Posted by: JoAnna | April 19, 2014

Game of Thrones Dragon Eggs

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After I saw this Game of Thrones dragon egg tutorial, I thought it would be fun to make a set for an upcoming GoT themed party.  Plus, like I need an excuse to craft 🙂  To save time, I bought plastic eggs instead of making them with paper mache.  You can buy paper mache eggs at the craft store, or even foam eggs, but none were the size I was looking for.  I was lucky that it was Easter time, so the stores were full of eggs of all sizes.

Materials Used

  • 8″ plastic egg (purchased at Michaels around Easter time)
  • Polyform Model Air clay (each 2.2lb package made enough scales for two eggs)
  • Small cookie cutter
  • Duct tape
  • Rolling pin
  • Rock
  • Spackle
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Paint
  • Krylon Gesso spray
  • Aleene’s Acrylic Sealer spray

Cutting and Applying the Clay Scales
I studied the eggs from the television show and landed on the shape and layout of the scales. Then I took a small heart cookie cutter (on clearance from Valentine’s Day!), opened it up (by pulling the seal apart), and used pliers to reshape it into a dragon scale. I then used duct tape to seal the cookie cutter back up.  I actually cut scales out of paper and experimented with the look before shaping the cookie cutter.  You don’t want to have to bend the cookie cutter more than you need to, but this was also helpful in learning the scale pattern for laying the pieces of clay later on in the process.

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Next I took some of the air dry clay and flattened it to about 1/8-1/4″ with a rolling pin (while you’re rolling a piece, be sure to put the rest in a zip lock bag so it doesn’t start to dry out).  First I cut a piece that would fit on the bottom of the egg and pressed it on.  You can skip this if you want to put scales all over the egg, but if you want to make it exactly like it is on the show, you need a more rough, stone looking area at the bottom.  After applying the piece at the bottom, I used a rock to give it texture and to make it look like weathered stone.  Finally it was time to cut the scales out with the cookie cutter and apply them onto the egg.

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Adjusting the Clay Scales
It’s important to note that the air dry clay shrinks a bit when it dries (because I used a plastic egg base, I couldn’t use a clay that could be baked in the oven).  The shrinking means that small gaps form in between some of the scales, which affects the aesthetics and the stability.  You need a fair amount of overlap to eliminate gaps and ensure that the clay will stay on the plastic egg (which it will not naturally stick to permanently).  I found that as a result of gaps, a few scales felt like they would fall out.
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First I tried using crazy glue to put the scales back on the egg, but the gaps made it difficult. The solution I came up with was to use a mixture of spackle (normally used to fill in holes in the wall) and Elmer’s glue (it’s possible I could’ve just used straight spackle) to fill in all the gaps I could find, after the clay dried.  It was time consuming, but the eggs turned out extremely sturdy after this step (after the eggs rolled off my spraying contraption a couple times onto the floor, the durability was confirmed!).
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Painting and Finishing
After waiting a couple days for the clay to completely dry, I sprayed the eggs with gesso spray to prime them for painting.  You could probably skip this step, but I read it was a good idea to do this before painting clay.
 photo gesso_zps773a5b86.jpg

Leaving another day for the gesso to dry, I then painted each egg in their primary color (green, yellow, and black) on the scales and a stone-like color (white or grey) on the bottom part.  For the yellow egg, I mixed water and brown paint to do a wash over the egg to create a more weathered look (I used a wide brush to paint the mixture over the egg, waited a few minutes, then wiped off the excess with a cloth).  For the green egg, I did a wash of water and dark, greyish green and for the black egg, I did a wash of water and red to create the red/black sheen.

Allowing a few more days to completely dry, I then sprayed the eggs with acrylic sealer.

Stands
It’s helpful to have something to put the eggs on when you’re working.  Duct tape rolls made perfect egg stands while I was applying the clay or painting.  For spraying (the gesso and acrylic sealer), I made a makeshift contraption by taping pieces of hangers on the inside of the duct tape roll to create an elevated stand (with minimal points of contact).

 

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