Growing up, my brothers and I always loved to decorate eggs at Easter time. We’d wear dad’s oversized undershirts, spread out the newspaper everywhere and the dipping, drying and dripping rainbow colored messes all around us would begin. It was always lots of fun! But what really was all the fun about? Staining our fingers? Ruining my dads new undershirts that just a few months earlier, we had gifted for Christmas? How about wondering if the bled through stains onto the boiled egg was really okay to eat? (I was always weirded out about those rainbow spots as a child.) As we’ve all aged and now have our own children, we’ve learned that there is absolutely nothing special about those rainbow colored dye tablets. I mean, yes, just as we did when we were children, our children would also love to make dripping messes all over too but do we want that? For one, our households no longer collect piles of newspapers. Why do so when we can read it online? Our recycles waste bins accumulate waaaaaay too much as it is without the unnecessary papers piling up. Too, I’m not going to ask my husband, “hey Hun, do you mind us tie dying your undershirts again? I promise it doesn’t show through (wink, wink).” Personally, I only own ONE white Tee now, thanks to my decluttering New Year’s resolution and I am certainly not going to buy a new pack of white Tee’s to intentionally ruin. So again, what was it that made us love dyeing eggs so much I ask? It was the time. The time spent together doing something. Spending time together is quickly fading with today’s digital technology at hand. I say let’s push that time together back in there. Prioritize our times together. It is an essential part of any relationship; mother-daughter, mother-son, mother-father.. I will be glad to start it and I will start by putting my phone down to the side, away, even turn it off (temporarily)… just so the time allotted to spend together, will go uninterrupted. Time spent together, around the table, doing something fun and most importantly making memories is what families need more of.
So now that we agree on the value of our family time together, here are a few suggestions of some crazy fun and easy ways to decorate those Easter eggs. Buy a carton of eggs and try out a new method or two of creative egg decorating. Or maybe you’re a crazy chicken loving family with your own breakfast making flock that blesses you daily with an abundance of eggs, as we are. The more the merrier (eggs and/or people) to throw down a huge smorgasbord of egg dyeing techniques, fun for the whole family! Unlike the compressed dye tablet boxed kits, no one creation will be the same. That is half of the beauty.
1- Food Dyed Eggs
Beets, Red Cabbage, Fresh Spinach leaves, Onion Skins, Turmeric…. You can use anything with deep rich colors. Be creative. In separate pots of water, bring to boil and let steep. Once the now dyed water cools to handle, dip eggs. Keep in mind the effect of the dyes varies depending on how concentrated the dye is, what color egg you use and how long the eggs are immersed in the dye. Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to every cup of strained liquid dye. Just look at the vibrant colors we achieved!
2- Tissue Paper Stained Eggs
Chop different colors of tissue paper into ½”-1” size pieces. Dip tissue pieces in water and begin covering the egg. Continue until the entire egg is covered. Set aside to dry. When completely dry, peel the tissue paper off.
3- Temporary Tattooed Eggs
It’s as easy as that. Follow the temporary tattoo placement instructions. Make sure egg is dry first so the tattoo can adhere to egg. Use with or without colors (such as strained liquid dye in #1).
4- Permanent Marker Colored Eggs
Simply place stickers of shapes or letters on egg. Then cover egg with dots from different colored permanent markers. After you cover the egg entirely, peel off the sticker to reveal shape or letter. This is a fun way of teaching the ABC’s. Say, you have no stickers to use? Simply use the permanent markers to draw faces, hair and bow ties on the eggs to make an entire Humpty-Dumpty family!
5- Shaving Cream & Food Dyed Eggs
Take a pan, cover in shaving cream and then add some food color. Using a dowel rod, swirl the colors together until you have a fun tie-dye effect. Roll the egg in the cream to color. Allow it 10 minutes to dry and then rinse for the colors to develope. (This one isn’t as clean as the others so you may want to consider wearing rubber gloves—but it is so much fun!)
6- Kool-Aid Stained Eggs
Forget the the vinegar and boxed die kits, break out the Kool-Aid man! Using a packet of red, blue or orange Kool-Aid with 2/3 cup of water. Dip the eggs and then set aside to dry. Rinse to “set” color.
7- Silk Tie-Dyed Eggs
The first step is to deconstruct tie. Snip seams, remove the lining so you are left with just the silk. (You may use silk scarves and skip deconstruction step.) Either way, you need 100% silk for this to work. Cut silk fabric into pieces large enough to cover an egg. Wrap the (not yet boiled) egg with the right side or the printed side of the fabric against the egg. Wrap fabric tightly (careful to not break egg) and twist tie to hold. Next you will wrap them again with a light colored light weight piece of fabric. (An old pillowcase works perfectly). Place all wrapped eggs in pot of water. Add ¼ cup vinegar and bring to boil. After about 20 minutes, remove eggs to cooling rack. Once cooled enough to handle, unwrap fabric. These have the greatest and most unusual results! Best for older kids.
8- Crayon Colored Eggs
You don’t even need to wait for eggs to cool for this one. While still warm after boiling, you can decorate you egg using crayons. (Just watch little fingers, careful to not burn) Smear color with finger immediately after applying the color for an all-over color application. Layer the next crayon color over it for a 3-D effect.
One more egg-cellent idea – We use those paper towel rolls to make egg stands. Simply cut 1” rings to hold your eggs while they dry. These stands are the perfect size to rest an egg bottom to allow your pieces of work to set, to dry and be displayed.
Be creative and make memories!