Elegant Eggs by Marilyn
Handmade from Bird to Booth

by Myra Charleston

“I will do special orders, and I do not do any duplicates, so each creation is a one of a kind piece of artwork. Each piece is created as I work on it. To me it is a very relaxing art and the hours just fly by when I am in my shop.”  Egg artist Marilyn M. Miller (left) of Cedar Falls, Iowa is firm about never repeating herself. “Certainly every eggshell is different, but it goes further than that. I don’t use all the same elements over and over. People want original, one of a kind work and that is what I do.” For consumers looking for unique gifts with a personal touch, Marilyn offers them a unique opportunity to create a family heirloom by using one of their own mementos. “Sometimes people have a little figurine from their childhood or something that belonged to their parents,” said Marilyn. “That item along with some appropriate embellishments can create a lovely heirloom." 

Marilyn has always been interested in arts and crafts, so it was natural for her as an emu farmer to move into egg art. “I had seen this artistry done and found a lady who taught the craft, so I took a few lessons and then ventured out on my own.” Marilyn expanded her egg art originals to include not only emu, but also ostrich, rhea, goose, turkey, Aracanna chicken, and duck eggshells.  She tells us that her father was a wonderful artist, "I credit him for passing on to me my interest in art and any creativity I have been blessed with."

Click on any egg art photo to see a larger, more detailed version.

Although Elegant Eggs by Marilyn has attracted specialized collectors for many years, she also does custom work for people that want a single piece as a decorator accent. Cinderella coaches made from ostrich eggshells, like the one below are charming in a little girls room, but 'big girls' like them too!  Some collectors look for specific animals or birds while others seek out carousel eggs like the one below (made from an emu eggshell).

For some families, it has become a family custom to pick out a new Nativity Egg or other egg ornament each Christmas, rivaling only the choosing of the tree in importance.  When an old nativity belonging to a parent or grandparent in 'redone' by using it in a Elegant Eggs by Marilyn original, it can become a wonderful family heirloom.


A growing number of brides are not only requesting unique, personalized wedding cake toppers be made for their special day; they are looking for toppers that can be used as decorating accents or that are suitable for display in a case or on a shelf.   

In these cases the bride chooses whatever she would like in the center of her cake topper and Marilyn creates an elegant work of art which can be removed from the cake and later displayed in the home. 

The most popular items to use are loving couples, but sometimes people request something special to commemorate a shared hobby, such as skiing couples or a pair of dogs.  The egg art cake toppers are usually dioramas but could have hinged doors and hide a surprise.  The size of egg used for the topper depends on the size of the cake, with ostrich eggs being used for the largest cakes.  Matching ring boxes can be made for use in the service and then later used as jewelry boxes in the boudoir.  These ring and jewelry boxes are lined with velvet. 

Marilyn's creativity does not stop there.  She also makes egg art baskets and bells.  After carving out the shape, the "basket" is velvet lined for protection and the egg is embellished with jewels or findings to become a beautiful decorating accent or memento.  Eggshell bells make unique gifts for bell collectors.  The larger eggs such as goose or emu have wind up music boxes with a velvet lining covering the music box and only the key showing.  The smaller eggs, turkey, duck and Aracanna chicken eggs, are too fragile and small for music boxes so they have jingle bells instead.

Elegant Eggs by Marilyn will usually have booths at several shows throughout the year. These include:


  • Des Moines


  • Council Bluffs
  • Iowa City


  • Geneseo, Illinois
  • AEA Convention in Middleton, Wisconsin.


  • Council Bluffs Mid America Center- October 7-8
  • Cedar Falls UNI Dome - October 21-22


  • Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, date to be announced


  • Des Moines Varied Industries Building on the State Fair Grounds - December 1-3.

If you are interested in having Marilyn Miller create something special for you, visit her at one of the above events or contact her:

Marilyn M. Miller
9740 Beaver Valley
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-9467


        Emu's Zine does not diagnose, prescribe or dispense medical advice.  We report and attempt to educate the public about the possible health benefits derived through the use of emu oil based products and consumption of low cholesterol, low fat emu meat.   This site contains personal testimonies and professional observations.   We encourage people to contact their family physicians regarding any health problems they may have for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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