In the spirit of finally writing blog posts for projects I did years ago, here’s another one. Around the same time as I did that Wish Vs AliExpress project, I decided to challenge myself to do a craft project with only items bought from AliExpress.
I’d had this image from Pinterest saved for ages and ages and figured it would be a good project for this.
So I found myself some polystyrene egg shapes, some plain drawing pins, and some black and white nail polishes.
The eggs were 92p for a set of two, with free shipping. They took about a week to arrive. The pins were actually 67p. I forgot to screenshot when I bought them and that image is from about ten days after I ordered – demonstrating the constant price fluctuation on Ali. I ordered 4 packs of pins for a total of £2.65 and they took about two weeks to arrive. The black and white polishes were £1.26 for the set of two and took about two weeks to arrive.
Now, for colour. I dithered between five different colours for ages and ended up using a Random Number Generator to pick.
The polish cost £2.22 and took four weeks to arrive. But eventually I had all my supplies.
To test the colours I pushed a bunch of pins into a piece of polystyrene foam, and painted one row in black and one row in white. I left the third row plain.
While they dried I decided I’d test how many pins I’d need by using one of the eggs to do a “plain” dragon egg. I really liked the pale metal colour of the pins.
It took about an hour, was a little tedious but mostly kinda soothing. And it looks freaking awesome. Also, I forgot to count how many pins I used. However, I did know that with 18 pins in the polystyrene, and only a handful of pins left from the 340 I first bought, I wasn’t going to have enough for a second egg. So I ordered 600 more.
In the meantime, I had some testers to paint. I gave each pin two coats of the shiny polish and left them to dry. They were all so beautiful.
Eventually all the new pins arrived and I spaced them all out in an old box. I couldn’t decide which of the three shades to go for so I went with all three and decided on a variagated look. I painted a bunch of the pins with white, and a bunch of them in black, and left a bunch of them plain.
And when they’d dried I got to painting. It took several layers and a lot of time. I used up every last drop of the polish, and some of the pins were very patchy. But finally I had a tray of mixed dragon scales.
Time to get pinning. I didn’t pay attention the order I was using the different shades of pin – but I did skip any that were super patchy and horrible looking. Or I tried to at least.
Because you layer the pins over each other a little, the sharp bit doesn’t always go all the way into the egg. I found myself spending a lot of time pushing pins back in. I wouldn’t recommend fondling the finished products too much. The pins slide out with disturbing ease. But the finished eggs are absolutely beautiful.
I wish I could find a way to stop the pins sliding out. All I could think about was dipping each point into a glue before sticking it in the egg, but I didn’t think of that until I was almost finished and I definitely wasn’t going to take them all out and start again.
What would you do to secure the pins?
I have a small tub of painted pins left over, so maybe I’ll have another go at something similar in the future.