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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Slowly I Turn.....Step by Step....Inch by Inch....

I am back to turning egg cartons into stone.  I want to get the foundations of both of the Tudor cottages finished.
By the way....Keep every egg carton that you can find.  Our Walmart store stopped carrying regular eggs in the mache cartons last month.  

I don't know about you, but I tend to break a lot of eggs in those silly foam cartons.  They don't protect the eggs at all.

I decided to go into more detail on how I use them.  I hope it's not too late.  I am either going to have to start buying very expensive organic eggs, brown eggs or eggs in the 3 dozen or more sizes to get the cartons. 
The first photo isn't just a record for posterity.  It's to show you how I use them.  The inside is what counts.  It's all bumpy and lumpy.  That's what you need for good rocks.

See how the lip of the carton curves out?  That's the part that makes great corners for rocks.  The flat part is just for pavement. 
I start by cutting off the flat part of the sides with the lips....No corners.

Then I cut them as wide as I need for the side of the foundation in this case.  

The part with the lip curve over the edge and the main piece covers the side.

The piece that I cut off of the bottom is used to form the top of the rock on the top of the foundation. 

In the second photo, you see all the steps, beginning with the cuts. I take a strip of the curved side piece and cut it, at random into odd pieces.  Those get glued to the side first. 

Then I use the piece that I cut off to do the tops, matching up the cuts on the sides and the tops.

The next step is done with my handy dandy, metal #00 crochet hook.  The point of that size is perfect for sculpting the stone. I figure that there is more of a chance of you having a metal crochet hook that size or a little larger, than there is of you having the right size of ball stylus.

I wet the head of the hook and press down hard on the mache.  You don't want the material to be too wet.  Just wet enough to make it stay where you want it.  This section that you see has just been done and there is not any sign of water on it. 

A lot of times I will just touch it to the tip of my tongue to get it wet.  That's all it takes. If you get too much water on it, it just goes back to the shape that it was.

See the crack in the center brick? It's not a separate piece.  I simply put the crack in with the tip of the crochet hook.  Same with the brick to the left.

Notice that the seams between the top and sides have disappeared.  I just keep smoothing the edges of the two pieces until the seam kind of seals itself together.

I only have two and a half sides to go, putting stone pieces in place and sculpting them.  That will probably take up the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, I will do a detailed description of how I do the washes.  Here's a teaser.

This chimney could still use a little more sculpting in places.  That's the nice thing about the egg carton technique.  Until I put on the final protective coating, I can go back and keep working.  Even after it is painted.

In case you are wondering where the terrible two are this morning, as soon as they saw the egg cartons, they left.  This isn't their cup of tea...Mention rocks and they run for cover.

Back to work.

See you tomorrow.


mcddiss said...

menudo trabajo que tiene esa tecnica , yo tambien la he utilizado , pero queda muy bien



Lynn Dylan said...

Very cool!!!

Xandra said...

Wat leuk dat je dit van een eierdoos maakt. Mooi resultaat.

Groeten Xandra

rosanna said...

I am complaining about the same thing: how hard is to find egg carton.
I had to ask all my family to buy the same brand of eggs just because of the boxes. They were nice enough to comply :o))
I'll eagerly wait for the washes lecture, I have to pain a terrace :o))

Merri said...

Excellent tutorial on egg carton stone, Casey! Our tiny local grocery stores still carry the cardboard cartons. Check out the smaller grocers in your area. Walmart is going to go with whatever is cheapest, so no wonder their suppliers need to cut back on quality containers. Yup, the styrofoam containers are garbage, they're much more dense than the cardboard. But they're cheaper for the suppliers. Bottom line and all that.

Blake said...

Ahh! I have seen this technique a few times before and I love it! I actually just bought a dollhouse and I am going to use this technique for my chimney and foundation! I will hopefully blog about today sometime, I have been away from the blog-world way too long!

fillitsa's handmade crafts said...

realy nice!!!!love the wave that rocks make!!!here in greece we haven't lot of this eggcartons too.i keep them like a gold! lol! hugs!

Maria said...

Oh Wau, looks really good!

Giac said...

Hello Casey,
Thanks for explaining in detail. You really achieve wonderful results...the chimney is gorgeous.

- Virpi said...

Casey - thanks for the egg carton tutorial!

Jane Smith said...

Amazing work, I want a fireplace like that on my home!

Side note: I use egg cartons for seed starters every year I go to my local deli/breakfast place and get stacks of carboard trays they get eggs in 36 stack. They are more than willing to give them away ;)

Chris P's Minis and More said...

This look fabulous Casey!! thanks for sharing more details. I save my egg cartons!!

Christine said...

Hi Casey, if the egg carton situation gets serious, these might do the job. Lots of interesting shapes and curves!

Sandy said...

Egg cartons are brilliant! I've used them to make bricks also. Here's part of my blog:

Keep up the good work!