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Topic: Drop Pull Easter Eggs (With Wax Motifs) : Tutorial  (Read 31946 times)
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Head Nerd at Nyxia's Lair
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« on: April 06, 2004 07:55:26 AM »

With the holiday coming up, I'm gathering the supplies for the kids to make their Easter Eggs from a method that has been passed down in our family and thought it would be a great project to post. I'll go ahead and post the info, then add pictures once the kids and I make ours tonite or tomorrow. Keep in mind that this is a time consuming labor of love..lol. Block off a couple hours to do this and make sure no young children do this unsupervised!

Here's what you need:
  • Metal Ramekins or a Cupcake Pan (A tiny cupcake pan works best)*
  • A griddle or hot plate*
  • Wax Crayons (in assorted colors)
  • Pencils (with erasers)
  • Straight Pins (with flat heads)
  • Paper Towels (or dish towels to dry your eggs on)
  • Egg Dye (You can make your own or buy the packages of dye)
  • Long Needle (or hat pin)
  • Glass Bowl
  • Eggs (You will want smooth, fresh eggs at room temperature. Bumpy eggs won't hold the wax well.)
* You can skip the griddle and metal cups if you have a batik melting pot handy.

Step 1: Blowing Out Eggs

Before you can decorate the eggs, you need to get the inside of the egg out, without breaking the shell! It's really quite simple to do. How? You blow the egg out.

Take your eggs, your long needle or hat pin and the bowl. Using the needle, poke a small hole in the narrow end of the egg, and a slightly larger hole in the other end. Move the pin around to make sure you tear the membrane around the yolk and break up the egg as much as possible.

Now, holding the egg over the bowl, blow through the small hole. The egg will be forced out the larger hole and into the bowl. Make sure you rinse the egg well with water - usually just holding them under the tap will work; however, you can use a syringe to squirt water through them.

Step 2: Create the design.

Your design is going to be a mixture of dots and lines, so keep it simple. You might want to draw your design on paper before applying it in wax to the egg.

Not sure what your design should be? Let your imagination run wild! Here is a basic pattern that can be used:

OK- Now that you have an idea of what you want to paint onto your egg, you're ready to melt your wax!

Step 3: Melt the wax.

Break off small pieces of crayon about 1/2 inch long (or small enough to fit in your metal cups, cupcake liner or bottle caps) and place them in the metal cups. Place the metal cups on the griddle and turn the heat on low, waiting until the wax is liquidy.

While the wax is melting, take your pencil and one flat-tipped straight pin. Insert the pin into the eraser of the pencil so that it is nice and firm. This will be your drawing tool.

Before you pick up wax with your pin, let it rest on the griddle for a few seconds to warm it up.  Working quickly to prevent the wax from hardening, dip the pinhead into melted wax and touch it to the egg to create your design. The pinhead touched flat onto the egg will form a small dot. To make a tear drop shape, drag the pinhead along the surface of the egg. These two shapes may be used in different combinations to make a variety of designs.

If you want to make your designs white or to use dye to color the design, simply use a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of paraffin and beeswax. You'll decorate the egg in the same way, but then remove the wax- instructions below.

Step 4: Dye your eggs

You can use up to three colors each egg-anything beyond that tends to turn gray. Always work from the lightest to the darkest dye color, so that the next dye will be able to cover the last one.

When your complete wax design has been applied, place you egg in the first dye solution several times until it is the color you want (10-30 minutes). The longer you leave the egg in the dye, the deeper the color will be. Remove the egg and blot it dry with paper towels or a dish cloth.

If you used the paraffin and beeswax combo, dye the egg and then wait until the egg is completely dry. Now you can add additional wax designs and repeat they dye process with darker dye. To finish, after the final dye bath, remove the wax by holding the egg, a small section at a time, against the side of a candle flame for no more than five seconds. As soon as the section appears wet, blot with a clean, soft cloth. Continue until all the wax is removed.

~Note~ Don't hold the egg over the tip of flame, as carbon will collect and darken your design.

If you're working with small children, a quick and easy way to introduce them to this process is to simply give them a white crayon and let them draw on their egg before they dye it! As they get older, they can move into working with the melted wax.

If you'd like to see pictures of finished eggs, check out the site below:

You can preserve your eggs with varnish. Use a clear type of varnish and 2 or 3 light coats.

Here are some pictures that might help.

After we blew out the eggs, we dyed them.  Wide mouth mason jars work well, and you can store the dyes easily.


Melt your wax in cupcake pans, which actually work out quite well.


Arm yourselves with pencil/straight pen 'paint brushes'


and started to 'paint'.

My Dad is so good at this that I made a video where you can actually see his stroke work.  


Our finished products

« Last Edit: September 16, 2013 12:14:12 PM by kittykill - Reason: images to links » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2004 08:55:09 AM »

OMG!!!  I remember making those at your house when we were kids.  As you know, I don't have many fond memories of my childhood, but that is one of them!!!  Thank you so much for reminding me.  I think I will make a few of those myself this year!  Maybe teach my cousin's kids to do them too!  Happy Easter my dear friend!

“Nobody really cares if you are miserable, so you might as well be happy!"
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2004 09:49:32 AM »

those look a lot more like Lithuanian easter eggs or marguciai for those "in the know"

my family and I never actually blew out the yokes because it takes a larger lung capacity than any of us actually had... we actually ate the eggs on easter sunday, so we worked with hard boiled eggs... not as permanent, but that's what cameras are for.

since I've "grown up" and moved away from home, I've made it a tradition to have friends over to make the eggs, have a few drinks etc etc... it's really fun and I highly recommend it... just remember to work quickly because the wax will dry very quickly on that pinhead...

this year I will definately try the crayons... that just seems so much simpler than hunting for parafin (not something I keep around the house)...

I do know that you can get special Ukranian dyes (we've always just used paz), that are very brilliant and long lasting... however, the dye is toxic and we ate our eggs... I vaguely remember finding a website that sold the dyes. if I find it I'll post it here... I know that there are also methods of making your own dyes with different vegetables...

amareluna you totally rock by posting this! It really is an awesome activity especially with kids and again I can't recommend it enough!
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2004 10:43:46 AM »

Thanks  Smiley

Our family is a 'slavic' family which travelled from the Transylvanian mountains through Budapest and then into the states, so I'm not sure exactly where they picked up the art, but I'm looking for some of my Papa's old eggs to post pictures of- they were absolutly unreal in their complexity and were sooo pretty.

We actually have a family story which tells one of our ancestors was an apprentice to Fabrige (sp?), and we do have an actual Fabrige egg that has been in the family for years.

I'm going to post the "Christmas" eggs here too- they could EASILY be changed and decorated for Easter as well...
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2004 10:59:40 AM »

ooohh, faberge eggs-they're incredible! here are some pics.

« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2004 11:01:19 AM »

Here is a site that has some pictures of the Ukranian eggs... In my opinion they are so much prettier than the Lithuanian eggs
Here is a link for anyone who wants to be a dyehard (sorry couldn't resist) and use the stylus. It's literally one of the first sites that came up when I googled... Though I vaguely remember my mother getting the McCallisters catalog
Here is a link to some pictures of Lithuanian eggs... I'm sure we inherited the tradition from the Slavs and just "dumbed it down" a bit...

Now Frabrige... that is a true art form...

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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2004 11:15:41 AM »

Christmas Eggs- these are a little more intracate than the wax/dye eggs, but TONS of fun to do, and you can easily change the colors of the beads and ribbon and the items inside to reflect ANY holiday or special event. The egg I have in the pictures here was made by my at-the-time 6 year old daughter (with a little help from me of course!) Again, this is not a 'quickie' craft- it takes tons of time and patience!

What you'll need:

Small beads, gemstones, TINY beads, seed pearls, thin ribbon, 1/4 inch ribbon, miniatures, fiber fill, STRONG craft glue, hat pins, scissors (the smaller the better!!), wire cutters and eggs.

Before I post the actual how-to, here's a quick diagram which should help you understand better:

OK- here we go- let's make eggs! I'll try to explain this as best as possible, but if you have questions, email me.

-- Blow out the eggs. If you're not sure how to do this- read the very first message in this thread *grin*--

Once your eggs are REALLY clean inside and REALLY dry, you're ready to decorate. Each 'row' will be applied with craft glue and will be made up of either beads or ribbon.
It's a lot of fun to come up with different combinations of bead colors and ribbons, and it's totally up to you.

To start, you will run a strip of 1/4 inch ribbon around the entire egg at the center of the egg. This will be the 'support' and the dividing line between the front and the back, and where you will insert your hat pins at the end. If you look at the 'back' of Samantha's egg, you'll see her PINK RIBBON which runs from the top to the bottom of the egg.

Now, pick a gem or large bead to place in the very center on the back of your egg. Affix with glue and wait for it to dry.  Once it's dry enough for you to work with the egg without knocking it off, you're ready to add your first row of beads OR ribbon- YOUR CHOICE!. Simply apply the craft glue, apply a row of which ever you choose, then wait for it to dry. Continue to 'fill in' the back of the egg, alternating beads and ribbon, until you reach the wide ribbon you originally attached. Remember to use A LOT of craft glue- it will dry clear and it is the best way to keep your egg from cracking!

Make sure you let the back dry really well before doing the front.
When it's dry, fill in the front of the egg by doing your alternate beads/ribbon rows, but leave the entire middle section uncovered. If you end on a bead row, it's a lot harder to open your eggs, so we tell everyone who is starting to end on a ribbon row.

Once you have two or three front rows, you need to let the egg dry- ALL THE WAY. Don't be tempted to work with it when it's still somewhat tacky, or your egg will crack- and that sucks.

Dry? Great! Let's break it!

Take a hat pin and put it in the middle of the front of the egg, using it like a tiny drill bit to work a hole into the shell. Once you have a small hole, you'll need to keep working it until you can fit the tip of your scissors into it. Then VERY CAREFULLY cut out the opening to the size you want.

Invariably, the egg is still full of gook. Wipe it out gently with a wet paper towel and let it dry.

Now you're ready to add your hang tag and hat pins- we decorate ours with matching beads, securing each bead with glue. While they are drying, take some of your 1/4 inch ribbon and make a crude loop- a length of ribbon which is glued together, leaving 'tails' about 2 inches long. (See the WIDE HANGING RIBBON drawing up there ^ for a better explination!)

Once they're dry, glue the hanging ribbon to the egg by gluing down the two tails.  Then use the hat pins like a mini-drill to put three small holes in the top of your egg.  and place one on either side of the loop and then one in the center of the loop- secure them with glue and they will add stability to your hanging ribbon. To add balance to the egg, add one decorated hat pin to the bottom of the egg. Use your wire cutters to trim them down to where they are almost flush with the egg shell.

The hanging ribbon and hat pins are ALL optional!! We do this for hanging on a Christmas tree- if you aren't going to hang your egg, you don't need them!

Let your egg dry really well, then decorate the inside with paint, glitter, miniatures, fiber fill, etc.

Again- if you have ANY questions- email me!

« Last Edit: March 25, 2005 05:01:03 AM by LunaFate » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2004 12:53:26 PM »

yeah, ukrainian eggs are a bit different, and i'm pretty sure they're an all year thing instead of just easter. i know i have a whole giant bowlful that i work on whenever i feel like it anyways. one of the best spots i know is www.ukrainianeggs.com - it has order info and uses the traditional method of the kistka, beeswax and dye that i'm used to.
you should check it out, it's great because the designs go from beginner to very detailed
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2004 12:54:39 PM »

sorry, that website was www.ukrainianegg.com!
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2004 01:17:42 PM »

ok, I talked to mom about this whole- why are we making Lithuanian eggs thing ~grin~

She says that when he was younger my Papa made Ukranian eggs and was really good at it, but as he got older his degenerative arthritis prevented him from doing them anymore, so he went to the more 'simple' patterns on the Lithuanian eggs.

hah. learn something new every day...
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