Friday, March 29, 2013

'Egg'-citing Tutorial

Yesterday afternoon I dyed some Easter eggs and I thought I'd share how I did them.  This would be a fun activity to do with your kids or grandkids, or just by yourself :o)

Let's start with what you need:

Eggs (keep the carton)
Crayola crayons
a tea towel
paper towels
food colouring
6 little custard cups
6 teaspoons

My trick for timing perfect hard boiled eggs is to carefully put the eggs into a pot of cold water.  Put the pot on the stove and turn on to high heat.  Wait until the water comes to a full boil, then put the lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Set a timer for 20 minutes and let eggs sit in the hot water until the timer goes off.  When the timer goes off, carefully pour as much of the hot water out of the pot as you can without dumping the eggs.  Then run cold water over the eggs, continuing until the water in the pot is cold.  Let the eggs sit in the cold water for a while (10 minutes or so) to stop the cooking and to cool them down.  Once the eggs are cool enough to easily handle you're ready to start decorating.

Using your crayons, doodle/draw simple designs on the egg shell.  I kept the eggs on a tea towel to give them a bit of a cushion and also to keep them from rolling off of the table as I was colouring.
Here are my eggs with the colouring step complete.  Notice I did everything from simple dots and stripes to flowers, spirals and zig zags.  You might also want to write names on the eggs.  Anything goes!
The next step is to prepare your food colouring.  I used Wilton Icing Colours this time, but in the past I have also used the liquid food colouring available at the grocery store with equally successful results.  Just remember that the Wilton colour paste is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

I used the six colours I had, so I prepared a little custard dish for each colour.  To protect my counter top, I put a sheet of paper towel on a plastic tray and put the dishes in the tray.  I added a tiny scoop of the food colour paste to water in which I had added a bit of vinegar (about 1 tbsp vinegar to 2 cups of water).  The vinegar helps the egg shell to absorb the colour better.

As you can see in this photo, I did not fill the dishes very full.  The 2 cups of water was enough for the six little custard dishes.  This saves having to use too much food colouring (always trying to be economical).

Once you lower the egg into the dye, you'll need to carefully rotate the egg in the dye with the spoon to ensure it dyes evenly all over.  When you're happy with the colour (it will only take a few seconds) carefully lift the egg out of the dye and let it rest for a few minutes on some paper towel to absorb the excess dye.  Be careful to use a clean area of the paper towel to avoid unwanted spots of other colours on your egg.
For most of the eggs I dyed them in only one colour, but as you can see with this one, I decided to experiment.  I first stood the egg in the orange dye, holding it up with my fingers (be prepared to get coloured fingers! did mostly wash off after a few washings.).  Next I stood the opposite end in the green dye.  Then I gently wiped it with a paper towel to take off any excess dye before putting the whole egg into the yellow dye for a short time, rotating it with the spoon as above.  To get the smaller bits of blue and purple on the top and bottom, I held the egg in a teaspoon of the desired dye so that just the end would be in the colour.  If you plan to do some experimenting, I would do this at the end because you do risk cross contaminating the dyes and therefore may not be able to get the pure original colours again.
I store the finished eggs in the original egg carton in the fridge  for safe keeping until I'm ready to serve them up in a pretty Easter basket.

DO NOT dump your food colouring dye yet...

Because I hate to waste beautiful colour, I grabbed 6 pieces of white fabric (fat quarter sized) from my studio and wet them.  I then wrung them out, crumpled them and put them into sealable plastic bags.  I poured one of the food colour dyes into each bag, sealed it up and then gently squished it around until the dye penetrated all of the fabric.  I set the bags into a basin and I'll let them sit for about 24 hours (I'll flip them over ever few hours when I think of it).  They will then get a rinse and I'll heat set them with my steam iron and they'll be ready to use in my fibre art!


  1. Oh so pretty pretty! Sniff ... sniff..... I used to do just this with my kids ... crayons and then dying - they are all grown and across on the other side of the world. Thanks for the chance to reminisce! How clever to think of dying fabric with the left over I never did that!!! :) Wishing you a Happy and Blessed Easter.

    1. Thank you Asha. My 'baby' is almost 23 but I'll be visiting him and giving him some of these eggs. The rest are for my husband and I...never too old to enjoy the pleasures of childhood!

    2. I have three babies - 25, 23 and almost 21! Yup we'd be dying eggs too if I was any closer! And I agree - never ever grow too old to enjoy the pleasures of childhood - I still enjoy reading children's books too!! :)

    3. I gave my son his eggs yesterday because I won't be seeing him today, and I was thrilled to find out later that he had posted a picture of them on Facebook. It was so sweet to see that he truly appreciated them!

  2. So bright, so cheerful and so clever :)

    1. Thanks Evanna. Have a wonderful Easter!


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