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Beautiful Fine Art Mosaics from Eggshells!

Updated on May 22, 2012
thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

Often, I look at something that somebody might consider trash such as eggshells, and see potential art or jewelry What do you see?

Japanese Maple and Surrounding Gardens

My eggshell mosaic of my memories of a Japanese Garden.
My eggshell mosaic of my memories of a Japanese Garden. | Source

Hello art lovers everywhere! Feel ambitious? Would you like to know how to make beautiful art out of eggshells? Well here goes:

About a month before you start your project, start collecting eggshells and think about what you would like to make into an eggshell mosaic. Eggshells are ideal because they are very light and traditional mosaics can become very heavy.


Eggshells, substrate (wood is best, but not plywood - too heavy!), acrylic paint, vine charcoal, white crafter's glue, water based polyurethane, can be bought in small quantities at arts and crafts stores or in larger quantities at home supply stores,200 and 400 grit sandpaper, very fine steel wool.

Part I

After using the yolks and whites, rinse out the shells thoroughly and remove inner membrane. Break into about 4 pieces for each egg. You will make them smaller later on in the project. Keep collecting your eggshells until you have a large measuring cup worth. (about 14 to 16 ounces worth) Set aside to dry. During this time of collecting eggshells, think about your design and what you are going to put it on. I put one of my eggshell designs on an old breadboard that was my mom's. If you are using wood, which is a good substrate, sand the piece gently, but thoroughly with 220 sandpaper, and then sand with the next finer grade of sandpaper (400) Draw the design on the wood with vine charcoal (because this is easier to rub out than erasing if you change the design). Start to fill in the design with acrylic paint. When the design is filled in and dry you are ready to begin Part II of the project.

Part II

Take the eggshells you have collected and using the same colors painted on your substrate, paint some eggshells those same/similar colors and let them dry. It won't take long because this is acrylic you are using. Next comes the cool part. Put a little bit of glue on your substrate, then take a piece of eggshell and press down right where the glue is. The eggshell will crack into smaller pieces and that is exactly what you want it to do. I won't kid you about this; it is time consuming, but the end result is spectacular. After you are done placing all of your eggshells down, walk away from the project for a couple of days. When you come back to the project, looking at it with fresh eyes, ask yourself if it needs anymore work. You can layer eggshells intermittently over the initial eggshell layer without making the piece look too thick and clunky. Remember, you have the advantage of working with eggshells, so you will be able to do things you would not normally be able to do with traditional tesserae. Doing this will make the piece look more multidimensional. When you are completely satisfied with your design, and the eggshells are completely dry on the substrate, begin to put your topcoats on. This is done with water based polyurethane sealer. You will be using 6 to 8 coats (thin coats). Let each coat dry thoroughly. Sand very lightly with very fine steel wool between coats. Now you're done! Frame, hang and enjoy!

Helpful Hints:

Crafter's white glue is fine to glue down eggshells.

If your design is simple, try spray painting your eggshells instead of hand painting them, it will go much quicker.

After you have pressed your eggshells down onto your substrate, slightly separate them with any thin object to show the "grout" which is actually the paint beneath the eggshells.

Make sure each layer of polyurethane is bone dry before sanding and going to the next layer.

Good luck with your project!


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