Easter is one of those holidays that always tends to sneak up on me. So I thought if I start posting some fun Easter posts early I can help remind both you and myself to start getting ready! Today I'm sharing some fun ways to decorate Easter eggs. Not that there is anything wrong with the store bought decoration packages, but if you are in the mood for some different techniques this year, look no further!
To boil or not to boil?
Before we get into the decorative part, I wanted to mention your choices in egg preparation. You can either hardboil your eggs prior to decorating (preferable if you would like to eat your eggs at some point or if you are doing an egg hunt), you can leave them raw (if you'd rather just throw them out after the holidays) or if you would like to keep them to have extra decorations on hand next year, you can hollow them out. To do so, use a pin or small nail to tap a small hole on one end of the egg, and a slightly larger hole on the other side. Holding the egg over a bowl, gently blow through the smaller hole until the yolk and white has completely come out the other end. Carefully rinse the shell with water and let dry completely. Use the blown out eggs for breakfast or baking. It's now ready to decorate and will last a long time.
Hole Punch Eggs
This is such a neat way to decorate your eggs, and lots of fun for the little ones. First, choose some coloured card stock or construction paper. Next, use your regular hole punch (for smaller circles) or a larger circle hole punch to collect a nice stash of paper circles. Put a small amount of white or clear glue in a dish and use a toothpick to apply a small amount of glue on a circle. Gently press your circles on your egg. For younger children, larger circles and a polkadot design is easier, but for those with better fine motor skills (and more patience), smaller circles and/or layering your circles in a scale-like fashion creates some stunning results. For even more creative eggs, hole punch patterned papers or paint samples, or use a shaped hole punch (flower or heart shapes look very cute).
Natural DyesUsing natural ingredients to dye your eggs is especially appropriate if you prefer to hard boil your eggs. It takes a bit longer than other methods but it's worth it. Naturally dyed eggs have soft pastel colours that are beautiful on their own, but can also be a base for adding other decorations over top. If you like patterns, wrap rubber bands around your eggs prior to dyeing and remove once completely dry.
Prepare your eggs by hard boiling them.
To make the dye, start by placing your food of choice in a saucepan. Add water, you will want there to be about an inch of water over your food. Simmer for about 15 minutes and then strain the liquid into a deep bowl. Add 2-3 teaspoons of white vinegar for every cup of liquid you have. Carefully place your eggs into the hot liquid and let sit. The longer it sits the stronger the colour so you can leave them in the refrigerator overnight to deepen the colour. When they are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the dye and place them to dry on a rack, or in an egg carton. Once completely dry you can remove rubber bands (if you used them) and rub eggs with a bit of oil to get a pretty sheen. Here is a list of foods that will produce nice colours:
Blue: Canned blueberries, red cabbage leaves (boiled), purple grape juice
Brown: Strong coffee, instant coffee, black tea
Green: Spinach leaves (boiled), liquid chlorophyll
Greenish Yellow: Yellow delicious apple peels (boiled)
Grey: Purple or red grape juice or beet juice
Lavender: Small quantity of purple grape juice
Orange: Yellow onion skins (boiled), carrots, paprika
Pink: Beets, cranberries, raspberries, red grape juice
Red: Pomegranate juice, canned cherries, raspberries, red onion skins (boiled)
Purple: Hibiscus tea, red wine
Yellow: Orange or lemon peels (boiled), ground cumin, turmeric or saffron, carrot tops
Whether you are dyeing your eggs the natural way, or by using food colouring mixed with vinegar, drawing designs with a crayon before soaking creates a really interesting design. Use a white crayon (finally a use for that white!) and draw actual or abstract designs on the eggs. Soak in the dye as usual. The wax in the crayon creates a barrier from the dye so your designs will stand out against the colour. Easy, fun and pretty!
Pictures from shemakesahome.com, Pottery Barn and Hallmark