The inspiration for some of these egg dyeing techniques, goes back about 20 years or so to when I was a young teen in my aunt’s kitchen.
My brother and I would be visiting my aunt and uncle and cousin in upstate NY. I have many fond memories of Easter egg hunts at their house when I was a little girl.
(I should tell you about the time that we couldn’t find one of the hidden hard boiled eggs. We searched everywhere. My aunt was panicking that it was going to stink up her house because we couldn’t find it. Turns out, my dad, the lover of hard boiled eggs, ate it. )
Anyway, back to being a young teen in my aunt’s kitchen. So, my older cousin, the coolest person on earth as far as I was concerned, myself, and my younger brother were in my aunt’s kitchen dyeing eggs. We had cups out with dye in them, but at some point we went wild and just started dripping food coloring over the eggs while standing at the sink. We experimented with different colors, with rubbing them in paper towels, with running them under water.
We had a lot of fun making some really cool and unique eggs. My aunt would shout from the kitchen, “I hope you kids aren’t making a mess of my kitchen counters”. ”Oh, we’re not” we shouted back. I think if she had come in the room and saw what we were doing, she might have passed out. By some miracle we didn’t make a mess of her counters, but our hands would never be the same.
Good times. Good, good times.
So, 20 years later I am in my own kitchen with my 7 year old and 3 year old. This time, I remembered to COVER the table with multiple layers of newspaper.
I forgot to buy an egg kit, so I just used food coloring, vinegar, and water instead. Once again, the results were not dynamic enough for me.
So, I had one of my boys, lift the egg out of the dye a little bit with the spoon. I then squirted food coloring directly on the egg. We experimented with dipping the egg back in the water or just leaving it with the food coloring straight on it.
It was really fun to watch the dye bleed and spread across the egg, making a very organic design.
After my 3 year old got tired of this, my 7 year old and I made a few more eggs with this technique. I even let him add the food coloring himself, but sometimes he added a bit too much.
Every time we squirted the food coloring on the egg, the egg was always over a cup of dye that was a similar color. You have to be careful, not to muddy your colors up.
When the egg was complete, but still wet, I laid it on its side on a styrofoam egg carton to dry.
Once the eggs were dry, I put some olive oil on a paper towel and rubbed it on the eggs to make them shine!
Now, this was a much more controlled environment than the days of my aunt’s kitchen. We actually didn’t make that much of a mess. Except for our hands, they are kind of stained, so I recommend wearing gloves if you are going to try this technique.
Maybe one day, when my boys are young teens, I will stand over the kitchen sink doing some crazy dye concoction. But until then, this method is much neater, and still has some awesome results.
Do you have any favorite ways that you like to decorate Easter eggs?
Here are some tips on color mixing:
Red + Blue = purple
Red + yellow = orange
Blue + yellow = green
Blue + green = Teal
Red + Purple = magenta
Yellow + Green = chartreuse