For the discriminating egg painter

When I was a kid, we had plastic items called Decoreggers that held an Easter egg securely while you painted or drew on it. Last year, my family went on a major hunt for Decoreggers and couldn’t find any in local stores. This year, I got out my saw and improvised.

With a saw, a drill and some scrap lumber, you can make this very quickly. Compression springs (as opposed to expansion springs) run about $3 a pair at hardware stores, and dowels are even cheaper. You’ll need both wood glue and a super-glue.

I made the egg cups from Fimo polymer clay, about $2 at hobby stores.  (Cover a wooden endpiece in plastic wrap and mold the square bases on that. For the cups, press a flat circle of clay onto a plastic egg, also covered in plastic wrap.)  Polymer clay bakes up at home oven temperatures. It’s mighty stuff.

The springs I found were a little bigger than I needed, so I used a pretty big dowel and uprights. Assemble these upright parts first and then judge carefully how far apart you need to place them on the base.  Too close together = too much pressure on the egg. Too far apart = not enough tension to hold the egg. This totally depends on your individual springs.  When you get it right, glue them to the base.

I glued foam into the cups to help compensate for natural variation in the spheroid form 🙂  Just scavenged packing foam, cut into circles. (Ever wonder why chicken eggs are pointier at one end than the other? Ask a lady chicken. Or an Aussie scientist)

In the top photo you’ll see little wire collars at the ends, holding the dowels level. That’s a last-minute fix — I’d planned for the holes in the uprights to be only a tiny bit larger than the dowels, figuring the close fit would keep them level. But my biggest drill bit was the same size as my dowel, and I drilled the holes first. The fit was too tight; dowels wouldn’t slide. I tried sanding them down but had to switch to a smaller dowel, which flopped all over the place. Wire collars to the rescue.

Happy Easter egg decorating!

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