- Styrofoam egg
- Thumb tacks. The ones with the flat metal heads. I bought a pack of 300, but did not use all of them.
- Nail polish paint of your choice. I did a solid color along with a glitter cover.
- Clear top coat nail polish or other clear sealer.
- Cardboard or Styrofoam covered in scrap paper.
- gorilla glue
I had a yellow styrofoam egg on hand. So, I just used that. The color will not show through much so I kept my egg yellow. If you look at the egg at a certain angle and lighting you can see a little bit of the yellow showing through, but I think it adds to the egg. If you do not like this, then you can place your pins tighter together.
I started out by placing my thumb tacks into a piece of Styrofoam. The cardboard I had on hand was pretty thick, and made it a little difficult to push the thumb tacks through. I tested out a few of my nail polish colors I already had to see which color or colors I wanted to go with. When I did this, I noticed the nail polish ate away the styrofoam it touched. So, I recommend placing some scrap pieces of paper over your styrofoam, before placing your thumb tacks into it. If you use cardboard, then you do not need the scraps of paper. I also recommend doing a few test pieces to see how the nail polish looks on the metal thumb tacks. Some colors looked a little different than I expected them to on the metal thumb tacks.
Once I had my colors picked out, I decided to paint about a third of my thumb tacks with a second coat of glitter nail polish. I started out by painting one coat of blue nail polish over all 300 thumb tacks that came in my pack. I liked how some of the metal look showed through and that they did not have an even coat of nail polish on them. I felt like this made it look more realistic. If you do not like this look, then wait a few hours to insure the first coat is dry and apply a second coat. If you decide to add some glitter to some or all of your thumb tacks, then wait a few hours to ensure the last coat is fully dry before applying your glitter coat. You could also apply just plain glitter, not nail polish with glitter, to a wet layer of polish as well.
Once all your colors and layers are dry you will want to apply a clear protective layer over everything. If you skip this step, then the color will scratch off pretty easily. I used an old container of clear nail polish top coat. You could use other clear sealants. Since my clear top coat was very old and thick, it looked bumpy when I applied it to my thumb tacks. I thought this gave a nice texture to the scales, that I liked. If you do not like this, then you can use a little nail polish removal to old thick nail polish to help smooth and thin it out some. This works for colored nail polish as well. I have not tried it with a glitter nail polish yet. I waited over night for my clear top coat to dry. In the morning the clear top coat smoothed out and was no longer bumpy over my thumb tacks.
Since my thumb tacks were on a piece of paper it was easy to just pull up the paper off the styrofoam. Most of my thumb tacks came off when I did this. If your thumb tacks do not come off easily, then find something to push them through from the backside.
I started at the thicker end of my egg and placed one thumb tack in about the center. I then just went around the egg placing thumb tacks in a circular pattern. It is important to make all the thumb tacks overlap each other. This is what helps hold each thumb tack in place. If your circular placement is not perfect that is okay. I think this makes it look more realistic if they are not perfectly placed. The thumb tacks can also be easily pulled up if you really misplace one. The closer together you place the thumb tacks the more you will need to cover your egg, and the less chance of the styrofoam egg showing through.
Continue placing the thumb tacks around your egg until you get to the end. I placed my last thumb tack in place to ensure it covered the space completely. I then pulled it back out and applied a little gorilla glue in that spot and pushed the thumb tack back into place. This last piece needs a little glue to help hold it in place because it does not have any other thumb tacks to help hold it down.
This project turned out really cool, and I am happy with the end result. It was not a difficult craft to make, but it is pretty time consuming. The egg has a nice weight to it with all the metal thumb tacks on it.