be as light as possible.
Draw two more lines on the paper, each one 1/2 way between the edge of the paper and the centre strip.
Along the long edges of the paper, measure and mark lines 1/2 cm apart.
Cut points resembling a picket fence on each side, from edge to first line.
Cut rest of line between points up to centre strip. Do NOT cut into the centre strip. When you have all the cuts made, gently erase all the lines you can still see.
Now take a sip of wine before the next step.
Mix your glue. Remember, a little goes a long way! Using your fingers, apply your glue to the wrong side of your paper. Coat the entire paper. Be gentle; you don't want the Washi to tear. When the paper is coated with glue, begin applying to the egg. Centre paper on egg and smooth down a few flaps of paper on each end of the egg, one at a time so they overlap slightly. Continue around the rest of the egg, smoothing from the centre to each end with fingers to eliminate air bubbles and creases. Make as smooth as possible.
Carefully cut off any excess paper and smooth the seam with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Let dry. (I knew all those empty spools I was throwing in a mason jar would come in handy.)
The top will look like a star.
While you're waiting for this egg to dry, make another one. Then another. They're a bit addictive.
Varnish with acrylic, water-based varnish, using a brush. Apply 5-10 thin coats and let dry at least 1/2 hour between coats. Apply no more than 4 coats/day.
This is the brand I used - Jo Sonja's. I bought the bottle eons (at least 15 years) ago and I still have about 1/3 left. Like the glue, a little goes a long way. Another brand that is recommended is "Rock".
When you have a collection of Washi eggs, you can display them.
I've made many of these. Some were eaten by AbbyDog and a few others were broken by my clumsy and unapologetic nephew. Some of mine were made with hand-painted paper (plain Washi that I embellished with paint swishes). And last night I made one using part of a map of Texas. I didn't realize until I had it all done that I'd applied the map upside down. Oh well.
Here they are in a big vase on my dining room table.
And another shot. Not great pictures, because of the afternoon sun, but pretty nonetheless, especially sitting on my Spring Spell table runner.
I hope you decide to try this little project. It's fairly easy and these eggs make beautiful gifts. I have a set of smaller, Bantam chicken eggs that I made into Christmas ornaments with red and green Washi. But Easter is the time that they are really appreciated.
If you make some Washi Eggs, please let me know. I'd love to see them!