by Linda James
Step one: To prepare your selected shell. You can use spray paints, or acrylic brush on paint. Apply 2 or 3 light coats of spray or brush on paints until surface is covered. Let dry.
The colors that work best is antique white, white, cream or the lightest pastel pink, blue, or yellow. You don't want your background color to bleed through the design of the decals. Medium or dark colors do not work well.
After paint has dryed spray egg shell with one light coat of clear acrylic sealer matte. Let dry. The acrylic sealer seals the paint, plus when applying the decal you can move it around on the egg for better placement.
Step Two: Preparing/applying the decal:
Decal is still attached to paper backing. Use cuticle sissors to cut around the pattern of the decal. The closer you cut to the design the better the application.
Now place about 2" of warm water in a bowl with 1 or 2 drops of liquid dish soap. Surmerge decal into water. The decal will seperate from the paper backing. If you want to test progress of detachment of decal take and place decal between your thumb and fore finger and try to gently slide the decal off the paper backing. If it does not slide off easy, then place the decal back into the water for a few more minutes.
When decal is detached from paper backing, take wet decal and place on shell, pat decal with a paper towel, using light pressure. If you see gaps in the decal, take your cuticle sissors and cut a slit where the gap is. Now smooth one side of the slit down, then smooth the other side down. the second side of the slit will over lap the other.
Trim off the excess gapping piece, so the pattern will fit flush up next to the other side. After all decals have been applied let dry overnight.
If your decal is to large for the size of egg you are working on there will be a lot of gaps and cutting to make it fit. As time goes on you will learn what sizes works best on different shells. The smoother you apply the decals the better the look.
Step 3: Sealer: Now you can use a brush on sealer or a spray on sealer. I have found that a fan brush works best on applying brush on sealer.
Using your favorite sealer to sink the decals apply at least 5 light coats of sealer letting each coat dry between application. You can spray an acrylic clear finish gloss to give a high shine.
NOTE: Before you spray the gloss sealer read instructions on your brush on sealer to see if there is a cure time requirement. If there is, wait the full cure time before spraying gloss sealer. Now if you want a porcelain look, Wet sand brush on sealer with a white fine nail block or 1600 sandpaper. Wet sanding will smooth out any variations in the texture of the sealer.
Tip: Wet your brush with water and squeeze out excess then dip into paint on sealer, this will help the sealer go on smoother.
Spray on sealer: After decals have dryed your ready to spray seal. When using spray sealers follow directions on distance between spray and your object. Reason: If you get to close it can cause your decal to buckle or disintegrate, this happens mostly with the gloss spray's. Spray decals with 1 light coat of Clear Acrylic sealer matte let dry. Continue to spray on matte sealer or you can spray with clear Acrylic sealer gloss letting sealer dry in between applications. Five coats makes a nice finish. It is better to spray light coats with a sweeping motion when using matte or gloss spray. If your coats are two heavy, sometimes the acrylic brush on paints or spray paints will bubble or crack after the sealer has dried or been on for awhilte.
After you have mastered applying the decals and sinking them with sealer the results are unbelieveable.
Tip on decals: I try to stay away from designs that are circular or oval larger than 2". These take a lot of effort to get to fit the shape of an egg. If anyone has mastered applying these, let me know, I would appreciate any special instrucitons.
Sizes: The smaller eggs like quail, pigeon etc I use what they call Bits, l/4" or l/2" decals. Banty, chicken, duck 1/2" up to 2" decals, Goose 2" up to 3-1/2", Reha 2" to 3/12"
From Jean Leonard
If it's a regular water decal, just soak it in water until the backing slides off. Then apply it directly to the egg.
If it's a print you want to use from a greeting card, I recommend using Liquitex Matte Varnish (available by the art supplies in the craft store). Apply 3 or 4 coats of the Liquitex to the print, allowing each coat to dry in between, and then cut around the print as close as possible. Soak the print in water for 10 minutes or so. Remove the print from the water. Then peel off the back layers of paper until the print is almost transparent. At this point, it's ready to apply to the egg. If it's a little too large for the egg, or wrinkles, snip it in a few places so that you can smooth it out. The Liquitex strengthens the print so it can withstand being pulled and stretched. I guess Modge Podge would work the same way.
Make a Decal
I tried the Aleene's product yesterday & there is an incredible difference. The Aleene's decoupage is far superior. With the Plaid it tended to stretch & tear easily, you had to be so careful. There was none of the stretching with Aleene's. So follow my directions below; but if you can get the Aleene's decoupage it is much easier.
What I used to put on my picture for transfer was Plaid Royal Coat Decoupage Finish. I have also been told that Aleene's decoupage is the best; but I did not have it at the time.
You will need to put at least 6 coats of the decoupage on the picture. You will need to change directions with each coat. Say if you start by going from left to right, the next coat will need to go from top to bottom and repeat until you have 6 coats. Be sure to let each coat dry thoroughly.
The next step, cut right up to the edge of your picture all the way around. Once completed, place the picture in warm water. Once the paper has soaked all the way through, begin to rub the paper off in a circular motion. Work very slowly and gently or you will tear your picture, I found out the hard way LOL. Once all the paper has been removed blot off the water. Put some of the decoupage on the picture as well as on the egg.
When applying to your egg, you want to place the decoupage side out. In other words, the side that you removed the paper on, is the side that will go against your egg.
Try to make sure all of the air bubbles are removed. This works best if you take your brush and work from the center to the outside of your picture. Cover the rest of the egg with the decoupage finish. Let this dry completely between coats. You will need to put on a minimum of 6-8 coats before you begin to wet sand or you may risk damaging your picture. Repeat the wet sanding until you are satisfied with the smoothness of your egg.
First from my understanding "sinking the decal" or any other print, is a technique which makes the decal (or print) appear as though it is right in the shell, you will not see the "ridges" of the edge of the decal. It is a very pretty and I was amazed at what happened when I did it.
This is how I did it.
First I painted the shell (light colors seem to work best) then I coated it with a gloss varnish.
I placed the decal where I wanted it and using a q-tip I wiped the excess water away and smoothed the decal down. (to get the opposite mirrored image of the decal on the other side I just flipped the decal over, and it worked hehe)
I made small cuts where the decal would not smooth down(because of the shape of the egg) and smoothed it down with the q-tip (dry q-tip)
I then used modge podge and brushed the entire egg with it, (so that there would not be a ridge), all over the decals and where there were no decals.
I did this about 6 time (6 layers of modge podge) letting it dry between layers and brushing one layer up and down the egg, and the next around the egg, etc. after about 6 coats were totally dry I then did the wet sanding (I used a 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper) I dipped the sandpaper in water and sanded over the decals and all around the egg, making sure to keep the sandpaper wet, and doing it very lightly (It doesn't take much) I then used paper towels and wiped the water away (let dry) then I did the modge podge layers again. and wet sanded again, then did the modge podge again and wet sanded and then coated with a gloss varnish. I was very surprised at how the edges of the decal seemed to just disappear. I love this technique and plan to do it some more.
I will post a pic of the egg when done along with a close up so that you can (hopefully) see how the decal seems to appear as part of the egg.