If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my latest obsession: making dragon eggs.
Well, it’s not really a new obsession. I made some last year to match the descriptions of Daenerys’s dragon eggs in A Song of Ice and Fire.
Every time I post a photo featuring these glorious creations, someone asks me how to make them. Understandable. I still can’t believe I made them because they’re really cool. And since I’ve decided to make some more, now I can show the rest of you how to make them as well!
Here’s everything you need:
1. Styrofoam egg shapes in your desired size. I get mine from Spotlight, a craft store in Australia.
2. Drawing pins/thumb tacks. In Australia, you can get a pack of 100 for $1 at The Reject Shop (a discount store). It doesn’t really matter if they’re gold or silver. I use a mixture of both depending on what’s easiest to find in-store.
3. Nail polish. I tend to use a solid colour for a base coat, some glitter for added sparkle, and some top coat to seal everything. I also look for whatever nail polish is on sale. I’m not precious about the brands and I tend to scoff at anything over $3. I’m painting dragon eggs here, not giving myself a fancy manicure.
To start, grab a piece of cardboard or styrofoam or something to jab the thumb tacks into. This will hold them in place while you’re painting. This time I’m using a piece of cardboard from an old box from The YA Chronicles.
Also, this colour is not beautiful but I was in the middle of making a Hungarian Horntail egg (from the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the first picture) and this colour will be easier for you guys to see.
As you can see, I’ve got my base coat (the brown), some glitter (a light silver sheen) and top coat ready to go.
For this egg, I didn’t use the glitter coat on all of the thumb tacks. I only painted about a hundred (one pack) with the glitter and left the others plain. You can see them in the background.
The amount of thumb tacks you need depends on the size of egg you’re making. A lot of it is trial and error, which you’ll see by the end of the tutorial. Basically, just paint your thumb tacks and let them set overnight. Resist the temptation to start placing them earlier because they WILL get all smudged.
Once they’ve rested, it’s time to pull the out of the cardboard/styrofoam. I tend to use a butter knife to pop them out. Kudos to my mum for showing how it’s done.
This is a very delicate procedure. JK, just get ’em out. Once they’ve been loosened up from underneath, they’ll pop right out of the cardboard. Don’t freak out if they get a bit of paper stuck to them. You can just pick it off.
Now it’s time to start placing the tacks! At the bottom of your styrofoam egg shape, there should be a little dot right at the centre. Pop your first tack in there.
Heck yes! Here we go! Now, the way to keep all the tacks in place is to keep overlapping them in a circular pattern, like this:
It’s pretty simple! You just keep going in circles. Don’t worry if the tacks aren’t even because that just gives your egg a bit of character.
Before you know it, you’ll be halfway through!
Partway through this one, I started scattering in the thumb tacks with the glitter for a bit of pattern.
And it took a potentially boring egg and turned it into something pretty rad. And then I ran out of thumb tacks because I hadn’t painted enough plain brown ones. WHOOPS. No problem. I just have to go back and paint some more! While those ones are drying, here’s what the finished product will look like:
Just make sure you keep overlapping right until the end. And for the very last tack, you can secure it with a bit of craft glue to make sure it doesn’t pop out.
There you have it! Now, go forth and make your own army of dragons. You know you want to. And then you can use eggs in ALL your pictures!