Well our much desired spring seems to be playing an April fools trick on us today... by bringing us snow! So I decided today would be a good day to share our Easter egg project ~ knowing that the "real" Spring shall shine her face upon us soon! This process took awhile and created quite the mess (my white counter now has so much character ; ) but was lots of fun!
This was a first for us so it was very thrilling to prepare it all, let it sit and then oh and ah the beautiful results.
There are so many different colors you can attempt to dye your eggs but we opted to try our hand at the three primary colors and see how it went.
To create ~ begin by taking your room temperature (helps with the process) eggs and pierce the top and bottom of the egg with a large needle. This can be done by kids (my eight year old loved the whole process) but obviously with care. Be sure to pierce the egg yoke to make for easier blowing. Then enlarge the hole at the end of the egg you will be blowing out from. It gets a little messy ~ we had eggs breaking, eggs landing on chairs, eggs on clothes and hands, but hey thats half the fun!
You can then rinse out your eggs and prepare your vegetable dye baths.
For red dye: Take 4 beets and roughly chop them. Combine it with 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.
For yellow dye: Heat 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Add 6 tablespoon ground turmeric and stir well. Simmer for just a few minutes until the turmeric dissolves.
For blue dye: Take 1 large red cabbage (about 1 pound) and shred it. Combine in a saucepan with 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.
If you want to play around with some other colors here is a helpful chart.
We had one little girl get so involved in the process she decided she needed to dress the part ...
stirring her pot of medicinal goodness.
After you have strained and cooled your dye you can add your eggs. We got a little stuck as to how to keep our eggs from bobbing back up ~ hence we came up with this method. Seemed to work!
Then leave your eggs in their dye baths and let nature work its magic! We left our eggs in overnight to see how deep we could get the colors.
The results were lovely.
You can then drain your eggs (we placed ours upright into plants to drain), gently dry your eggs and then give them a rub down with a little oil to make them shine.
There are so many ways to go about creating beautiful eggs.
To name a few...
Tie-Dyed EggsCollect a handful of different sized rubber bands. Wrap the bands, one at a time, around the eggs. Dye the eggs, remove them from the liquid and let them dry completely before pulling off the rubber bands.
Crayon EggsPerhaps the easiest technique of all is the color-with-crayons method. Simply draw a design onto your eggs and then dye as you would any other Easter egg.
Dip Dyed EggsDip dyed eggs into a second coat of darker dye to add a whole new color. The first coat is boiled and the second is cold-dipped for 5 to 10 minutes. To cold-dip, place egg in a small glass bowl or paper cup and prop it up against the side. Some great color combinations include coffee and blueberry; turmeric and red cabbage; and onion skins and cranberry juice.
Wrapping with Onion SkinsThis method is a little messy, but the results are always a pleasant surprise. Rub eggs with white vinegar and wrap in onion skins. Secure the skins with cotton string, dental floss, narrow rubber bands or nylon stocking. When boiled, the skins dye the shells giving a natural tie-dye look. To achieve a full, rich effect, practice using many layers of onion skins. Hint: Pre-dampening the skins helps them stick to the egg.
I thought perhaps we may use our pretty eggs for an Easter treasure hunt (by hiding the clues rolled up inside each egg ~ needing them to be smashed *gasp* to be found) and then having their Easter baskets at the end of the hunt. The girls also want to write wee love notes, roll them up tight and slide them inside the eggs to hand out as Easter gifts. We shall see what inspiration hits!
Have fun coloring your world!
~ Shanti ~