Always, Katie: March 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Grown Up Easter Eggs - Using My Silhouette Cameo

I have a super-cool tutorial to share with y'all today!  The idea for it popped into my head last night, and I literally JUMPED off the couch to try it out!  

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was from my wonderful parents-in-law - the Silhouette Cameo that I had been dreaming of for over a year. :-)  I've been thrilled with the cool things I've been able to make, and haven't even scratched the SURFACE of what this neat little machine can do!  Her name is Camille, and we're best friends. 

Slightly shocked...
Vinyl is one of the most popular materials used with the Silhouette, and it has been so fun to play with because of its versatility.  Last night, I was thinking about how well it sticks to such a variety of surfaces... and it occured to me: what about egg shells?  I tried it with a little scrap of vinyl and a hardboiled egg that happened to be in my fridge.  It requires some patience... but it works!  

Still reeling from the awesomeness, I picked some cute little flowers from my library, and sized them reeeally tiny - about half an inch diameter - and cut them out.  Stuck 'em on the egg, and dropped it into some homemade egg dye.  I was pretty pleased with the result, and decided to do another egg so I could get some pictures for this tutorial.  Along the way, I figured out some pitfalls, and my second egg turned out slightly LESS awesomely than my first, but... now I can warn you what NOT to do!

You need:
  • A Silhouette/and computer/and shapes
  • Scrap of vinyl (mine was about 3.5 inches by 5 inches, I think)
  • Raw eggs 
  • Egg dye (I made mine, but wish I'd had Paas.)
  • Something to fish the eggs out of the dye with, someplace safe to put the eggs to dry.
First, prep your vinyl.  Pick whatever designs your heart desires, but keep in mind - they will be TINY and you will be trying to put them on an egg.  And keep them on an egg.  And remove them from an egg.  This is why I call these "grown up" Easter eggs... I can't imagine very small kids having the patience - or dexterity - for this!  Size the images down, and cut them out of whatever scrap pieces of vinyl you have around.  Color doesn't matter, since the vinyl is just a mask. 

Note - my dove didn't work... it wouldn't wrap around the curve of the egg and lay smoothly.  Think more flexible shapes!
Make some egg dye... Mine is 1tsp white vinegar, 3/4C warm water, and a LOT more food coloring than it looks like you should need.  I used 8 drops total (4 blue, 4 green) and got a very pastel look after a LONG soak.

Now... make sure your egg is DRY!  This is why I recommend raw eggs - the hardboiled eggs from my fridge got condensation on them as they came to room temp, and I could NOT keep them dry.  Vinyl will NOT stick to a wet egg!  Plus, you can blow out the egg and save it as a decoration for years to come. I always hated eating the pretty eggs we worked so hard on as kids! ;-)  Also, make sure you have a safe place for your egg to land when you pull it out of the dye.  Paper towel and a plate or small dish is fine.

Verrrry carefully... transfer the vinyl to the egg.  Depending on your shape, you may be able to do this by hand, but little bits of contact paper may be necessary for more intricate shapes.

It looks like it's sticking pretty well, but I'd been fighting the condensation like whoa... some spots, it's sticking to the water more than the egg, which, of course, doesn't form much of a seal between the shell and the vinyl.

Drop the egg gently into the dye.  If you see bits of vinyl floating out from the egg, try and poke them back into place with a spoon.  It won't be perfect, but it may at least act as a partial mask.

If you look reeeeal closely, you can see that the end of the stem is floating out a bit.  Not preferable!
After the egg has soaked for a while, scoop it out and lay it gently on the paper towel.  Dab it dry...

Once you're satisfied that the egg is very dry, peel off the vinyl.  If you got a good seal before dyeing, the vinyl may not want to budge... so please remember that your egg is raw!  I'd hate for you to squish the egg you've worked so hard on!

Here is my final product... if you want to preserve your egg shell, do a quick Pinterest or google search for "blow out an egg"... I've never done it myself, but plan to as soon as there are raw eggs in this apartment again ;-)

I don't see any reason this can't be done with any kind of sticker (and I'm sure it has been!), but the beauty of the Silhouette is that you can use any of a gazillion shapes that are specifically designed to look great cut out, or use a font to add a phrase, monogram or name to your eggs.  The possibilities are kind of mind-boggling!!

Happy early Easter, everyone!


PS: Here's a cell phone pic of the impossibly tiny (but precious!) flowers I put on my first test-egg.  Cute, but maddening ;-)


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