Oeuf Couture: How to Dress an Easter Egg

comments (7) April 16th, 2014     

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Jeff_Rudell Jeffery Rudell, contributor
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This Easter, Im keeping all of my eggs au naturel but wrapping them in as much color as I can muster.
Narrow strips of paper, in bright springtime hues, are woven using a traditional chair-caning pattern.
Less of a dye job than a makeover: Dare I call it Œuf Couture?
This Easter, Im keeping all of my eggs au naturel but wrapping them in as much color as I can muster.

This Easter, I'm keeping all of my eggs au naturel but wrapping them in as much color as I can muster.

Photo: Jeff Rudell
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I feel certain I am committing a craft crime of some sort when I say this, but I prefer my Easter eggs white, brown, or blue; any hue they wear in nature is good enough for me. Why this should be is anyone's guess. I don't, as a rule, prefer neutral tones, and I am not wedded to pastels. As readers of this post know, I am not afraid of color -and strong color at that-so why this contrary position when it comes to Easter decorations?

I can offer only a feeble defense: nostalgia. Growing up on a small family farm, I have only pleasant memories of the daily trips to the chicken coop where my entrance would be heralded by the mildly indignant whispers of the hens. A pale collectlon of freshly laid eggs, in a basket, in the sunlight, is as close a snapshot of happiness as I can conjure. 

Mind you, I have dyed my share of eggs. As a child, I opted for dyeing eggs in bowls of garish Kool-Aid or Paas pellets (using that flimsy, wire egg holder). As an adult, I tried dyeing eggs using vegetable skins and grains. I have painted eggs and rubber-stamped eggs and applied stickers to eggs and used markers and crayons and pencils on eggs. I've wrapped them in fabric and origami papers and even tried my hand at traditional Ukrainian decorating techniques. But my preference remains for the plain old eggs in their natural-colored shells.

Unadorned eggs may be fine for me, but as an uncle of five, I have obligations that extend beyond my preferences. This year, I have decided to keep the eggs white but wrap each one in as colorful a paper container as I can create. The process, I'm finding, can be time-consuming, so I'm getting an early start on the three-dozen eggs I have patiently blown, washed, and dried. Here are my first few efforts for your amusement and, for the more patient among my readers, I have included a tutorial on how to create a modern, single-egg egg basket of your own.

I invite all readers to share an their ideas by posting a picture of one of their egg designs in the gallery. Your creation need not be an egg container like mine, but could be any egg adornment you please, including the traditional dyed variety. My hope is that seeing all of the member contributions will inspire in my efforts to work my way through the remaining 32 designs I have yet to make.

Thank you in advance to anyone able to participate. If you can't share a photo, please leave me a comment and let me know your favorite way of decorating for this holiday. My very best ideas come directly from CraftStylish members, so I'm counting on you for help.

(Check out Part 2 of this post here.)

  Begin with 1/8-inch strips of brightly colored paper 9 inches long. I used Color-Aid, which is a gouache-paint paper, so you will notice it flakes off around the edges. The pattern for this traditional caning pattern can be found here.


  Once you have gotten the vertical and horizontal weave in place, begin adding the left-slanting strips (fuchsia, in my example). A final, right-slanting strip (bright green) was added next to complete the design (green strip not shown in this photo).


  Once the weave is complete, apply a generous amount of white glue to the reverse side to adhere ALL of the pieces in place and prevent them from unraveling in the following steps.


  When the glue is dry, begin forming your container. My finished piece was 1-7/8 inches x 2-3/4 inches (plenty large enough for an extralarge egg). Score each crease before folding it against a straightedge.

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Comments (7)

CeceliaLouie writes: Thank you turning the stereotypes upside down and inspiring us all, Jeffery. I am transported back to art school when we had "blue sky" projects and had so much fun making my Egg Spaceship!

Posted: 11:55 am on February 12th
Christine_Connor writes: This is amazing stuff! Im loving the wealth of material, information & various creative outputs by so many folk on this site!

Your Easter egg also looks amazing. The time, care & love & attention you showed in creating it really shows. I know as a seasoned quiller, i have to dedicate equal time, love & care when creating quilling projects. From my experience, i would add that folk who are going to attempt this, be very careful with the glue! Make sure you use a good quality glue that is appropriate for paper crafts. Also don't apply too much otherwise it could ruin your project. Use one with an applicator so you can easily control the flow of the glue..

I personally use a variety, but clear drying glue like Crystal Effects is usually sufficient.

Posted: 11:06 am on April 1st
EchoLin writes: you have given us a good pattern of easter crafts.
Posted: 10:14 pm on March 31st
jscott56 writes: WOW!!! These are very neat and are something I want to learn to. What a true inspiration!!!
Posted: 12:16 am on August 21st
AWilcox writes: What a great way to decorate the Easter Egg! I have nieces who love decorating for any holiday, and during Easter they make a mess with food coloring. This year I am going to present your idea to them, I am sure they will love it as much as I do, thanks for your innovative creations.
Posted: 4:51 pm on March 16th
hemidemisemiquaver writes: ooooh....I am a postin'! I have a beautiful project I did at Christmas for naturl egg shell ornaments, as well as an eggshell garden! I will post both in the same post!
Posted: 3:10 pm on March 16th
LauraMM writes: I LOVE your work! Your paper creations are amazing works of art! And I love how you left the eggs natural... I have 3 children, so we are into dying eggs, coloring, and so on.... Pre-kids, I'd paint the eggs and then heat emboss some designs with embossing powder... But now I'm off to purchase brown eggs, and I'd like to arrange some naturally with decorated vessels or baskets... thanks for the inspiration!
Posted: 10:36 am on March 16th
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