This tutorial will show you how to make gorgeous origami paper covered Easter eggs that are so lovely you will want to keep them forever and bring them out year after year.
I am a creature of habit and I like to have routines for everything. I have a routine for when I wake up (check the time on my phone, take my medicine, wash my face with cold water, take the dogs out, give the dogs their medicine, grab a coffee and make my daily to-do list in bed, make the bed, brush my teeth, get to work) and then another for winding down to go to bed (take my medicine, gather my clothes for my shower, watch an episode of a show I’m currently into – right now it’s Turn Up Charlie, actually go and take my shower and maybe do a face mask or something, take a melatonin if I’m still really alert, read my book until I’m sleepy enough to nod off – I’m re-reading the Oracle’s Legacy trilogy right now ($2 for all 3 books, y’all!), take the dogs outside, put Carmex on my lips (always Carmex) and lotion on my hands and feet, go to bed). Depending on the circumstances in my life, my routines start, piece by piece, to go out the window or they become even more elaborate. I have also found that when I am unhappy I have a harder time committing to these routines which causes an all new stress for me.
I know this very strict commitment to a routine isn’t a great thing. It’s actually less a “creature of habit” thing and totally more of an O.C.D. thing and I have several compulsions that I get to deal with on the daily. When I was a kid I’d spell every word in my head that I said or heard somebody else say whether it be an actual conversation I am having or watching something on the TV. But then when I started to learn how to type in the fifth grade, it changed to where I started “hitting the keys” and spelling out every word with my fingers. And I still do that to this day. I’ve literally done this with every spoken word I have heard for decades now. People who pay attention to me notice my fingers moving (it looks like a nervous habit, drumming my fingers or something) as they bang out the words that I have said or heard. But lucky for me, most people rarely actually pay attention to the people they are around. It’s like I’ve said a million times before, people rarely pay as much attention to us as we think they do.
Maybe because of my compulsions, I’m a little obsessed with traditions. And one of the little traditions I have had developed over past 7 or 8 years is to cover Easter eggs with origami paper. It first started out because it seemed like a nifty thing to do when a friend showed me how to after she got back from visiting family in Japan. But then the next year I couldn’t find my eggs I had made when I wanted to put them out and so I made some more. And then the year after that I found them but most of them were broken. It just seemed like year after year after year there was a reason why I would make another dozen and then it turned into this tradition, totally by accident by virtue of repetition, and so here I am. Last year I had actually started to make a tutorial to show you guys how to cover Easter eggs with origami paper, for whatever reason, I never finished it though I made a TON of eggs last year. S/ome of these photos here today are from last year and some of them are from last week :)
I guess you can say at this point I’m kind of an old pro at making origami Easter eggs :) But this year I’m really proud of my creations because I got some really, really gorgeous washi paper from Japan just to make these. You see, I decided that if I’m going to do this year after year, I might as well make it a bit easier on myself and turn this project into a cut file that can be used with my Cricut Maker. Because that might be a little something I’m becoming a bit obsessed with, too… adding the option to some of my favorite handmade projects to use an SVG to help make a little bit of the busy work of crafting tasked out to a machine.
Want to see how easy it is to make Origami paper covered Easter Eggs and make your own?
For this project you will need:
- Origami paper (6″ x 6″ if cutting by hand — 7.9″ x 7.9″ if cutting with a machine (we used these and these)
- Ruler + pencil (if cutting by hand)
- Cricut Maker + Cricut Design Space Cut File (or SVG file)
- Mod Podge
- Smooth bristled brush
- Aluminum straws or similar (I have also used the handle of a craft knife with the blade removed like this one)
If you have a Cricut Maker, this is one of those little projects where it comes in super handy. You can totally cut the origami paper for this project by hand… it’s a bit labor intensive but doable. My big gripe is that when doing, say a whole dozen eggs, it is a bit repetitive, which bores me like crazy. But I have made these origami papered eggs 7 or 8 years in a row, now, and this is the first year I didn’t cut by hand, so you’ll totally live :)
I know the Cricut Maker isn’t exactly cheap and it’s definitely a big chunk of anyone’s crafting budget but I have used mine a lot more than I had ever thought I would. If you craft regularly I would totally recommend you get one because it really can cut down on the boring stuff meaning more of your crafting time can be spent on the FUN stuff… my origami papers for this project meant each egg took me about 15 minutes to create rather than the 30-40 it was taking when doing everything by hand. And you totally can’t tell the difference on which eggs I used papers I cut by hand and which I cut with the machine meaning that either way you prefer to do it, the results will be exactly the same!
The listing that I purchased my origami paper from on Amazon also calls it washi paper and it’s not thick, but not thin, either. It’s got a bit of fabric, or fibers, or something, to it that makes it difficult to tear and the quality of it feels super amazing. But without a fancy from Japan origami paper cut setting, it took me a bit of testing to figure out how to best cut your Origami Easter Egg Paper Cricut Design Space file with a Cricut Maker:
- If you get the same paper I have, the best cut settings for it are to set the material to “Flocked Paper” and then in the dropdown for pressure select “Less”.
- Make sure your blade is sharp and clean (no fuzzies from cutting felt, no glitter from cutting cardstock, etc.)
- Though it’s difficult to tear you still need to be gentle with it. I found the best cutting mats to use were either a brand new LightGrip machine mat or a pretty heavily used StandardGrip mat. If using a mat with very strong adhesive, the paper comes away, almost like it’s leaving fuzz off of a cotton ball behind it. That’s literally the best way I can describe it.
- When removing the paper from your mat be sure to get some tools involved. Loosen the paper from the center with a hook, like in the pic a few paragraphs above. Gently move the tool side to side to remove every little triangle shaped tooth so that the whole piece will come off of the mat cleanly.
- Pay attention at the beginning of your cut. If your blade has gotten too dull or dirty or if the mat is no longer sticky enough, that paper is going to start to tear up pretty quickly into things. If this happens you can trim away what has been cut and replace the paper onto the mat and try again. With the 7.9″ x 7.9″ sheets you can get 2 egg wraps, and that includes a little bit of wiggle room for the occasional mishap IF you catch it early.
Cutting your origami paper by hand? No sweat, let’s cover that in a few photos…
To start, trim your paper down so that it is 3.5″ x 6″. You’ll have a smaller strip like the piece to the right that you can save for other projects (like pretty bookmarks!)
Fold your paper in half with the pretty side folded INSIDE like in the picture above. Measure 1 cm from the fold, leaving a dot in a few areas and connecting them to draw a line across. On the bottom, open side measure 2 cm and draw a line in the same manner.
*Quick tip – I am using a marker just so you can more easily see what I’m doing. You’ll want to use a very faint pencil mark to do this so that the marks do not show through the light parts of the paper when placed on the egg.
Along the top, folded portion of the paper make a dot every quarter of an inch (0.25″). Repeat these marks every quarter of an inch on the line just below, too.
Along the bottom of the paper measure in from the left (with the fold still at the top) one-eighth of an inch inward and mark (0.125″). Continue every quarter of an inch (0.25″) until you reach the end of the paper.
Draw lines to connect the dots you have made like in the photo above.
Using a pair of sharp scissors trim along each line, stopping at that first horizontal line that runs 1 cm down from the folded edge.
Using your scissors, connect the bottom cut (that is on an angle) to the dot along the 2cm horizontal line from the bottom that is just to the right. In the photo above, the gray areas are what will be cut away, leaving you with an edge of triangle shaped “teeth”.
Okie, dokie. Got your origami paper cut out one way or another? Let’s proceed!
You have a lot of options as far as eggs go and I’ve probably done them all. My favorite way is to take the solid white dyeable plastic Easter eggs because they’re very sturdy and will last for a very long time and won’t break if dropped. There are also wood eggs but they tend to have a flat bottom and I don’t care for that look, though they are definitely the sturdiest of all of the options (you can step on those or drop them and they won’t crack open!) You also have the most traditional option is to buy fresh eggs (I like using the jumbo brown eggs for this) and to blow them out, but I’m so clumsy and I have some grip issues where I might accidentally break an egg just by holding it. Now I’m not exactly Lenny from Of Mice and Men, or anything, but accidents happen and blowing out eggs is a lot of work for my clumsy self to break them. You can also use those plastic eggs that come in 2 parts that you pop open and fill with treats, but those things can “pop” open with the paper in them and then you can never get them seated just right again and they always have this weird bulge. Out of all of the options, I think those are the WORST.
To recap: My choice is to use the white dyeable plastic eggs you can get just about everywhere these days (including Walmart, Target and Michael’s, at least).
The way this works is pretty simple. You’ll place your egg in the middle of the paper with the spikes facing up and down. You’ll roll the egg up in the paper like a little burrito. You want to be sure that the paper will wrap all of the way around (the size we made should easily accommodate the largest natural chicken eggs and these small, dyeable plastic eggs are smaller than that) and if it wraps around too much you’ll want to trim the paper down on the side just a bit. You can do this now if you’re positive you’ve got it right, or you can do it later, there just might be a bit of adhesive in the mix to gunk up your scissors a weensy bit…
Also in checking that the paper will fit, you’ll need to make sure that when wrapped around the spikes will touch the center of both the bottom…
…and the top easily. If you’re using smaller eggs, like these plastic ones are a bit smaller than jumbo chicken eggs, you might have quite a bit of overlap at the top and bottom, but we’ll fix that as we glue the paper to the egg.
Once you know where the paper goes, apply a nice, thick layer of Mod Podge in the center of the paper sheet on the inside (white side). And here can you can see where my left side is bit wonky? That’s where I trimmed away 2 tabs to accommodate the smaller size of my eggs.
Using the placement you figured out before the Mod Podge was applied, stick your origami paper to the egg as close to that as you can, testing the spikes to ensure that they do meet at least at the center of the top and bottom of the egg and then roll up like a burrito. Or other things. Looking at that pic above, now, this looks like something you’d see in a Cheech and Chong movie, doesn’t it? Welp, that’s how this works, folks :)
As you apply the paper to the egg, go around smoothing the paper as much as you can. You don’t want any ugly creases. You also don’t want any of the spikes to attach to the egg just yet, only the center part of the paper where there are no cuts. As you wrap the paper around, overlap the paper on itself just slightly and trim if necessary.
This is what you should have at this point. Double check for any creases or bumps or weirdness.
Splay out the spikes on both sides of the egg to keep them from accidentally gluing down in the wrong place. Doesn’t it look like a flower, now? :)
Apply a healthy amount of glue onto the top or bottom side of the egg (I typically start with bottom because that’s the one you’re less likely to see and it’s best to make mistakes on the less seen side, especially if this is your first few goes). You want to visibly see the Mod Podge easily, but it doesn’t need to be heavy like cake frosting or anything.
Take a few of the spikes and push them into the glue, pulling them nice and straight to prevent any creases and push them down along the center point of the top or bottom. Use scissors to trim the paper so that there isn’t too much overlap of the paper. If you don’t trim the excess paper away, you’ll have this extremely noticeable bump where the paper builds up and up and up…
Continue folding the flaps inward, smoothing them out as best as you can and trimming the excess from overlapping at the bottom.
Keep going until you’ve gotten all of the flaps down and the entire top or bottom of the egg papered. It’s good to note that as you work, some of the Mod Podge will seep out through the individual spikes, don’t worry about this as it happens, things are about to get a whole lot glueier, anyway.
Brush an even amount of Mod Podge over the entire end you just folded down. You don’t want it dripping, but you want it to be an easily visible layer…
Now it’s time to work the paper down, remove any bubbles and clean up any overlaps or creases that have occurred using something metal and round. I like using an aluminum straw, but you can also use the handle of an X-acto type of craft knife.
I read something about plastic straws (and all single-use plastic, for that matter) being super bad for the environment and I decided I was going to carry my own reusable/washable straws around with me. But the problem with that is you then have a sticky (because everything I drink from cokes, to lemonade, to sweet tea to frappucinos has sugar in it) straw to shove in your purse that then gets attached to your receipts and all sorts of nonsense. And so I just don’t use a straw half of the time because that’s the most eco-friendly thing I can think of to do in this situation :) Except with frappucinos. You only have to dump half of one of those on your face a single time before drinking one without a straw looks like an expensive and terribly disappointing idea :) But all joking aside, I’ve actually used my reusable straws for quite a bit of DIY work and I do keep a few in my kitchen, too, to use at home where I can wash them!
Working around and around the egg, rub the surface of the egg with the straw to help seal everything neatly down. As you work, the layer of Mod Podge will seal everything in place, but it also acts as a lubricant. If your egg dries out too much, apply another slight brushing of the adhesive to the surface to keep going.
Once you’ve gotten everything sealed down and you’re happy that things are as smooth as they are going to get, use your hand or a rag that won’t transfer fuzz or lint over, to wipe away the excess adhesive. See up there how there are little blobs of white? While the Mod Podge dries clear, these areas will still be a bit cloudy and highly noticeable, so be sure to wipe them away!
Repeat bringing in the spikes on the other side, trimming down the excess where they meet in the middle and then sealing the paper down with a coat of Mod Podge and a round metal straw or tool of some sort. Ooh! Quick tip, allow the glue to dry on the straw and easily remove the excess with a sharp razor blade scraping the dried adhesive away! Just be careful because razor blades are sharp and our hands not surprisingly no match to them. Mmkay?
Place your egg someplace secure (away from pet hair and pets who might take off with them) to dry completely. I like to lay my eggs down on parchment because they won’t stick after they’ve dried. Once dry you can store these guys any way you please. I tend to use a crate for actual chicken eggs because we always boil some around Easter, too! This keeps the eggs nice and safe if you store them to use again next year!
In total, this year alone I’ve made 16 origami paper covered eggs because they’re just so pretty! And I always say I’m done but then I wonder just what THAT sheet of washi would look like and so then I’m making another one. And since this year I cut my papers with my Cricut Maker, knocking the craft time for each egg to around 15 minutes, I spent just under 4 hours making them all. Haha! 4 hours? That sounds crazy! But I only made 2 or 3 at a time over the last few weeks so it wasn’t a part-time job or anything :)
And you can’t deny, these eggs are so pretty they’re worth making and keeping for years to come!