In honor of the 3D big screen re-release of “Jurassic Park,” here’s an Easter egg tribute to the coolest prop in the movie, John Hammond’s amber-encased bug cane head.
I realize the book was exponentially better than the movie story-wise, but the effects were still amazing (especially for the time), the action wasn’t lacking and a pre-Mace Windu/Nick Fury/Snakes on a Plane Samuel L. Jackson was there, although not always in one piece.
This egg craft is a little trickier than my usual fare, so it’s recommended for tweens (with adult supervision) and older. It can get messy if you’re new with resin.
What you need:
Craft store “easy pour” resin mix (several brands available)
“Amber” coloring (yellow or orange food coloring or resin coloring)
Plastic egg (preferably one that opens “long-ways”)
Fake or real bugs (What? You don’t have dead flies and moths on your porch?)
Step 1: Mix resin according to their brands’ specific directions. I can’t stress this enough…follow the brand’s direction EXACTLY, as different resins use ratios (1:1, 2:1). Trust me, I’ve tried to “guesstimate” before, and let’s just say I’m lucky I still have skin on my hands. Add a couple of drops of coloring as you mix, slowly if you don’t want bubbles. Also, do this on a work surface that isn’t your cabinet or kitchen table, and avoid getting it on your hands.
Step 2: Pour resin slowly into each egg half then place the bug gently into one of them. Any bug type will do (or even small toy dinosaurs or reptiles), but if you want to make a pre-historic ‘skeeter, cut one of those plastic spider rings in half (with the ring part cut off, of course) and pinch the legs in until they resemble a mosquito. It works pretty well, and these rings are usually light-weight and easy to find. We somehow accumulate a good six-gross of these each Halloween and they just keep multiplying. FYI: an elephant mosquito was used in the actual movie prop, if you’re a purist. Also, some resins recommend coating some surfaces with petroleum jelly or mineral water to avoid adhesion to the sides of plastic molds. Again, check the brand.
Step 3: Now let that puppy dry. This may take 18 to 48 hours…or longer… depending on mix, weather, temperature and a laundry list of other factors, but keep patient. If you mixed the resin properly, it will harden. Again with the “follow brand directions” here.
Once dry, remove the egg, from the mold. You might need to crack or bend and the egg off of the finished mold, or use a small screwdriver to pry it out, so don’t use a cherished one-of-a-kind plastic Easter egg from your childhood. Once out of the mold, glue the two sides together with some clear epoxy or super-glue. Let dry, of course. Polish or sand off any seam of flaw you don’t want, but don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly egg-shaped or smooth. You want it to look like a glob of amber.
Don’t’ be discouraged if the first attempt at this doesn’t pan out, you know what they say about breaking a few eggs to make an omelet.
There it is. Now you have the materials to clone your own imaginary dinosaur…but be careful what you wish for.