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Treat-Filled Paper Mache Eggs

Updated on April 20, 2013
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Paper Mache Easter Egg Craft

I have always loved Easter eggs! When I was a kid, my parents and grandparents would hold an Easter egg hunt for me each year. They usually got me those sort of marshmallowie eggs with the colorful, hard candy exterior. You know the ones - they come individually wrapped in clear plastic. Anyway, they would hide them, deck me out in my new Easter dress, and send me out with a basket so I could find the eggs. Or most of them...sometimes even the adults forgot where they'd been hidden! Then I would ask the adults to rehide them so I could hunt the eggs again. And again. And again. I think I'd keep hunting as long as they were willing to hide! Because of this, Easter eggs have always held a special place in my memories.

I think part of the reason my family hid those little candy eggs was that plastic eggs usually don't stay shut. They fall open, spilling your candy on the ground or the floor. Then you've got to hang on to the darn things until next year or chuck them out and buy new ones again next year. Both options are pretty silly! Luckily, there is an easier, more eco-friendly way if you create paper mache eggs.

Paper mache, or Papier-mâché, is a fun and inexpensive craft. All you need to make your own paper mache eggs are water balloons (they have a nice eggy shape), strips of paper, and a binding agent. A lot of people use white glue, Mod Podge, or flour to stick the paper together, but liquid starch works just as well when you use tissue paper. This tutorial shows you how to make colorful paper mache Easter eggs and includes optional instructions for how to fill them with treats!

Don't burst capillaries in your face straining to blow up water balloons! They're designed to take the weight of water and take quite a bit of effort to blow up 'the old fashioned way.'

Supplies for Paper Mache Easter Eggs

  • Water balloons
  • Colorful tissue paper or recycled paper strips
  • Liquid Startch
  • Scissors
  • A way to hang the balloons while they dry (clothespins, tape, etc.)
  • Decorative hole punch (optional)
  • Treats (optional)
  • Balloon air pump (optional)
  • Latex/nitrile/etc gloves (optional)

Notes on the supplies: Make sure to get actual laundry starch, not a starch alternative. A starch alternative may work, I don't know, but I know that real starch does work. Also, get liquid starch in a bottle or in a pump spray bottle, not an aerosol can. If you get non-spray starch, you'll need a brush to apply it with.

You do not absolutely have to have an air pump, but it's well worth the small investment! Blowing up water balloons can be surprisingly difficult and you probably don't want to breathe all over the candy. Even if it's wrapped and you're giving it to someone who wouldn't mind, the humidity in your breath can do funny things to it!

What's your favorite Easter tradition?

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To Fill the Eggs with Treats

You actually have a couple of options for filling the eggs with treats, but I prefer to pre-fill them. I've seen people suggest cutting the final paper mache open a little to stuff it, but I prefer leaving only a small hole that is easy to patch. In order to do this, I build the paper mache around the treats by putting them inside the balloons. This is a lot easier than it seems!

To get started, stretch the balloon vigorously. Don't worry - they can usually take pretty enthusiastic abuse! Be sure to stretch the neck out as much as possible. Then, blow the balloon up once and let the air out. Trust me, this will make getting the treats in much easier. Then, simply stretch the balloon out and insert as many treats as you would like. I recommend wrapped candy, especially if you're not using an air pump, but I used Peanut Butter M&M's because I knew I would be eating them myself!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stretch a balloon out several times, especially the neck, so you can insert treats, if you would like.It may seem impossible, but balloons stretch and you can get those candies in there!
Stretch a balloon out several times, especially the neck, so you can insert treats, if you would like.
Stretch a balloon out several times, especially the neck, so you can insert treats, if you would like. | Source
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It may seem impossible, but balloons stretch and you can get those candies in there!
It may seem impossible, but balloons stretch and you can get those candies in there! | Source

Blow up the Balloons

After you've inserted treats (or not), blow up the balloons and tie them off securely.

Get Ready to Paper Mache

Because this method uses liquid starch, there's no mess and no need to mix up tacky glue and flour concoctions! All you need to do is cut your paper paper. I like to make strips that are about an inch across. Any wider and you will probably have trouble getting them to behave on the curved surface of the balloon. Cutting smaller strips will make the final product smoother, but it will also take longer to apply each layer.

Go ahead and cut a lot of paper - you'll eventually have several layers on each balloon.
Go ahead and cut a lot of paper - you'll eventually have several layers on each balloon. | Source

Paper Mache with Starch

Applying the first layer is pretty easy. I like to spray the starch straight on the balloon and simply apply strips of paper. You can experiment with paper placement to see what works best for you, but I like to start by making a band around the middle and then move poleward. The bottom will probably need just a small square patch. Be gentle - tissue paper is thin and rips easily if you oversaturate it or move it around too much while it's wet. That having been said, do make sure the paper is pretty saturated to ensure it sticks! I like to put just a bit of starch down, position the paper, and then give everything an extra spray of starch before hanging them to dry.

Some tissue paper is not at all colorfast when wet, so you may want to wear latex or nitrile gloves to keep from turning your hands into rainbows!

Spray your balloon with starch.
Spray your balloon with starch. | Source
Press your strips of tissue paper in place.
Press your strips of tissue paper in place. | Source
You can use a small jar or shot glass as a stand.
You can use a small jar or shot glass as a stand. | Source

Keep on with the Paper Mache

Cover each balloon with a single layer of paper and hang it up to dry. The tied off tail makes it really convenient to clothespin or balloons them to a ribbon or clothes hanger!

After the first layer is dry, add a second layer. The second time around, you may want to spray down the strip of paper instead of the balloon, itself, but it doesn't really matter much. I recommend adding a third layer, too, but you don't have to. Do not try to use a single layer because it will cave in when you pop the balloon.

Drying balloons
Drying balloons | Source

Decorate the Eggs

This is the really fun part! After you get three layers of paper mache on your balloons, you can decorate them. You can punch paper shapes and stick them on with a bit more starch, draw on them, or even spray paint them. Customize to your heart's delight!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Punching holes in tissue paper is difficult one sheet at a time - punch several sheets together for added thickness and success. Just spray a little starch on the cut out dog and pat it to stick it in place!
Punching holes in tissue paper is difficult one sheet at a time - punch several sheets together for added thickness and success.
Punching holes in tissue paper is difficult one sheet at a time - punch several sheets together for added thickness and success. | Source
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Just spray a little starch on the cut out dog and pat it to stick it in place!
Just spray a little starch on the cut out dog and pat it to stick it in place! | Source

Pop the Balloons

When I was a kid, I hated popping balloons. Do you remember those 'fun' end of the year games where you'd have to run a relay and sit on a balloon to pop it? I hated them! But anyway. Popping these balloons isn't scary and probably won't even make a loud noise. Grip the ballon's tail firmly and pull it up a little to expose a taught section of inflated balloon. Carefully make a small hole in it with a pin, needle, safety pin, etc. Do not simply stab it with a knife. You need for the ballon to deflate slowly and in one piece so you can simply pull it out using the knotted tail end. If you pop it, the balloon will shatter inside the paper mache egg.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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Patch the Hole

The last thing you have to do is patch the holes where you removed the ballon. Just take a patch of tissue, spray it down with starch, and cover the hole. You do not need multiple layers. In fact, a single layer is best if you filled the balloons with surprises because you can easily shove your thumb through the weak spot to pull the paper mache open!

Patched up hole.
Patched up hole. | Source

Just cut stickers apart, roll them up, and tuck them in!

Paper Mache Easter Eggs

And that's that! Your own Easter egg creations.

Mine look sort of wrinkly because I was manhandling them a bit while getting photos, but it is pretty easy to make them appear more smooth, if you would like. Also, you don't need to fill them with candy; other things work well, too. Why not choose small toys, stickers, or even something like a gift certificate? Get creative! It's amazing what you can force through a balloon's neck.

I hope you enjoy this Easter craft idea and, as always, please let me know if you have any questions about the process. I will be happy to help you out and wish you a fun, successful experience.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very clever Natasha! I'll pass this alone to my relatives who have kids.

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks, billybuc! And thank you for always being here for me as a loyal friend and commenter. It's meant a lot to me over the past year!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      This is so cute! We might just give it a try this Easter.

      I love paper mache--I still have a paper mache fish that I made in second grade. His name is Fred.

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Cool! For some reason, we always ended up making these "Grosses tetes" in French class for Mardi Gras and I once made a bowl that I think my mom still uses!

    • followthestray profile image

      Samantha Harris 4 years ago from New York

      Pinned this! I can't wait to try this out with my boy. :)

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I hope you both have fun =)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      What a unique Easter project! Love it.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This is so cool! Thanks for the link. I am definitely trying this with my daughter. Pinned, shared etc...

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome! Thank you and I hope you enjoy.

    • The Unlearner profile image

      Jo 4 years ago from Isle of Wight UK

      SO, so ,so cool. I am definitely going to be making these with my girls for Easter, what a fantastic idea. I love the clear pictures and I will be pinning this to my favourites :)

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Than you for pinning! I hope you and your girls enjoy. =)

    • profile image

      Kris 4 years ago

      Doesn't the balloon need to be cut open after it deflates to leave the treats or filling inside the egg? Any tips on how that works? This looks really great! Thanks!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      You could, but that's why I actually put the items inside the balloon so they remain in the egg after the water balloon is popped. Honestly, if you didn't so that chances are good the hold just from removing the balloon would be big enough for small items. I've seen overs suggesting cutting open and egg or whatever else to fill it, but I didn't like how it looked and invented a different way!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      This is such a cute idea. It would be fun to use a bigger balloon and make mini-Easter pinatas too! Yay! Getting ideas for next year! Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      If you use a bigger balloon, just make sure to use three or four layers of paper. If you don't, the tissue paper may stick to the balloon and collapse inward as it deflates! This happened to me when I didn't use enough paper with smaller balloons.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      How fun! These would be a blast to make, find and crack on Easter! :) Very cute.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for stopping by! I think they're fun. =)

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