Gilded eggs in egg cup

Gilding the Egg

We at Hudson Workshops run into a lot of uber talented folks in our travels around the photo-sphere.  We thought, why not share the special talents of these ladies and gents with you?  That's just what we're going to do in a new category called "Our Friend: the Expert."  Meet our first expert, the lovely Amy Paliwoda.  Prop Stylist extraordinaire and half of the brilliant team behind The Surface Library a boutique prop rental house located COMVENIENTLY inside Historic Hudson Studios, our home base.  Read on to learn how to make these beautiful golden eggs with Amy as your guide.

 

 Easter Eggs.  As a prop stylist, it’s something I seem to make about three times a year, generally between January and March.  Sometimes they’re simple and traditional, sometimes they have a specific guideline for the client’s story, and sometimes the direction is, “Do something beautiful.”

Decorated egg in placesetting

I’ve made speckled eggs, striped eggs, organic fruit and tea dyed eggs, swirled eggs in oil and nail polish, eggs wrapped in rubber bands and dyed, papier mache wrapped eggs….the list hits all the greatest hits of Easter Eggs, and some pretty spectacular misses, too.

This year, I decided “Do something beautiful” would include the package of gold leaf that’s been hanging around in a drawer from some other forgotten project for a few years.  I’m not gonna lie…it’s messy.  BUT…it’s also simple, so if you have some rubber gloves and a drop cloth, and you want something for your table that will make everyone ohh and ah, this is the project for you. 

I decided to do my eggs all in ombre shades of Tiffany blue, and a few greens in the color family, but this would look good with almost anything.  You could also use silver or copper leaf, if that’s your fancy.

What you need:

 

Eggs, (duh.)

Dye  (Egg dye works, but any mix of food coloring with a splash of vinegar will do the trick.) 

RUBBER GLOVES (buy them at the drug store, and please remember that I warned you that you will be covered in gold leaf until Easter if you do not wear them.  Your call!)

Newspaper or drop cloth.

Gold leaf (at any craft and most art supply stores.)

scissors

Sizing or mounting spray.  (Again, spray towards the drop cloth, or you will have a sticky dining room floor.  Ask me how I know…)

A foam brush (Not strictly necessary, but helpful)

 

Step one:  I am not going to tell you how to dye Easter eggs, this you already understand.  Carry on.  Allow your eggs to dry and cool completely.

Step two: Before we start getting sticky, I suggest cutting the gold leaf into halves or quarters.  The eggs don’t need full sheets, and you might want to apply two quarters to a single egg.  Figure about half sheet overall per egg.

Step three: After putting on your gloves, spray an egg lightly with sizing.  If you actually want to be able to eat these beauties, use vodka, and yes, you can drink some too:)                           Gently touch the tip of the egg to a piece of gold leaf, and pat down.  With the foam brush, gently but firmly adhere the gold leaf to the egg.  It will break, and rub on heavier in some areas.  Continue rubbing, allowing some areas to look distressed.  If desired, add a second quarter to the egg, and repeat.

Step four:  Repeat.  At some point, you will be covered in sizing(or tipsy if using vodka) and gold leaf.  This is a good point to change your gloves.

Step five: Allow the finished eggs with sticky sizing to dry on the lid of the egg box.  When completely dried, buff again to get the desired ‘random’ effect of the gold leaf to dye ratio.

 

THAT’S IT.  Seriously, that’s it.  It may take you a few ‘practice eggs’ to get the technique down, (from which I suggest you make yourself a nice egg salad sandwich to celebrate a job well done.) but once you have it down, it’s pretty simple stuff.  You now have Easter eggs worthy of a table centerpiece (on a beautiful cake stand.) a place setting decoration, or a super bling-y Easter egg hunt.

 

'Til next time…Happy Spring! 

xo

Amy