Not Martha

to make: easter eggs

pretty pretty eggs After a short trip to Austin this year I was introduced to the cascarone – coffetti egg. It is an empty egg, filled with confetti and decorated. It is good luck to break it over the head of a friend. I wanted to make some for a group of friends in Ohio, but they gather in a bar (The Jigsaw, in Parma, Ohio) for breakfast, and I didn’t think confetti all over the floor would be appreciated. So I decided to put little things inside the eggs instead. Yay!
vinyl shapes on eggs, after dying a second time I decided upon the Martha Stewart stenciled egg technique because it seemed (seemed being a keyword here) to be quick. I used food coloring for the dye, however I think Paas would produce more intense colors. Here’s the basic idea, for more detailed instructions check the stuff on the Martha site. You dye the base color, put shapes on and over dye. Let dry, pull off shapes, crack and empty, wah-la.
untaped eggs drying I tried a few different types of vinyl adhesive. The first I tried were letters intended for outdoor signs. This was too strong and pulled off a lot of the underneath color. The other I tried were clear and colored 3M adhesive tape, it’s basically like wide electrical tape. The clear seemed to be harder to cut into shapes and strips, and pulled off some color while the colored (in my case yellow) worked great. Except that I ended up cutting endless amounts of little dots and stripes. You can see the results, not very clean. I mean I liked them because they screamed “I made this all by myself” — but if you’re going for a polished look, you will want to look around a bit or order some adhesive stencils from Martha. I like the stars!
eggs after emptying, showing how the water affected the dye color Other things I found. Get the eggs to room temperature before you start and do the double-dying process at one time. I had base dyed a set of eggs which I stored in the refrigerator overnight, and when I tried to apply the adhesive shapes the eggs had too much condensation to stick. I still had some trouble after allowing the eggs to warm to room temperature. I found that if I got as far as dying the second time and let the eggs rest in the refrigerator overnight, the adhesive would again pull off part of the base color.
loot to go in the eggs

placing toys and candy in the egg

I didn’t want a hole at the top of my eggs, and since I needed the other hole to be large enough to stick chocolates into I decided to just break at the base. I very carefully stuck a small hole in the base using a heavy draping pin (it’s just a bulletin board tack, but those heavy silver ones). I used the pin and a toothpick to chip away at the edges of the hole until it was opened wide enough. I stuck a skewer into the egg to break the yolk, then I let the insides run out into a bowl. I carefully rinsed the inside of the egg and set upright to dry. I found that during the dying, some of the egg white had cooked a but, so I needed to rub a finger along the inside of the egg when I was rinsing it to make sure it was completely empty. Icky. To my dismay I also found that a lot of the color would rinse away and the dye would be affected where the water pooled while it was drying. I set all the eggs in punched out holes inside of egg dying kits I bought in the supermarket (but still haven’t used) on top of paper towels which I replaced as they got soaked. You can see how this affected the egg coloring in the picture. I let the eggs dry, rotating them a few times, for at least a day or more until they were completley dry inside. I was still afraid I would surely kill some people with horrid bacterium.
last into the egg goes the easter grass So, next time I am going to try spraying the eggs with fixative before I empty them, or I will empty them before dying. While I’d feel a little better about making sure the eggs were clean and dry before everything, I’m not sure how difficult applying the adhesive stickers, or for that reason dying, the eggs would be empty. I’m afraid the shells would be to frail.
capped eggs with instructions Then I filled with stuff in this order: a pinch of confetti, a message, wrapped candy (I stuck to wrapped candy so I wouldn’t poison anyone, in this case some small colorful hard candies and chocolate eggs), a toy, and at the bottom a little bit of easter grass. I covered the hole with some colored paper and glued in “Crack Me” instructions while I as at it (I used Elmer’s white glue, appeared to work fine for this). I put some more easter grass in the bottom of a half-pint take-out container, nestled the egg in the middle and threw in a few more candies for color.
egg in a take-out box, candies around it The most fun is watching how people decide to break the eggs, I squeezed and the egg basically exploded, some people cracked it like they were making an omelette, and two I know of dropped it by mistake. I really like that you have to destroy it to get inside. Or if you’re smart you’ll just rip off the paper bottom.
after cracking


6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bev shannon // Dec 14, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for this great idea, I am a fan of martha, but i do not remember this one. I am going to make these for easter gifts.

  • 2 Paula // Jan 7, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Since I was a kid we used to blow eggs and THEN dye them. They are not frail at all! I would say, blow the eggs, dye, then enlarge the hole on the base. This looks like a lot of fun, thank you for posting!

  • 3 Rocio // Mar 1, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Confetti eggs (cascarones) are a long held tradition in the Mexican comunity. My family hunts for confetti eggs and then procedes to smash the on each other. Do take care not to put to much force. You might scratch. Otherwise, enjoy. My Sounthern born husband loves this tradition.

  • 4 Be // Mar 27, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    LOVE! creative fun and cute. I think this would be a great project for goose eggs.

  • 5 Anna // Mar 24, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I made these last week for Easter. Great instructions, I used gloss fixatif after dying the eggs, and it held the colours nicely when I emptied and washed them (and made them shiny and festive looking!) Also, to avoid ruining the colour when drying, place the eggs with the hole side down over the holes on the lid of an egg carton so that the water has a chance to run out instead of pooling.

  • 6 Dani // Jul 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    A trick for cutting the bottom of the eggs is to use manicure scissors and very slowly cut a little at a time. Also (I’m sure by now you’ve tried it) if you hollow the eggs before you dye them make sure to weight them with something or you end up with eggs that float in dye and only one side colored.

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