Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eggshell Mosaic Cross


I love mosaic--I found myself drawn to the colors and patterns.  There is something so real, so right and restorative, about taking something that is broken and ugly and making it into something lovely and new.  It reminds me of the way God works in my life, taking all of the broken, ugly parts of me and transforming them into something new and beautiful through the sacrificial blood of Jesus.

It seemed particularly fitting to use mosaic to explore and celebrate and meditate on Christ's resurrection this year.  So yesterday, the kids and I fashioned mosaic crosses using crushed egg shells.

To make your own, you will need:
~ black construction paper
~ white crayon or chalk pencil
~ glue
~ egg shells dyed in several colors--either save some from your Easter eggs or follow the directions below*
Using a white crayon or chalk pencil, draw a cross outline on the black paper. You could certainly use white or another color paper, but the black sets the color of the shells off brilliantly.

 For younger children, draw lines inside the cross, forming several blocks for different colors. Older children (and children at heart) can freehand a design if they prefer.

 Paint a section with glue (don't skimp!), then place egg shell pieces on the cross. We found that if we left the pieces a little bit larger, and then placed them so that the outside of the shell curved away from the paper, it was easier to place them where we wanted without getting gluey hands. Then we just crushed them gently into place.

 Working with one section and one color at a time, continue until the entire cross has been covered.

That's it! So easy, and so beautiful.

Happy Easter!
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*To dye egg shells, first crack the eggs and empty them into a bowl (or do what I did and collect them for a few weeks as you use eggs). Wash the empty shells well (use a bit of dish soap and rub the insides to remove the membrane). 
Dunk shells in a mixture of 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 t. white vinegar, and about 20 drops of food coloring.  The longer you leave the shells in the dye, the deeper the color will be.  Remove the shells to a paper towel to dry. 
Once the shells have dried, place all the shells of one color in a ziploc bag, and gently crush, using a rolling pin or rolling a can over it.

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