Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: Sugar and String Crystal Easter Eggs

Sugar and string Easter egg ornaments are a fun family craft idea, plus you can include a lot of science in this project. You can make smaller hollow string ornaments to hang or put in baskets or you can make a large crystal egg to use as an Easter basket.

Sugar and String Easter Egg Materials

There are a few different ways to do this project. You can make either small eggs or very large eggs. Large eggs require multiple layers of sugar in order to support their size. Small eggs can be made such that they are open, revealing the abstract-looking string pattern. If you are concerned that the sugar will attract ants, there are two ways to avoid this problem. One is to spray the completed project with clear spray paint. The other is to change the ingredients altogether, using a mixture of spray starch or glue and water instead of sugar with egg whites or water. If you use glue instead of sugar your project will not be as stiff or sparkly, plus you won't get crystals.

  • balloons
    Use very small balloons if you want to make small eggs that you can put into Easter baskets or hang as ornaments. Use larger balloons if you want to use the egg as an Easter basket or as a larger decoration.

  • string
    You can use any type of string that you want, such as embroidery floss, thread, yarn, or even ribbon.

  • sugar
    I find normal white sugar (sucrose) produces the most sparkle and largest crystals. You can use confectioner's or powdered sugar.

  • egg whites or water
    Egg whites contain water plus the protein albumin. I feel the albumin helps you get a stiffer, glossier Easter egg, but you can use water instead with comparable results.

  • food coloring (optional)

  • scissors

Make the Easter Egg

The basic instructions are to blow up the balloon until it is the size you want for your Easter egg. Next, make the balloon sticky by coating it with sugar-water. Wrap string around and around the balloon until you have enough string to support the shape (more is better). Allow the string to dry. Apply more layers of sugar, allowing the balloon to dry between layers. Carefully pop the balloon and remove it. Use the sugar-string Easter egg as it is or else cut a hole in it using scissors.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

How much sugar to egg whites do you use? I made these as a kid and we only used the sugar but I would like to use egg whites to make them harder.