Easy, inexpensive, elegant, and durable
This year, I made my Christmas ornaments out of eggshells because there is something whimsical and magical in the shape of a natural egg. They can look just like regular glass ornaments or Fabergé style eggs. An eggshell is stronger than you would imagine and even stronger after being coated with a few layers of enamel. I have accidentally dropped my shells from heights of 3 to 4 feet during and after painting without breaking any—which no glass ornament I have known could have survived. And because you will eat the inside of the egg, the shell is virtually free.
I painted my eggshells with surplus nail polish from a manicure set given to me by a coworker five or six Christmases ago. If you don’t have unwanted nail polish, cheap brands with pretty colors can be bought for under than $1 a bottle.
Emptying the Egg
The common method of emptying an eggshell is to poke a hole in each end, stir the contents with a needle and blow it out. I find this method requires a larger hole than attractive so I prefer to use a syringe and needle to empty my eggshells. You can get syringes for refilling ink cartridges, but make sure they are new and clean because you want to eat the egg.
Pierce the top and bottom of the egg with a heavy sewing needle and use the syringe to draw out the contents. If the syringe seems to get stuck, you have caught a piece of membrane. you simply have to keep trying until the membrane peeps out of the hole and you can pull it out with your fingers. Injecting a little water into the egg and shaking it thins the contents and makes it easier to empty.
Wash the eggshell in dish detergent, drain and leave to dry. Then bake a cake or have scrambled eggs for dinner.
Making a Hanger
You can add the hanger before or after you decorate. Wire hangers make nice handles while painting. Ribbon and string are also ideal hangers, but if they are fancy or delicate, put them on last to avoid stains and accidents.
You can attach your hanger to either end of the egg with hot glue or fabric glue (I prefer glitter fabric paint). Wire hangers can be bent or curled at one end and inserted inside the hole.
Painting and Decorating Your Egg
Nail polish is the best paint because it dries quickly and has a pretty shine. It also strengthens the shell and reduces risk of breaking if the ornament is dropped. I even used some calcium fortified clear polish as a topcoat. Plain nail polish eggs really resemble traditional glass ornaments. You can also decorate them with glitter, lace, cords, and fabric trims. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and healthy so feel free to experiment. And you might just take them out again out when Easter rolls around.
Below are some examples of the variety of colors and styles you can use on your eggs.
You could even try making ornaments with eggshells broken open. How about a Fabergé egg Santa sleigh or cozy winter village. An eggshell igloo, snowman, or polar bear?