Dec­o­rat­ing eggs

Dec­o­rate your eggs for Christ­mas – it’s fun and they look great! Julie Moore shows you how

Your Chickens - - Contents -

With Christ­mas just around the cor­ner, now’s the time to make your own Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions us­ing your girls’ free-range eggs. Not only will it save you money, it’s a fun way to spend an af­ter­noon and up­cy­cle your eggs.

De­signs are only lim­ited by your imag­i­na­tion: you can paint them, roll them in glit­ter, de­coupage them, use stick­ers or chisel out a de­sign us­ing a Dremel — the sky’s the limit!

By blow­ing out the contents, eggshells can be pre­served for years of en­joy­ment, plus you still get to make some­thing to eat. You can dec­o­rate hard­boiled eggs, but they not only have a short-shelf life, you’ll be

miss­ing out on a nu­tri­tious snack too.

Egg blow­ing isn’t dif­fi­cult and just needs a lit­tle bit of pa­tience. I’d avoid prac­tis­ing on a ‘favourite’ egg as ini­tial at­tempts tend to re­sult in at least one break­age. Re­mem­ber too that it’s eas­ier to blow the contents of a room tem­per­a­ture egg rather than a cold one.

Whilst there are an ar­ray of gad­gets to buy, I pre­fer to use good old fash­ioned lung power. Fol­low our step-by-step guide to egg blow­ing:

1 MAKE HOLES IN THE EGG

You’ll need to make two holes in the egg – one at the pointy end to blow through and an­other at the wide end for the contents to exit through. Us­ing a safety pin, care­fully turn the egg on the pin point sev­eral times to pierce the eggshell with­out crack­ing the egg. For the exit hole you’ll need to make it 2mm in di­am­e­ter by us­ing a nee­dle file or chip­ping the edges of the hole with the safety pin.

2 BREAK THE YOLK

Af­ter mak­ing the holes, break the yolk by in­sert­ing a cocktail stick or straight­ened out pa­per clip into the wider hole at the bot­tom of the egg.

3 EMPTY THE CONTENTS

Af­ter the egg has been ‘scram­bled,’ blow air through the pointy end. Gen­tly hold the egg over a bowl and purse your lips to form a seal over the hole. Your cheeks should re­main in­flated like a trumpet player’s to main­tain steady pres­sure.

4 CLEAN THE EGG

Rub the shell with your hands un­der run­ning wa­ter to re­move the bloom. Al­low the run­ning wa­ter to en­ter through the larger bot­tom hole. Cov­er­ing both holes with thumb and fore­fin­ger, gen­tly shake, then empty the contents by blow­ing the egg.

5 DRY THE EGG

When you’ve turned off

your oven af­ter cook­ing din­ner, put your washed eggs in for about five min­utes to dry us­ing the resid­ual heat left in the oven — no need to con­sume more en­ergy!

6 DEC­O­RA­TION TIME

Now the eggs are clean and dry, it’s time to dec­o­rate them. Once you’ve fin­ished your de­sign, it’s best to seal with a fin­ish coat such as Mod Podge (or PVA glue mixed with wa­ter for a home­made ver­sion) which will help to pro­tect the de­sign as well as adding some strength to the eggshell.

If you de­cide to paint your eggs, you can use acrylic paints or, for a more rus­tic, nat­u­ral look, dye the eggs us­ing nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents from your kitchen.

There are many ways to hang your blown eggs: pretty bead caps glued on the top and bot­tom with some rib­bon to hang the egg from your tree make sim­ple, but dec­o­ra­tive or­na­ments.

For the thrifty, a rum­mage through last year’s or­na­ment box might re­veal some or­phaned or­na­ment tops — no glue is nec­es­sary as the pres­sure from the lit­tle wires keeps them in place.

If you have some spare shirt but­tons, they can be up­cy­cled to hang your or­na­ments. Us­ing twine, thread a but­ton and push both ends of the twine through the pointy end hole, leav­ing a loop, then glue the but­ton to the top of the egg.

Al­ter­na­tively, make lit­tle wires from straight­ened out pa­per clips by wrap­ping a pa­per clip around the shaft of a pen­cil to make a cir­cu­lar loop. Trim the ex­cess off leav­ing a ‘leg.’ Us­ing pli­ers, bend a ‘foot’ at the end of the ‘leg’ to form a hook which you can in­sert into the hole.

Now re­peat un­til you have an en­tire col­lec­tion to hang on your tree!

De­signs are only lim­ited by your imag­i­na­tion.

Some of my flock get­ting into the Christ­mas spirit.

Step 2. Break the yolk us­ing a cocktail stick.

CEN­TRE: Step 3. Empty the contents. TOP RIGHT: Step 5. Dry the egg. ABOVE RIGHT: Painted eggs are sus­pended on wire to dry.

ABOVE LEFT: Step 6. It’s time to dec­o­rate TOP RIGHT: Hand-painted holly pat­terns re­ally stand out on a dark back­ground. ABOVE RIGHT: Santa Cluck comes at Christ­mas.

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