So it’s been a couple years I think since I did a Friday Craft post! Planning for specific crafts is not a strong area for me. I am much better at fostering an environment that promotes and provides for creativity, and my children are constantly crafting on their own. But, there is something to be said for a craft orchestrated by mom, and enjoyed by the whole family. I do have quite a few crafts in the queue right now, most of them at Larkspur and Keats’ request. So, it may be that I bring back Friday Craft posts here and there.
We got the idea to make eggshell mosaics from Emma Hardy’s Green Crafts for Children. However, I tend to take most craft ideas and transform them into an activity that focuses more on the process than the product.
We began by saving eggshells for a few days, washing them, and letting them dry.
While we could have made natural dyes and added another dimension to this project all together (see my article on natural egg dyeing in Bamboo magazine’s Spring 2011 issue HERE), we chose to dye our eggshells with food coloring. (no exact measurements, just enough to richly dye the water. I added a splash of vinegar to each jar too which was probably unnecessary.)
Everyone took turns adding eggshells to the colored water and then we let them sit overnight (longer than necessary.)
The following day we drained them.
Then we dumped them out in a cardboard box so that they could spend a day drying in the sun.
We were using our homegrown brown and green eggs and the insides of the shells absorbed the most color. Once the shells were dry, we crunched them up and placed each color in its own separate dish.
I gave each child a small dish of glue and an applicator. They all glued their eggshells onto pieces of cardboard. I always save the backs from pads of paper and any other pieces of nice flat cardboard that come our way.
Some of my kids really enjoyed this and took their time making lovely patterns.
Some of them used too much glue and kept needing refills.
And one of them freaked out a little about the glue on his fingers and quit after a few minutes. He was also upset that he couldn’t make his picture look “perfect.”
I enjoyed this craft (I made a mosaic too!), and so did all but one of my kids.
I like that we had all the materials on hand and that all ages enjoyed doing this. I also like that we were able to spread the process out for a few days before actually sitting down to make pictures and mosaics.
Clean up was easy as well, just a matter of vacuuming up the eggshell pieces from the floor, and shaking off the sheet on the table and then washing it. Extra eggshell pieces were composted.
However, this would probably not be a great craft for a child with sensory issues (sticky fingers from the glue) or a child who needs things to be perfect. Of course as far as the perfectionism thing goes, this could also be great practice in letting go! Happy Crafting!