The way we see it, there's a zillion reasons to make these lovely plaster eggs. As a craft, it's fun for both kids and adults. Plaster is a great replacement for plastic eggs for those looking to go plastic-free (and eliminating the candy-filling issue along the way), they're reusable, they're an ethical choice (vegan/ cruelty-free), and they don't attribute to food waste.
Plaster eggs are beautiful enough for a holiday table centerpiece, yet sturdy enough for an egg hunt. Used in rough form, they work as a homemade sidewalk chalk (bonus for the kiddos!) Alternately they can be finished in handsome detail for a seasonal keepsake to enjoy each Easter season. As a kids' craft, year after year, these eggs become a benchmark of the child's development and creative journey.
And lastly, let's be honest, it's just fun to make a mess sometimes. With this post's help, we hope you're inspired to dive into creating something beautiful this Easter season.
This Easter bunny loves what's in his basket: plaster eggs are an ethical choice, they are reusable, vegan/ cruelty-free, and do not attribute to food waste. All this and they're lovely, too!
This step will take some time, but the good news is that the molds are reusable and last a long time. We used ours multiple times and will be saving them again for next year. First step is to find some old plastic eggs in sizes that appeal to you. If you don't have old ones on-hand, ask around or check the thrift store. It's besides the point to go buy new plastic eggs for this craft, please try to up-cycle. And one last tip: make sure you have a drill bit slightly larger than your funnel tip.
Up-cycle old plastic eggs into reusable plaster molds.
Working in small batches, follow the ratio recommended on the instructions (usually 2 parts plaster: 1 part water). Mix in acrylic craft paint for colored plaster. Because the plaster hardens quickly and we were free-mixing colors, we dissolved the paint into the water first before adding the plaster powder. We mixed 1 cup of plaster at a time, this filled approx. 3 small eggs or 1 large/ 1 small egg (depending on spills, and we had a few). Do not rinse plaster down the drain, scrape extra into the trash can.
It helps to have an extra set of hands and a small spatula for this step. Like we said, the mix dries fast, so you must work quickly. Pour small amounts through your funnel at a time. Gently tap mix down into the egg to release bubbles. Top-off as necessary, you want egg filled beyond the brim. If plaster starts to thicken, you may need a chopstick or skewer to work it through the funnel. For two-tone eggs, fill half the mold at a time; tip mold slightly to create a diagonal. What a beautiful mess!
Let the plaster harden in the eggs for at least an hour or two before breaking into the molds. Oh, the anticipation...
Making plaster Easter eggs, what a beautiful mess. It's a craft kids and adults will love.
Use a towel to twist apart the mold halves to reveal your plaster eggs. If stuck, carefully work the long edge of a knife into the mold crease to break the seal. Do not use the knife tip, and be very careful, your hands may be slippery from the petroleum jelly coating.
Aren't they lovely? If you plan to use the eggs as sidewalk chalk or you especially dig the rough imperfections, this be your stopping point—though the eggs will need a few more hours (an up to a few days, depending on your humidity) to dry completely.
Plaster eggs straight out of their molds also double as homemade sidewalk chalk, a bonus for kids and a great idea for a candy-free egg hunt.
To smooth the surface of your egg, use a fine to medium-gauge sandpaper, apply a bit of water, and a lot of elbow grease. Wet sanding helps contain the plaster dust, which is hazardous to inhale. Nevertheless, work in a well-ventilated area and have children wear dust masks. Read and head the information on the plaster packaging. Use a gentle touch with the sandpaper, thinking always of the contour of the egg. Use small circular movements around the line created by the mold crease. The last thing you want to do is sand a flat spot onto your egg!
Let dry. Like we mentioned, depending on the humidity in your area, the eggs will need a few more hours, and up to a few days, to dry completely.
As your handmade beauties dry, dream of the Easter egg decorating possibilities. These plaster eggs are beautiful enough for a holiday table centerpiece and sturdy enough for an egg hunt.
Though we think they're lovely as they are, once the eggs are completely dry, you can decorate them even more by playing around with finishing touches. Ideas worth exploring include: adding decorative detail with paints, glitter, even Sharpie markers. Decoupage or paper mache would be stunning. Hey, add rhinestones, if that's your style. The point of all this work is to create a collection of keepsakes that you look forward to bringing out each Easter season.
Sweet little Easter basket filled with reusable plaster eggs, painted in bright pearly colors.
Tips and best practices:
Having experimented with this craft a few times, we're happy to share our failures to save you the trouble. Take the time to prep the molds carefully. In our impatience the first time we didn't reinforce the eggs with tape and seal the little holes and we ended up with a big mess. If the petroleum jelly gets on the outside of your mold, no tape to stick to it! It's worth being extra cautious when applying. We tried using food coloring instead of paint—don't do it. The color fades and pools in odd ways. We tried adding glitter both to the wet plaster mix and to the inside of the mold before we poured in the plaster, neither worked—especially if you'll be sanding the eggs.
If you have a question for us, leave it in the comments below.
Related post: Make an up-cycled paper Easter Basket with Wrappily
Eco-friendly and adorably chic, Wrappily uses neighborhood newspaper presses to print great patterns on 100% recyclable and compostable newsprint—an answer to the millions of tons of trash attributed to wrapping paper every year. This smart, new take on wrapping paper is an idea who's time has come. Our founder set out on her mission to green-up giving in 2013, a journey filled with marvelously talented people who are creating amazing patterns for our wrapping paper. After all, we believe in beautifully wrapped gifts, but not at the expense of the environment.