Create handmade paper eggs with dried flowers and paper-making supplies. This might be a great gift for a retirement party. Get crackin'.
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
- Whole dried flowers
- Paper-making supplies: cotton linter; tool kit including deckle mold, screen, and directions
- Metal tablespoon
- Plastic dishpan
- Baking sheet with raised sides
- Liquid measuring cup
- Small, soft-bristled paintbrush
- Thin, white craft glue
- Household sponge
- Several clean, dry dishtowels
- Optional: acrylic paint; dried botanical additives for handmade paper
- For each foam egg, combine one sheet cotton linter with four cups water in blender to create pulp. If tinted paper is desired, add a drop or two of paint to mixture. For added texture, add botanicals and blend well.
- Pour pulp into plastic dishpan. If desired, gently mix whole dried flowers into pulp. Follow manufacturer's instructions to complete paper-making process; begin by thoroughly agitating pulp with hands.
- Slide deckle mold to bottom of dishpan under pulp, then lift mold straight up to catch a thin, smooth layer of pulp inside. Let excess water drain back into dishpan. Place mold on baking sheet.
- Gently lift deckle off screen. Place cover screen over pulp and press top of screen with sponge to remove water; ring out sponge and repeat. Do not press pulp as dry as required for sheet of paper; it needs to retain some moisture to mold easily around foam egg.
- Remove top screen and place clean, dry towel over paper. Gently peel back damp paper from bottom screen onto towel. With one hand under towel, carefully lift entire sheet onto towel. Place towel flat on work surface with paper on top.
- Place foam egg in center of paper. With hand under towel, gently wrap paper up and over egg to cover entire surface with wet pulp. Work slowly and carefully, gently tearing away excess pulp where it overlaps or buckles; retain small pieces to fill holes. Use towel to press pulp tightly against egg surface while wrapping.
- If towel becomes saturated, gently pull it away and replace with dry one. Eventually, towel should be wrapped tightly around entire egg. Squeeze tightly with both hands to strengthen bond between pulp and egg.
- Remove towel and replace with dry one for another total wrap and firm squeezing; pulp should be almost dry and completely adhered to foam. Let paper dry until only slightly damp.
- To ensure best adhesion and smooth bumps, burnish surface of egg by firmly rubbing back of spoon over paper in small circles. Let dry completely.
- If desired, use brush to gently apply small amount white glue to backs of dried leaves and flowers. Carefully press items to egg surface, patting lightly with fingertips. Let dry.
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