Easy Easter Egg Decoration
by Janean Thompson
Easter is a great opportunity to flex some of your creative muscle and design some extraordinary Easter eggs and treats for the youngsters, and it even lets the young artists participate.
You may use real boiled eggs to make some original color applications or perhaps you might want to use artificial eggs so that you can keep them from year to year. Either way, using your airbrush to apply color and design is entertaining. You will need an airbrush (single action or double action—your choice—I will use my Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500); an air source (I always rely on my quiet and reliable Smart Jet compressor); food coloring to use as “paint” or acrylic airbrush paints if you are creating permanent decorations; stickers; wax crayons (colors and white); and newspaper to catch overspray.
If you are using boiled eggs, cool them to room temperature before beginning. Be sure they are dry. (Photo 1) Use the food coloring straight from the dropper or bottle to get the richest tones, or thin with water and apply very lightly for pastel colors. Over-spraying is a great way to get mixed colors quickly. (Photo 2) Dynamic colors are created by over-spraying one area with a lighter and brighter color.
If you are using plastic or wooden artificial eggs, it is a good idea to lightly sand the surface so that the acrylic paints will adhere. Airbrush a base coat first and then cover with some rich, juicy colors. For impact and interest, use stickers on the egg shape before you airbrush the base coat or brights. When you peel off the stickers, the original color of the egg will show as a design on the surface. (Photo 3) Crayons (colors and white) can be used to draw designs on the surface of either real or artificial eggs and will prevent the food color or acrylics from toning those areas. This is a quick and easy way to get lines, spirals, star shapes and more on the eggs. You or young “helpers” are the designers and can create whatever shapes in crayon you want. Then tone over the wax designs for real interest and appeal. (Photo 4)
To engage really small artists, there is a cool look achieved by using watercolor markers on eggs – any lines, designs, squiggles, circles…anything at all. Then, with the lightest application of plain water, spritz the egg. The watery tones wash together wherever the mist combines with the color. Where the mist does not sprinkle on color, the lines stay visible. (Photo 5) This can create some elegant, soft tone colors and lets everyone enjoy the process.
If you would rather not do actual eggs or artificial eggs, you can create cool wall décor by airbrushing egg shapes cut from poster board. They can be attached with poster Tack-it to the wall, are easily removed and can be used year after year. To make the shapes, draw an egg shaped “pattern” and use it to cut shapes from poster board. The flat shapes are easy to design and airbrush in whatever colors you like. Again, crayons can be used to “resist” the airbrush colors and make it easy to do lines, curves, or circles…any shape you prefer. Where the crayon marks are made, the airbrush colors will not cover. This is a great opportunity for the graphic designer in you to shine.
Poster board shapes make great décor for family rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, classrooms and more. You’ll have fun making them in different sizes and colors, some hung from ribbons in entry windows or hanging from the rear-view mirror in the car (if legally allowed in your state). They let you enjoy the season no matter where you are.
For super fancy egg designs, use silk flower blooms and leaves, decoupage fancy/painted papers on the surface, etc.—you can do so much with a colored egg shape. So get creative! There’s plenty of time for you to make original and unique decor for Easter—and it’s quick and easy with the airbrush.