Saturday, 16 April 2011

Beautiful Easter Eggs

I was speaking with my mother yesterday and she mentioned how much she was looking forward to the long weekend coming up.  Somehow, I'd forgotten Easter was just around the corner!

Over a month ago I picked up an Easter Egg Decorating Kit but yesterday when the kids were having their nap I wondered if there were some other options that might be eggs-traordinary (sorry... had to!).  I had no idea how many wonderful ideas I would find.  It turns out that you don't have to settle for one or two colour sloppily dyed eggs.

Starting with the basics, as you may know there are two options for your eggs:
1) Hardboiled - if you plan to eat the eggs afterwards.
2) Blown (where the contents of a raw egg are removed so you're working on the hollow shell) - this allows you to keep your eggs indefinitely provided that they're stored properly each year.

If you're like me and have a hard time boiling eggs without them cracking - check out this guide from  Or, if you'd like to try blowing them out, here's a video from that shows you how.

Egg Dyeing 101 ( - These instructions are based on using blown eggs

Protect your work area with paper towels or newspaper. Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 20 drops of food coloring (use more to intensify color) in 1 cup of hot water in a heatproof bowl, cup, or jar deep enough to let you submerge an egg completely.
To create different tints of a color, vary dipping times: Submerge eggs for less than 5 minutes for light colors, and leave the egg in for 10 minutes or more for deeper shades. Using tongs makes handling the eggs easy.

To make a two-color egg, dye the whole egg first in a light color, let dry for 15 minutes, and then submerge half into a darker color (this idea works best for hard-boiled eggs).

**Notice the egg drying rack! It's made of foam board (found at most dollar stores) & straight pins**

Here are some of my favourite ideas:


You can use stickers, tape, or anything else that sticks to an egg to create an area where the dye won't penetrate.  Technically, you could even create your own graphics (letters/shapes) using cupboard liner (the sticky-backed vinyl that you use to line drawers & cupboards) which is readily available at dollar or hardware stores.   For example, a hole punch gives you small circles to create dots, paper punches give you silhouettes of their shapes, or go back to basics and cut out your own letters or images to use.  

The key to masking is to make sure all the edges are firmly pressed down on the eggs and air bubbles are out before submerging the eggs.  Using this technique you can get simple results like the one shown below from Better Homes & Gardens:
Source: Better Homes & Gardens (

I love this use of the masking technique from which uses vinyl letters and/or narrow strips of electrical tape applied to an egg that is dyed, and then the letters are shifted before the egg is dipped into a different color

Wax Resist

If you draw on eggs with wax (or a more family-friendly method is to use Crayons to draw/write on eggs) and then dip them in dye (app. 10 min), the color doesn't adhere to the wax -- so when you melt it away, you reveal the design underneath.


To remove wax from eggs -- whether you've used wax or a crayon -- place them on aluminum foil on a rimmed baking sheet in an oven preheated to 250 degrees; this works for blown-out and hard-boiled eggs. When wax starts to melt, about 10 minutes, it will glisten and shine; remove eggs from oven, and hold in a paper towel as you wipe off the wax.
Rubber Bands

Use rubber bands to create patterns & lines on eggs that are wrapped before you dye them.  Choose a simple and graphic style like this one from Better Homes & Gardens.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens (
Or more of a traditional look like this one from that embellishes the banded eggs with monograms and flower stickers once they're dry.


Naturally Inspired
Looking for more natural colours?  Beautifully subdued shades are easily made with household ingredients such as strong coffee, grape juice, blueberries, orange peel, and beet juice. Follow this link for recipes from Better Homes & Gardens.
Source: Better Homes & Gardens (
Use leaves, flowers, or even grass to create beautiful designs on your eggs.  You'll need an egg white, small leaves or whatever pattern you'd like to have on your eggs, a tiny paintbrush, a nylon stocking, string, dye, and paper towels.

Apply egg white to the back of a leaf with the paintbrush, place the leaf on an egg, and press gently with fingers. Cut stocking into 4-inch squares. Lay egg in center of square and pull nylon around it, stretching it taut; tie with string. Submerge egg in dye for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove egg, and blot with a paper towel.

Snip string, and unwrap nylon stocking to check colour. If egg isn't the desired hue, retie, and dye again. When the desired colour is achieved, remove nylon; peel away leaf carefully. Blot with a paper towel, then dry egg on paper towels for 10 minutes, leaf side facing up.

Silk & Lace

I love the idea of re-purposing old items.  These eggs from are not only beautiful but they use old silk ties, boxers, shirts or lace to transfer their delicate patterns to Easter eggs.

Silk Eggs


1. Cut silk into a square (or a piece) large enough to wrap around a raw egg.
2. Wrap a raw egg with a piece of silk, making sure the printed side of the material is facing the egg. Silk can still be used if it doesn't fit perfectly around egg.
3. Place the silk-wrapped egg in a piece of white sheet, pillowcase, or old tablecloth and secure tightly with a twist-tie.
4. Place the egg(s) in an enamel or glass pot. Fill pot with water to cover eggs completely. Then, add three tablespoons of white vinegar.
5. Bring water to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Remove eggs from water with tongs or spoon and let cool.
7. Remove silk from cooled egg.
8. For shiny eggs, wipe with vegetable oil after completing step 7.

Lace Eggs

Using lace trimmings or scraps from a worn tablecloth or curtains, cut lace into strips long enough to wrap around eggs and still have extra to form a sash for holding.  Wrap eggs, securing lace with rubber bands. Dye the eggs. Lift out, cut off rubber bands, and unwrap lace. Let dry.  These would dry best on the foam board fitted with flathead pins.

Painted Eggs

Another fun option after you've dyed your eggs is to use acrylic craft paint to create different effects.  The speckled eggs from below were created by using a toothbrush to lighly dab and spatter eggs after they've dried.

 Alternatively, use a toothpick to create simple and pretty designs like these one from Better Homes & Gardens:

Chalkboard Eggs

How fun is this idea from!  Paint (or spray) blown eggs with black chalkboard paint.  Once they're dry kids can draw whatever they like using coloured chalk.  Another great way to use them is to place them at a kids' table as place cards with their names. 

Did any of those inspire you?  You have a week to get organized :)

Have fun!

- Jacs

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