Sunday, March 23, 2014

From Plastic Eggs to Mantle Decor!

This may be the last time I will ever say this...but you should turn back now!  Let me just explain that the reason I undertook this ridiculous project was because the pre-speckled eggs at the craft store were wildly expensive, even after a coupon.  At about $1.00 a piece, I couldn't bring myself to do it.  So I thought to myself, "Hey! How hard could it be?  Spray paint some eggs? No big deal!" Well, it ended up being kind of a big deal.  Like more of a deal than I wanted it to be.  I'll tell you how to do it anyway, but don't say I didn't warn you!

Supplies Needed:
Plastic Eggs
Spray paint primer, ideally a kind made to stick to plastic.
Spray paint with texture (pictures below)
Acrylic craft paint
Toothbrush or paint brush


Okay, so first you're going to buy some plastic eggs.  I got the ones pictured above at the dollar store.  You have to strike early at the dollar store since it gets picked over really quickly but I'm sure Wal-Mart has the same prices or maybe even better.  Side note: Pay attention to those cute styrofoam eggs in the picture...they didn't make it.  I'll get to that later.


Prime the eggs with a primer spray paint.  I just happened to have white spray paint with primer in it so I used that but if you're going to buy some for this project, I suggest you buy the cheapest primer you can find.   Put them in a box like this one because the force of the spray paint from the aerosol can will make them fly around like crazy.  You could even try wedging them together so they don't fly around.
Once you paint one side, roll them over as best you can and paint the other side.

If you happen to have styrofoam eggs laying around, I assume an acrylic craft paint would work better.

Once your eggs are primed and completely dry, you are ready to paint them with some textured spray paint like this (can we ignore my half-dead lawn?  It's March, people) :

It's almost like stucco in a can.  You need this because it helps hide the seam on the egg.  This is probably the most frustrating part.  Brace yourself.  Wedge the eggs together so they don't fly around much and spray one side really well.  Please enjoy this really blurry picture:
**IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE: THE TRAGIC FATE OF THE STYROFOAM EGGS**  I took the picture above as soon as I sprayed the eggs with the textured paint.  When I came back a couple hours later, I found that the spray paint had completely melted the styrofoam eggs.  Did you know spray paint does that?  Me either.  The worst part was that those were the last two packages at the dollar store.  Irreplaceable ("to the left, to the left.."  You know you were thinking it.)

Maybe you'll have more luck than me, but you'll probably use A LOT of the textured paint to cover the eggs.  Like almost the whole can.  Which sucks.  Because the can is like $6.00 and if you do another batch of eggs, you'll probably have to buy another one.  I ended up spraying the eggs, then rolling them around the box to try to coat them.  I'm really not sure if that helped or hindered.  In the end, I sprayed them really well on one side, waited for the thick coat to dry, then turned them over and did the other side.


Once the eggs are done, you will need to paint them with acrylic craft paint.  I bought the color of texturized paint that I did thinking I could get away with leaving some of them that color.  As it turns out, it doesn't look as natural or cute as I thought it would.  I ended up painting all the eggs with acrylic paint.  (I also used a blue that I didn't picture here.)

Note how the texturized paint didn't cover the seam all that well?  If you're like me, you'll have some eggs that look more seamless than others and some that had one side coated and the other side with the seam showing.  If you are artful in the way you display them, you can disguise the seams on most of them. I guess another coat might've helped but at this point, I was done with the spray paint.  

STEP 5: 

Once you've painted the eggs with acrylic paint, you must speckle them. I think the speckling is the most important part to make them look natural.  Plus, the speckles kind of added a faux texture that I think helped disguise the seam further.  

Another thing I learned during this project: I am not a good paint speckler.  I seem to recall having quite the talent for it in the 90's when I was splattering my Keds with neon paint...I guess I'm a little rusty.  

Anyway, for some reason, I didn't take a picture of this part but what you are going to want to do (trust me here) is put the eggs back in the box you sprayed them in and splatter them in there.  It catches a lot of the errant splatter.  Even with the eggs in the box, I was finding tiny droplets of paint around my table for a couple days.  Shh...nail polish remover gets it off most things...

And that'

See what I mean?  If you don't mind spraying eggs with 3 different coats of paint over the course of probably two days, then this is for you.  I love how they look on my mantle as long as no one inspects them...But would I do it again? Probably not!  If you try it, let me know how it works for you! 

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