Friday, March 30, 2012

Faberge Eggs -- Upper Elementary

So I wanted to do something for Easter that wasn't specifically "Easter" so I thought Faberge eggs would be nice since they incorporate some very famous art, some use of recycled materials and can be finished in any number of ways depending on how long you have to work on the project.

I was inspired for this idea by a book that I found at a local Used Book Superstore. The book pages are puzzles!

Faberge Treasures Jigsaw Puzzle Book from the Forbes Collection

Another great book resource is Faberge Fantasies and Treasures by Geza Von Harsburg:
The materials to start this project are very easy to find: newspaper (torn up), Elmer's art paste, larger plastic Easter eggs (found at the dollar store):
Step one: Cover the eggs with at least three or four layers of newspaper that has been dipped in the art paste. Since this will have to dry completely before the next step, you may want to allow students who work faster to make more than one egg.
Step two: When the paper mache is completely dry, use an x-acto blade to cut a seam around the middle. This is not safe for students to do on their own. The paper egg should easily come off the plastic one. If you want to save time you can leave the egg in the middle and go on to step four in the first class.
Step three: Then have students tape them closed again.
Step four: Add a layer or two of white paper over the newspaper. I used torn printer paper. Then add a few layers of white tissue paper over that for a nicer finish. Let dry again.
Step five: Decorating! For this step there are many options. Depending on how much time you have you can combine some of these with step four (if you are using tissue paper to decorate) or you can allow a full class time to complete the decorating.

Using tissue paper is a favorite option of mine because when applied with glossy Mod Podge it gives a jewel-like finish. Paint is another option: either tempera or watercolor. I really liked using the watercolor. I suppose you could all out glitter, but I didn't try that one. To get puffy gold paint I actually added gold paint to Elmer's white glue in the bottle so that the tip could be used as the applicator to get the line work. Glitter Mod Podge is nice (see the red egg). Prang makes a nice selection of metallic markers that look good over the painted eggs (see the dark purple egg). Embellishments up the bling factor (like sequin strands and rhinestones). The biggest thing, I think, is that the eggs be shiny, so they should all be coated with some type of gloss, either the Mod Podge that I used on all the eggs or some other gloss medium or varnish.

 This egg was drawn on with blue permanent marker, then layers of two shades of blue tissue paper were applied with glossy Mode Podge. Once that was dry (about 5 minutes), the gold was added with the glue bottle. That is the hardest part because it will drip and it is difficult to hold the egg while applying the decoration. It also takes a while for the thick gold glue to dry. Once it is dry hot glue the rhinestones on.

 This egg was painted with purple tempera (red and blue mixed together), allowed to dry (about 5 - 10 minutes), coated with glossy Mod Podge (dry again for about 5 - 10 minutes), and then drawn on with the metallic markers by Prang.

 This egg was painted with red tempera, allowed to dry (about 5 minutes), coated with glittery Mod Podge (dry again for 5 - 10 minutes), then the sequin strands and rhinestones are applied with hot glue.

 This egg was first drawn on with the gold glue to create sections for the colors, this had to dry and again was difficult to do. Also the egg has to be held while it dries unless you don't apply the gold to one of the tips. After about 20 minutes of drying time, the sections were painted using wet Q-tips and watercolors, which dried fairly quickly. Then apply a layer of gloss or glitter Mod Podge. The rhinestones were hot glued on.

This egg may be my favorite. It was decorated with dark blue tissue paper applied with Glossy Mod Podge. Shades of pink tissue paper were cut into diamond shapes and collaged over that. Tissue paper circles were collaged on the top and bottom. The gold glue was used to make the dots. The metallic markers were used to outline the shapes. The gold glue was also applied to the tip and a rhinestone was pressed into that.