Easter egg decorating was one of my favorite activities when my kids were little. Honestly, I think I enjoyed it more than they did. 🙂 We would get everything set up and as soon as the eggs went into the colored water, my kids were ready to move on to something else. I don’t know if it’s because I have boys, but crafty projects tested their patience. Most of the time they would show up again, when it was time to take the egg out of the water.
Water-slide decal paper is a great way to create unique personalized designs on Easter eggs. Once removed from the backing, the paper has a clear background. Because it is thin, it works well on contoured surfaces. You’ll see more details on this further down.
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These water color printables look so pretty on the white background of the eggs. I tested the process on both artificial and real eggs. Let me show you the process…
DOWNLOAD THE FILE
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This file is available as a PDF, Silhouette Cut File and JPEG.
I found the inspiration for these adorable bunny graphics from my niece’s baby rabbits. She took the following photos, and shared them with me, so I could create these Easter printables for you.
Did you know that baby bunnies have short ears? I didn’t.
I sketched the photos and scanned them into photoshop, where they were enhanced and the watercolor effect was added.
LOAD YOUR PAPER & PRINT
You will need to purchase Hayes Water Slide Decal Paper Transparent for Inkjet Printers. Be sure that the paper is transparent and it is for Inkjet Printers. You will also need a can of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating to seal your printer ink.
Load your paper in the printer, with the glossy side of the paper set to print. Your printer should have an icon on the paper tray that tells you which way to load the paper. The red circle in the image below shows that on my printer. The side that is facing down will be printed on.
Before you print, set the print settings on your computer to high quality print, gloss photo paper. If you are cutting your image with scissors, use the PDF file to print.
For Silhouette or Cricut users, be sure to use the SVG or Silhouette version of the file to print. I don’t have a Cricut, but for Silhouette users, make sure the registration marks are turned on. The image below will help you with that process. Once the image is printed, wait 5 minutes for it to dry.
SEAL THE PRINTED PAPER WITH ACRYLIC SPRAY
Note: This is an important step. Without the top coat, the water will ruin your printed image.
Take your printed image outside and place it in a cardboard box. Then spray an even coat of acrylic protective finish over the image. Wait approximately 30 minutes or until it’s dry to the touch and coat it again. You will want to cover the image with 3 coats in total.
Since this is the most time consuming part of the project, I recommend you print off more images than you think you will need and coat them with the spray, all at once. Sometimes during the transfer process one of your images will tear or fold. Having extras will ensure you don’t have to repeat the acrylic spray process.
CUT OUT YOUR DESIGN
Once the protective coat is dry, you can cut out your image, either with scissors or a cutting machine.
I designed and provided a Silhouette cut file for those of you who have a cutting machine. You don’t need to use a cutting machine to do this project, though.
Cut your image out, leaving a slight border around it. I’d say about an 1/8th inch is a good size for the border. My favorite craft scissors are cutter bee precision scissors.
For Silhouette users, place your waterslide paper on a cutting mat and load it into your machine.
Under the Send menu, choose Heavy Cardstock for your material. The settings should be a blade 3, force 30, speed 4 and passes 1.
Do a test cut, just to be sure your settings are correct. Then send your cut job. Once they are cut your images will resemble the photo below.
PREPARE YOUR SUPPLIES
Once all of your decals are cut, you will want to have a container with about 2 inches of warm water. Note: I tried cold water and it didn’t work as well. It is also helpful to have an egg carton to support your egg and keep your hands free. Keep an extra dish towel or paper towel handy to dry up any extra drips.
HOW TO APPLY YOUR WATER SLIDE DECAL
Place your decal in the water. It will curl up at first. When you can uncurl it or make it flat again, it is ready to remove. This is about 10 -20 seconds. If you leave it in the water too long, the decal will become fragile and rip easily. If you don’t leave it long enough, it will be difficult to slide off the backing.
Next, center your decal on the egg. While holding on the surface of the decal with your left hand, slide the paper backing from behind the decal with your right hand.
Once the paper backing is removed, you will have a brief period of time to position and smooth out the decal. Center the decal on the egg. Then begin working out any air bubbles with you fingers. Work from the center of the decal out, to smooth and flatten it.
Take care not to press too hard or you can tear the decal. Just lightly run your fingers over the image to smooth out any bubbles and flatten it.
Gently dab off any excess water with a paper towel. Let the decal set and dry for at least 3 hours. Don’t expose them to direct sunlight during this time.
I included the close up photo (above) to show you that sometimes the edges of the decals have small wrinkles. Some of my decals had them and some didn’t. I created mugs with the same paper and didn’t have this problem. I think it’s because the eggs are small and contoured in all four directions. As you can see in the image below, they don’t really show when you are a normal distance away from the eggs.
The instructions for the paper indicate that you should bake the decals for a short period of time. I skipped this step and the decals held up fine on the egg shells. I even refrigerated some of them to see if the decals stayed flat. They were fine in the refrigerator, too. If making mugs, labels or glasses, I would have baked them. Also note that if you are making anything permanent like mugs, they are not dishwasher safe.
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I hope this Easter Egg Decorating project inspires you to make something fun this holiday with your family.