How to Make an Irretrievable Easter Egg

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About: (Is there a word that means more than "ultimate"? Oh well, I'l just make one up... "omnilent") Omnilently creative, MrCrumley fights a daily battle to save the world in his capacity as a multimedia superhe...

Last year, we took our then-3-year-old to the neighborhood park for an Easter Egg Hunt. Watching little kids engage in primal (yet adorable) hunting-and-gathering behavior was fascinating. Volumes of books could be written about the complex behavioral patterns displayed at an average egg hunt. I began to wonder what would happen if you injected an element of (mostly) harmless futility into this precious celebratory tradition. So, I made this tantalizing, yet Irretrievable Easter Egg. Hopefully the results would be both amusing an non-psyche-scaring.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

Here's what you need:

1 - Spiral tie out stake - $1.99 at Harbor Freight
1 - Large easter egg - $0.30
1 cup - Concrete mix - $0.50

And, if you want to be fancy, you could also use:

1 can - Spray paint
1 - 8" Gutter nail or similarly long bolt, or piece of rebar
Some hot glue or epoxy
Some bits of steel wire

To do all this, you'll need the following tools:

A vise, hacksaw or reciprocating saw, a pair of vise-grip pliers, a hammer, a mixing container, and some masking tape

Step 2: Mangle the Stake

Remove the steel tether ring from the stake. I used my reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade to chop part of the ring off.

Clamp the stake into a vice near the top triangular handle. Now, pound, bend, and yank the bottom leg of the triangle into loop. Place a piece of rebar inside the loop to keep it from closing too much.

After forming the ring, you may need to close the remaining part of the handle to make it fit inside the egg better.

Step 3: Drill a Hole in the Egg

Now, drill a hole in the bottom of one of the egg halves to fit the bent handle into. Be careful. I cracked my egg. If that happens, a quick patch with some hot glue should work. Also, I used the hot glue to fill the gaps around the stake and the hole and to fill the egg's vent holes.

Step 4: Fill Half the Egg With Concrete

Now comes the fun part. Mix up half your concrete and fill the egg half the stake was inserted through. Make sure to pack it down nice and dense. I used a plastic mixing spoon.

After filling, set the egg half aside to harden. I set mine on a spool of wire to keep it balanced while it dried. When dry, you should have a nice firm egg half with a loop of steel sticking out.

Step 5: Now Fill the Other Half

After the concrete in the first half egg has dried, mix up the remaining concrete. Fill the other half egg with the wet concrete. Now comes the hard part - fitting the two pieces together. Hold the "wet" half egg in one hand and slowly press the "dry" half egg down into it. You'll need to twist the eggs back and forth to push the wet concrete into the space inside the steel loop. There's probably going to be concrete oozing out. Hopefully you didn't make the concrete too wet.

After a few minutes of shoving and twisting, the halves should be pretty close together. Resist the urge to open the halves and scrape out the concrete as much as possible. Opening them will likely cause a new mess.

I, of course, opened mine. If you do the same, you'll likely be holding two messy half eggs wondering if this is really worth the 60 seconds or so of humor it's likely to produce. Reassure yourself that it will and continue on.

As concrete oozes out you'll be tempted to wash off the outsides of the egg. Don't run the egg under a stream of water. It will only create more mess. Instead, keep switching the egg back and forth, from hand to hand, and rinse off the hand not holding the egg. You'll effectively be wiping off the egg with your hands and washing them with water.

Once I had the halves very close together, I decided to tap the "wet" half on the ground to close it that final 1/8". This resulted in cracking that half. Undaunted, I set the egg down, got some tape, and taped up th entire egg. Splitting the egg won't ruin things, but it does take away the option of leaving the plastic on the finished egg. With a split egg, I'll have to remove the plastic egg and paint the concrete.

Step 6: Fix Any Mistakes

After the concrete had setup, I decided to remove the plastic to let it dry faster. (I needed to use the egg the next day.) Sadly, a sizable portion of the concrete stuck to the inside of the egg. It probably latched onto the hot glue I'd used to fill the drain holes. So, I decided to put the two broken pieces of plastic back on and secure them with hot glue.

Try as I might, I couldn't get the broken pieces anywhere near as tight-fitting as they were moments earlier. Nevertheless, I forced them into place and slapped a stick-and-a-half of hot glue into the seams. This made the seams very visible. So, I decided to use that to my advantage and make the seams part of the decoration. I added more glue to look like piping. In the end, I reached a point where I was satisfied with how I'd hidden the breaks.

Step 7: Paint the Egg

Next came painting. I cut up a bunch of little diamond shapes from some masking tape and placed them on the unglued areas of the egg. I kinda rushed this step, so I expect others could do a real Martha Stewart number on one of these that would put me to shame. Anyway, I was satisfied.

I had some silver spray paint left over from a previous project, so I opted to use that. It was really convenient having a giant spiral stake sticking out of the egg that I could drive into the ground for painting. A few minutes later and I had an egg bearing an uncanny resemblance to a Holy Hand Grenade.

Once the paint had dried, I peeled off the tape. Considering that I had to overcome the cracked plastic disaster, I was pretty pleased with the results.

Step 8: Install and Enjoy

The Easter egg hunt where I planned to unleash my prank was at the house of a lady in our church. I'd cleared the prank with her in advance and assured her that my wife and I would stay near the egg to "manage" any kids who might not deal well with an irretrievable egg. I arrived before any of the other parents so that only us and the hostess would know about the prank.

Installation was pretty easy. Some folks might choose to skip the earlier "Mangle the Stake" step, but here's where it pays off. The loop I'd bent into the stake provided a place for me to slide a piece of rebar into to help twist. I hit a small root about halfway down, but having the extra leverage of the rebar made twisting through it no problem.

Once I'd gotten the egg down to ground level, I hammered in an 8" bolt through the steel loop, thus preventing the egg from being unscrewed. I used a piece of rebar to hammer the bolt in the last few inches.

Now, we stood back and waited for hilarity to ensue.


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    152 Discussions

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    DaddysGal22

    3 years ago

    This is funny now but if it happened to you when you were a kid, (at least most people) would want to kill. I sure would.....

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    Frederbee

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I plan an annual egg hunt for my friends (we're all "mature" adults). I wonder how many of them would freak out... especially knowing that no one would inform the others once they realize it's a prank XD

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    tgood

    9 years ago on Step 6

    Great trick. Concrete dries by chemical reaction not evaporation. It should actually dry faster by leaving the plastic on.

    7 replies
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    dutchypoodlemrcrumley

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    ... the chemical process which cures cement causes it to heat up-- which vaporizes the water content, incidentally.

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    OneEyedutchypoodle

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Most of the water becomes part of the cement, it isn't evaporated by the heat of reaction.

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    snowluck2345OneEye

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    mrcumley.... you asked the question. interesting thing, in large concrete pouring they are water cooled to prevent them from breacking from the heat. look at the construction of the hoover dam.

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    Verminmrcrumley

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    2 Ca3SiO5 + 7 H2O ---> 3 CaO.2SiO2.4H2O + 3 Ca(OH)2 is one of the (unbalanced) reactions.

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    chewingfoilVermin

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    LOL You blinded him with science...it's exactly ON topic, because you showed him where the water went. Chemistry. Gotta love it.

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    Shiri1432

    7 years ago on Step 8

    Wow! Awesome Idea! What I would do, though is keep it, paint it a different color every year, and put it in a new location. That'll make 'em paranoid of every egg they go to grab! Maybe I'll make a few...

    1 reply
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    mrcrumleyShiri1432

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 8

    Nice idea. I hadn't thought of that. Sadly, I gave the egg to my son to play with and now it's lost. I bet I'll find it with my lawnmower some day.

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    tinker234

    7 years ago on Introduction

    wow hey if i make a pedstal in my garden put a sign saying remove the egg get 100 dollars be funny to watch guest try all night to get the egg hey if i weildied it to a base they could probally tie there pickup truck on wouldnt get it

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    dyanii

    7 years ago on Step 8

    Interesting how only an adult commented about how it was a "metal egg" and therefore not real. All the little kids tried to pick it up. If I was one of those kids I would have not even gone to pick it up because most plastic eggs are just plain bright colors, and that one obviously wasn't like the rest. But maybe that's just me thinking about my current grown-up self in an egg hunt?

    2 replies
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    mrcrumleydyanii

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 8

    it's just you.

    Although, I admit, if I'd painted it gold, the deception would have been complete. But alas, I only had silver and was too cheap to go by more.

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    vanyell

    7 years ago on Step 8

    you know i was thinking this would be a good way to secure cement yard ornaments. Make your own or find a way to fasten store bought ones to a stake. Might keep older pranksters from getting away with them! (would be fun to film that also)lol