Dyeing hard-boiled eggs for Easter has been a fun tradition that both Amanda and I have enjoyed doing with our families over the years. As a kid I remember having fun experimenting with different color combinations and personalizing eggs for everyone with a white crayon. There are now seemingly hundreds of different kits you can buy and tutorials online to help take your standard pastel-hued egg to amazing new levels of design. Amanda's first inclination was to gold leaf the eggs (no surprise if you know Amanada!) but I challenged her to try and keep things au-naturale for our batch of eggs. While I am all about gold-leaf and glitter, putting toxic glues on porous eggs sounds like a bad idea to me, especially if you'd like to snack on them later. If you're interested in adding metallics, glitter, or creating interesting swirl patterns with nail polish or paint I recommend blowing out the eggs first and then going to town decorating beautiful eggs you can keep for years!
To start, Amanda and I looked to the queen of crafts, Martha Stewart, for some ideas and new techniques to try on our eggs. Using the Paas Color Cups kit (which was a great no-mess solution) we set up shop and and began dipping and dyeing our eggs. We focused on 3 different styles to experiment with for the day: masking off parts of the eggs with tape, using leaves and herbs to create botanical impressions, and wrapping simply dyed eggs with pretty strings and ribbons. Here are a few key tips and tricks we found after testing these different methods:
- To create bold, graphic eggs, cut electrical tape into varying thicknesses and wrap it around your egg in any pattern you like. Electrical tape works so well as it's flexible and easily forms to the shape of the egg. My favorite effects were created by taping off random parts of a plain egg, dyeing it, then adding, shifting and removing certain pieces of tape and re-dyeing it in a complimentary color. You could also use pretty small stickers or rubber bands to create interesting design effects.
- Beautiful, almost fossil-like botanical patterns are relatively easy to imprint on eggs with the help of an old nylon stocking, some string, egg whites and an old brush. Paint your desired leaf or flower with egg wash and then carefully place it on a clean egg. We found that delicate leaves like those from herbs or ferns were easiest to work with. Carefully wrap the egg in a square of nylon and tie it with together with a piece of string. Submerge the egg in dye for 5 or so minutes and then remove the egg from the nylon and allow it to dry. What's cool about this technique is in addition to getting a pretty leaf design you also get a really interesting texture on the egg from the nylon wrap!
- Simply-dyed eggs can be easily embellished with thin decorative strings and ribbons. We found this was easiest with two people- one to wrap the string around the egg several times and then the other to tie together the ends to finish. Sometimes simple is best!
Hopefully some of our eggs will inspire you to create your own Easter masterpieces!
Have fun and Happy Easter!!
-a & c.