Paint your own wooden Easter egg set for Easter egg hunts, décor, and a cherished family tradition!
Every year since my oldest daughter’s first Easter we have been doing Easter egg hunts. I hide the eggs around the house with clues and leave the first clue in plain sight so my husband and her can trek around the house finding treats and treasures. It is one of our favourite family traditions.
This year I decided to make something more permanent to pass on this tradition. I knew I wanted to make the eggs from wood so they would stand the test of time and one day my daughters can use them to start their own family traditions.
My daughters are quite young and are not old enough to paint something so small, so I didn’t include them in making this set of eggs, but in the future I plan on adding to our collection and including them in the egg decorating process.
As I don’t have a lathe I knew I would need to purchase the eggs for this process. I found mine on Amazon, but you could also find some at your local craft store or home improvement store.
I knew I wanted to put lettering on some of the eggs, so I used Cricut Design Space to create some designs to stencil on to the eggs, but you could hand letter if you have a knack for it, or just forgo the lettering all together.
- Wooden eggs – I used these ones, but they are currently unavailable. These ones should also work fine, or you could find some at your local craft or home improvement store. I have seen them at Michael’s Craft Store and at Windsor Plywood.
- Sand paper (optional) – eggs may need to be lightly sanded with 80-150 grit sand paper
- Tack cloth (optional) – to use after sanding
- Wood conditioner – I use the one by varathane
- Stain – I used varathane stain in special walnut
- Paint – I used Behr semigloss in generic white for the base coat on the painted eggs because I had it on hand and acrylic paints for rest of the designs
- Paint pens – I used these Artistro acrylic paint pens for the smaller details. I have used them in many projects and really like them
- Vinyl (optional) – I used Oracal 651 vinyl, but I just used it to trace the designs as I couldn’t get a good enough seal on the eggs. You could use any type of adhesive vinyl for this
- Sealer – I used Zinsser spray shellac because it’s one of the safest finishes and I know at some point my daughters will be handling these eggs
- Paint brushes – you’ll want a medium sized one for painting the base coat on the eggs and some smaller ones to paint the details
- Shop rag or a brush for staining. I prefer to wipe it on with a clean lint free shop rag
- Respiratory protection – when staining and using wood conditioner it’s really important to wear a face mask with a proper filter to protect your lungs
- Cutting machine to cut out stencil for lettering (optional)
- Cutting mat
- Weeding tool
- Flexible measuring tape – to measure your eggs for your vinyl stencils
While I work in the shop I love to listen to audiobooks. I found these cool headphones on Amazon. They provide hearing protection and connect to your device using Bluetooth. I really like them and they protect my ears when I’m using power tools, which is a bonus.
Step 1 Plan your designs. I drew a quick diagram of the eggs, roughly what I wanted on each of them and which I would stain and paint so I could decorate them quickly and keep each egg unique but ensure that it looked like a cohesive set
Step 2 Gather your wooden eggs and inspect them. Some of them may need to be lightly sanded to ensure a smooth finish. After sanding (if necessary) wipe them with a tack cloth to remove any dust. Then set up a station for staining and or painting a base coat on the eggs. I did 10 painted and 10 stained.
I used two pieces of scrap lumber about an inch apart to provide a drying surface so the eggs wouldn’t roll away.
Step 3 If you are staining I recommend using wood conditioner first. I find it results in better absorption of stain and a less blotchy colour overall. I strongly recommend wearing respiratory protection that is appropriate for fumes/vapors for this step and for staining.
After the wood conditioner has been applied as directed on the can (I wipe mine on with a lint free shop rag) leave it to soak in for around 30 minutes and prepare to stain.
Step 4 Stain the eggs as directed on the can and be sure to let it soak for a few minutes before wiping off the excess. I ended up letting it dry and doing another coat to darken the colour.
I chose special walnut stain because I wanted a warm brown and a nice contrast between the bright colours and the wood. These are some of the other stains I have and considered.
Step 5 Paint the other eggs if desired to add variety to your set. It’s important to give the eggs a nice base coat, especially if you’re using paint pens as the paint tends to bleed on raw wood. I used Behr semi-gloss in generic white because I had it on hand, but any paint you prefer would work too. I did two base coats.
Step 6 Draw your designs in pencil on the eggs. I drew all the little pictures freehand, but if you have a cutting machine you could make little stencils, or you could buy some at your local craft store.
I used my Cricut to cut out the lettering on Oracal 651 vinyl. After cutting out the vinyl I decided to trace the designs onto the eggs so I could paint them afterwards with my paint pens. I did it this way because the first design I tried to stencil on the traditional way bled. I think this was because of the shape of the eggs.
I cut out the lettering with a square background, weeded out the background, applied transfer tape, and then cut little slits with scissors around the outside being careful not to damage the design so it would better fit around the eggs. Tracing these worked really well.
Access my Google Drive to download the SVGs I made for the eggs. I purchased the fonts on Etsy here. I used Silverglow and Peachyday.
Free Easter Text SVGs
To access the SVGs from google drive:
- click the link above
- right click on the SVG you wish to use
- click download
- save SVG to your computer
- upload SVG into your cutting software
Step 7 Use your base paint to fill in the designs that will be on the stained eggs. This is to prevent bleeding from the paint pens. I just used a small paintbrush.
Step 8 After the base coats have dried, decorate with your paint pens. I found some of my designs needed 2 or three coats, but the pens dry quite quickly. This part was definitely the most fun. I carefully filled in the lettering and it took about 2 coats but it ended up looking exactly like my design and I don’t have much skill for hand lettering.
I used acrylic paints mixed with white acrylic paint to make pastel colours to paint some of the larger areas of my designs and to paint some of the eggs in solid colours.
Step 9 Seal your eggs so they don’t get damaged when being used for Easter egg hunts or being played with.
I used Zinsser spray shellac for this step. Shellac is a relatively safe finish and is sometimes used to coat pills and candy. It is made from the secretions of lac bugs. I use it for the finish of all my painted toys. Initially you smell some alcohol but that dissipates and once it’s fully cured it is safe for little hands to handle. I believe the full cure time is about 30 days, but this may differ based on the product you use.
Step 10 Enjoy your eggs. If you are looking to use them as a display item when not in use for Easter egg hunts check out the stand I designed to hold and display them.
If you make these eggs please leave me a comment or tag me on Instagram! @the_walnut_grove and give my post a pin on Pinterest if you make them, or to save them for later.
I’d love to see your creations.