Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Eggs and Chicks - Easter Art

Well its been a busy week so far...Easter rush! This is a picture of what Kindergarten is taking home. It went over really well in the classroom and was remarkably easy to do. I'll give you the step by step..please excuse the messy fingers but I have dyed a ton of eggs this week and I have rainbow hands....( and my husband wonders why I never want to go for a manicure..I sacrifice my hands for my art)
The dough we are using for the chicks is salt dough. The advantages of salt dough over clay is that its cheap, its fast, and if you color the dough you skip the painting step.

These chicks were made, baked, and sealed all in the same day.

Materials Required:
salt dough (flour,salt,water)
liquid tempura paint in green, yellow, and orange
whole cloves for eyes
wax paper
garlic press (buy a cheap one in the dollar store to keep for crafting)
baking sheet
sealer or modge podge (do a test on the back to make sure the sealer doesn't react to the salt in the dough...the modge podge works well)
Salt Dough Recipe
4 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups of water
Combine flour and salt. Add water to make a soft dough...if your dough is really stiff add some more water. Knead well.
1 recipe will make 10 nests.
This dough will keep indefinitely in your refrigerator. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE EDIBLE.
You can use it for lots of different projects. Bake until hard in a 350 degree oven.

Make up your dough.

If you are going to color your dough you need to to divide it up. You need a little more than 1/2 the recipe for green, take the smaller 1/2 and take about the size of a plum to make orange, the rest will be yellow. This will color enough dough for 10 nests.
To color the dough take liquid tempura paint and knead into the dough...you have to work it a while to get the color evenly dispersed..you could also try food coloring. I was making so much I used the paint method. If your dough is getting too sticky knead in a little more flour. The color fades a bit in the oven so make your colors strong.

For each nest you will need a green lump of dough about the size of an orange, a yellow lump about the size of a plum, and a orange lump about the size of a grape.

Work on wax paper

Take your green dough and divide it into 2 balls.
Make one ball into a small bowl shape...this is the nest base.

Using the garlic press take bits from your other green ball and press them thru. Take your green strings and place along the edge of your nest.

Take your yellow lump and make 2 large balls and 2 small balls.

Put the small balls and place on top of the large ones to make your chick.

You need your whole cloves at this point. If you made the orange at Christmas you probably have some of these lying around. (good for that Easter ham as well)

Insert the cloves into the head for eyes.

Take your orange dough and make 2 beaks.
Put your chicks into the nest.

You now need to bake your nest at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. I placed mine on parchment paper on a regular cookie sheet.

After they have cooled off you can apply a coat of sealer or modge podge to get a shiny finish.

Nests waiting to go into the oven.

The second part of our Easter art was to do some eggs.
These are pastel resist. The colors are very bright.
Take a raw egg.... using oil base pastels draw some Easter designs on your egg. Bright colors work best.
Immerse in egg dye for the background color. Pat dry, don't rub as you don't want to smudge the pastel.

Here are the Pysanky done by the grade 3's. The full tutorial can be found here in an earlier post.

I think they did an absolutely awesome job!
see you next time.


  1. wow, what a great and generous tutorial! I love your bright cheery colors.

    I just posted a simple egg decorating tutorial on my blog too.

    Happy Easter,

  2. These are great. I need to show this stuff to my wife—a preschool teacher.

    You should write a book!

  3. this is great1 I found your blog entry looking for advice on mod podge on salt dough - so far I've been using nail polish or nail hardener, but it's very slow with the tiny brush, and gets a little expensive with larger quantities. So - thank you for the confirmation that m-p is fine!

  4. I Love your Recipie. I Mixed the clay and used it for Hand Prints on my Grand babies. Worked Great!! Now there on the wall with there pics. on that year. Just have to say Thank You So Much!!!!