About Rubber Stamping on Eggs
There is very little in the way of specialist equipment required to stamp on eggs, simply a few stamps and lots of ideas! This is an adaptable technique and one that will appeal to stampers of all experience levels. Eggs can be decorated with just a couple of stamps for a bit of interest, or transformed using a variety of inks, stamps and techniques into Fabergé inspired masterpieces. Children will also enjoy making rubber stamped egg decorations, although as the eggs are blown prior to use a steady hand is required.
Types of Eggs
Any type of egg is suitable for stamping upon. Large eggs with strong shells, such as duck eggs, give a good surface for stamped images, whereas tiny shells from quails eggs are suitable for more intricate designs and images.
Preparation of Eggs
The eggs need to be prepared before use. It is best to use blown eggs (eggs that have had small holes made at either end and the content literally blown out into a bowl leaving an empty egg). Prepare more eggs than you require as this will ensure a ready supply should disaster or a heavy hand strike.
Tip: Young children may find stamping onto hardboiled eggs easier as these will be more robust and less inclined to shatter with eager stamping. The hardboiled egg should not be eaten after it has been stamped.
Coloring EggsEgg shells can be colored prior to stamping.
The egg shells can be dyed prior to stamping. There are many ways of dying eggs and dyes can be purchased specifically for the purpose or other methods can be used such as coffee, cake coloring or yarn dyes.
There are artificial eggs available that make ideal surfaces to decorate with rubber stamps. These include polystyrene eggs, papier mache eggs or even the clay eggs that poultry farmers use to encourage hens to lay. Artificial eggs with a water resistant or shiny surface may need alternative decorative techniques, for instance stamping images onto paper and then sticking this onto the surface.
Tip: Eggs that are dyed or painted a darker color will show up metallic inks or paints more clearly, whereas dark inks and paints will show up better on pale egg shells.
Types of Rubber Stamps Required
As the egg surface is slightly round, the easiest stamps to work with are unmounted stamps. Balance the unmounted stamp on the tips of your fingers and press against the egg, allowing the stamp to form itself against the egg’s surface. Small stamps work best as they are easier to form against the surface - larger stamps may slip.
Attractive effects are achieved by pressing portions of stamps against the egg. This makes an abstract image and when a number of impressions are built up will provide an intricate web of images over the egg. This works well with outline stamps where the small portions of the image give an almost lace like overall impression.
Although egg shells are porous, even quick drying or dye inks will not sink into the surface and may require heat setting. Embossing also works well, and slow drying inks can be fixed by embossing with effective results.
It is possible to simply wipe any wet ink residue from the surface of the egg after a few hours. The inked image will be slightly more muted than normal and there may be a smudge of color, however this can create an original design.
Poster paints or acrylic paints work well on eggs too, and are readily available in a variety of colors.
Note about heating: The eggs get very hot, therefore either heat a small section at a time and leave the egg to cool or thread the egg onto a metal knitting needle while heating.
The finished egg will be given an additional shine if it is painted or sprayed with a clear varnish. This will give the egg slightly more strength, however it should be noted that the shell will remain fragile.
How to Use a Stamped Egg
The finished eggs make lovely table decorations and will bring a touch of Spring or Easter to a table. In addition to this the eggs can be used in a variety of ways:
- Turn one or more eggs into a rubber stamped egg mobile.
- Pop some cotton wool or wadding that has been sprinkled with essential oils into the egg and use the egg as a fragrant decoration
- Use the eggs to decorate egg cups. A collection of egg cups would be given an individual touch by the addition of a few hand stamped eggs as well as being a great way to show off your artwork.