Easter String Egg Tutorial

My Mother would make these delicate string eggs for decorations when I was little.  She used powdered laundry starch.  I hunted high and low for powdered starch and there was none to be found however I did find an inexpensive substitutestring eggs 4Start by mixing 1 1/2c. cornstarch with 1 c. cold water in a saucepan and heat, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Really, keep stirring it will only take a few minutes and it goes from liquid to solid almost instantly.  Using a whisk will keep the mixture from getting lumpy.  Once the mixture thickens and becomes shiny you will want to whisk in some more water to thin it to the consistency of white glue.  I had to add quite a bit a water at this point, if it is too thick your project will be one big, sticky mess and all the spaces between you string will be filled with starch.  Allow to cool slightly, I used cold water to thin my mixture and that cooled it down quickly.
While it cools collect the other supplies you’ll need:
yarn, string, and/or thread
a variety of embellishments
filler (Easter grass, eggs, chocolate bunnies, etc.)
Blow the balloons up to the size you would like your finished basket to be.  I made mine large so I could fit some plastic eggs in them.  Smaller, water balloons also make really cute decorations, they look great grouped in a basket together.
I used crochet thread for my eggs.  I liked to use various weights and complimentary colors.  Most of the eggs I made have a plain color, a fancy metallic, and a variegated color thread.  Since I am using thrifted thread there are different weight, brands and textures.  The easiest way to saturate you thread with the cornstarch mixture is to wrap it into balls or onto spools.  I also left some on their original cardboard rolls, but that made the wrapping process really messy, the paste flies everywhere as the thread unwinds.  If you just add loose thread to the mixture it gets all knotted up (ask me how I know).
I added my thread to the saucepan full of cooked cornstarch and started wrapping it around my balloons.  Your hand removes the excess paste while you wrap, make sure to wipe it back into the pan often.  It’s kind of tricky at first, take you time and try to cover all areas of the balloons.  This is a messy project, I had paste everywhere by the time it was all done.  You’ll need to use a lot of string to wrap your balloons.  If it’s too lacy the finished egg won’t hole its shape.  The purple one in the picture below does not have enough string, after popping the balloon it was really obvious.  Sometimes you can inflate a new balloon inside and wrap it with more thread, I was able to save this one :).string eggs 1Once your balloons are wrapped they will need to dry overnight.  I hung mine from my pot rack (a shower rod works good too).  They are ready when they are dry to the touch and feel stiff.  string eggs 2 Pop the balloon and cut a hole it the side of the egg.  You can also just leave them as is and display them or cut them into a basket shape.  It’s hard to see in the photo, but the opening has already been cut.  I traced around a lid to get a perfect circle.  The thread cuts easily with regular scissors.string eggs 3I made stands for my eggs using a strip of cardstock taped into a ring shape.  Decorate and embellish you eggs and stands using hot glue.  I always like to add some sort of embellishment or trim around the cut edge.  I used gathered fabric on these two.  I also like to use rick rack, ribbon, or eyelet or lace gathered trim.  I have three more to decorate and that yellow one needs a little more decoration, I’m thinking a crocheted flower.
If you make any, let me know, I’d love to see how they come out!
This tutorial is included in the Fave Crafts Blog hop.


Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

Wow those are beautiful! I think my kids would destroy those, I'll wait a couple of years :)

Crafterella said...

My kids haven't bothered them, but they are decorations here and not actually used for Easter baskets (I would wait for that too). They are easy and inexpensive to make, you should give it a try ;)