Friday, November 23, 2012

The Making of a Dragon's Egg

So the other day someone in one of the Dragon*Con Facebook groups - for costuming, specifically - asked me how I made my dragon's egg. And I realized that I *still* hadn't posted the harrowing tale of the making of said dragon's egg here on my blog! (Oops.)

Let's get one thing straight - I made my Drogon egg (because duh, of course that's the one to make!) with fire and blood a lot of paint and glue. ;) To be honest there is probably a better way to do this that isn't quite as time-consuming, and I wish you luck in figuring out what that way is because this is the only way I could accomplish making my egg and having it look the way I wanted it to look. So without further ado...


This is the base that I started with. (Please excuse my chipped nailpolish and whatever is in the background of this picture, heh.) I'm honestly not sure if it's plastic or wood or what, but as you can probably tell by the ridiculous Pepto Bismol coloring, it's an Easter egg decoration. I purchased it at Michael's - on clearance - in April of this year. Like, about a week after Easter. You see, I knew that I was going to have a Daenerys costume for Dragon*Con, and I also knew that I needed to have a dragon's egg to go with it...I want to say I paid maybe $3 for this thing, and other than the color (something easily fixable) it was absolutely perfect - especially the size, and the fact that it weighed next to nothing :)

First things first though, that pink had to go. I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor flat black spray paint to hide the Easter color of my egg...and then it was on to step two - the scales.

I started with three sheets of black craft foam, but of course I wanted a proper book!dragon's egg, which mean that (1) the egg needed to have some red in the scales, and (2) it also needed to have some sheen to it. So I painted two of the craft foam sheets - one with a couple coats of Americana acrylic paint in Alizarin Crimson, and the other with a couple coats of Americana acrylic paint in Cherry Red. Then I sealed that paint with Patricia Nimocks Clear Acrylic Sealer *Gloss* spray paint - and I used this sealer on the third piece of craft foam, the one that I left black, as well. Because it was a gloss finish sealer it gave the painted (and unpainted) foam that bit of sheen that I was looking for :)


Next, I cut out three scales in different sizes - the small ones were probably about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and about the same width at the bottom; the big ones were probably close to 2 inches long and maybe 1 1/4 inches wide at the bottom. (Obviously the medium ones were in between that). I used these first few scales as pattern scales to cut out many, many more. This is where I wish I'd had some way to stamp the scales out of the foam, because WOW, was cutting them out one by one time consuming :-/

As for the shape of the scales...that's hard to describe, but hopefully you can see what I mean in my pictures of the finished egg - they all had straight bottoms and were tapered fairly evenly, coming to a point at the top - sort of like triangles, I suppose, but a little more "rounded" on the sides, if that makes sense.

Finally, it was hot glue gun time! Again, I wish there had been a better way to do this, but I had to work with what I'd already purchased...that's what I get for not actually starting to make the egg until a couple of days before Dragon*Con. Oops. So yeah, I hot-glued those scales on one by one, starting at the top of the egg and working my way down. I glued mostly smaller ones at the top, gradually began gluing the medium-sized ones, used the bigger ones around the widest part of the egg and then threw in some more small and medium ones in as "filler" scales where needed. Most of the scales overlapped each other in one (or more) places, to create the look that I wanted :)

About half-finished gluing on the scales...you can see the BLACK egg base a bit in this and the following picture.

^^^ Okay, there, you can see the shape of the scales I think? :)
Total cost? For the Easter egg base, the two cans of spray paint, two small bottles of acrylic paint, and three sheets of craft foam I probably spent something like $25 total. That was thanks to the egg being on clearance, the acrylic paint being on sale and of course one of those infamous Micheal's coupons for 20% off, though ;)

What really killed me was the amount of time involved. As I said, there has to be a faster way to deal with cutting out the scales and gluing them on, but I didn't have time for experimenting and figuring it out, so I made do. Of course, that led to about five hours spent making this thing, so in the end who knows what the best option would have been. But there you have it...the making of my dragon's egg!

Close up of the finished product.

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