You will need:

  • paintbrush
  • white glue
  • china (bisque) eggs (available from your local feed store or arts and crafts store; you can also use blown eggs but these are more fragile)
  • acrylic paint
  • small sharp scissors
  • photos - the real kind or those scanned and printed to size from your computer
  • gold and silver fabric paint
  • tiny faux "jewels" and pearls
  • tweezers
  • clear acrylic spray
  • small jar or spare roll of toilet paper to prop eggs on while working

Paint your eggs with a single dark color of acrylic paint. Red for cinnabar, green for jade, blue for lapis lazuli or turquoise, etc. Find a small jar or roll of toilet paper to prop your egg on while you work. Cut your family photos into round or oval shapes small enough to fit on the center part of the egg front. Using small, very sharp scissors make 1/8" slashes around the outside of your photo, about 1/4" apart. These will help your photo flatten down on the egg. Using a paintbrush, apply white glue to the back of your photo and glue the photo to the egg, using your fingers to press it tightly against the egg. Remember to put the top of the photo toward the smaller end of the egg. Allow to dry thoroughly.

If you have used computer printed photos, this next step is needed and is the most difficult. If you use real photos, this step is not necessary. Using your clear acrylic spray from about 12" away, spray the lightest possible spray coat over the face. One pump of the spray is enough! Too much too fast will make the picture run and you will have to start over. Every five minutes or so, spray another puff of spray over the photo until finally you have a glossy, non-runny finish. It may take as many as ten coats.

When your photos have a glossy finish, you can spray the rest of the egg to give it a glossy finish and bring out the color.

If you want a pearlized finish, you can paint on a coat of acrylic paint pearl finish. Be careful not to allow the pearl paint to run over onto your photo. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Begin by outlining your picture with tiny dots of gold or silver fabric paint. The paint will give a raised texture to your egg. With a pair of tweezers, carefully push tiny rhinestones or pearls into the wet fabric paint. This paint takes quite a long time to dry so you will not be able to finish your project in a single day. After you finish the outline of the photo, let it dry overnight. The following day you can add other patterns to the rest of the egg. You will have to do only a portion of the egg at a time. The fabric paint will stick like glue while it is wet, so make certain no wet section touches whatever you are propping it on..

To make a holder for your egg, make a round ball of Play Doh slightly smaller than a golf ball and push the large end of the egg into it to flatten the bottom of the ball and create a depression to hold the egg. Allow it to dry and paint with gold acrylic. You could also use plain glass or wooden napkin rings, or a plain egg cup. 


The late Ann Ball is the well-known author of several books on saints, crafts and history. Order Crafty Catholic Kids today