Dye Easter eggs with unique & creative ideas

By Roberta Pescow

For centuries, families have been dyeing Easter eggs each spring. With the countless ways to create beautiful eggs at every skill level, egg dyeing is accessible to everyone.

How To Dye Easter Eggs

Dying Easter eggs is a basic skill you'll need for many of the more advanced decorating techniques. Luckily making an egg bath and dipping eggs is really easy. Here's a simple egg dye recipe to get you started:

- 1/2 cup of boiling water - 1 teaspoon of white vinegar - Food coloring (15 to 25 drops per color). - See How To Dye Easter Eggs With Food Coloring.

To dye Easter eggs, use tongs to place cool, hard-boiled eggs into the dye bath. Release the eggs and let them sit in the dye for a few minutes, turning occasionally with a spoon until they reach your desired color intensity. Remember you can dip eggs in more than one color bath for more complex, mixed colors.

Natural foods you may already have in your kitchen are also perfect for creating color in an egg bath:

Yellow eggs: Use a standard dye bath with turmeric.

Pink eggs: Use a standard dye bath with the cooking water from beets.

Brown eggs: Use a strong coffee dye bath and add a teaspoon of salt to the recipe. Soak eggs overnight.

Blue eggs: Use the cooking water from red cabbage and add a teaspoon of salt to the dye bath recipe. Soak for 30 seconds up to overnight for desired color intensity.

Creative Ways To Dye Easter Eggs

Once you're comfortable with dye baths, take your egg design up a notch with these interesting variations:

Rubber band eggs: Before dipping eggs in the dye bath, wrap some rubber bands around them. To get more color variation, take off a few rubber bands as you dip the egg in additional colors.

Leaf, stencil or flower print eggs: Lay leaf, stencils or flowers over the egg and place it in a section of pantyhose. Pull tight and rubber band both ends to hold the leaf or other shape in place. Soak in dye bath, then carefully open the pantyhose and peel off the leaf. Make sure to let the egg dry completely before touching the stenciled area.

Rubber cement eggs: Create shapes and designs on eggs with rubber cement before dipping in the dye bath. After eggs dry, peel off the rubber cement to reveal white designs. If you wish, dip eggs in a different dye bath for more color variation.

Alternative Ways To Dye Easter Eggs

Traditional egg baths aren't the only way to color eggs. Here are some other methods that also bring nice results:

Sponge painted "speckled" eggs: This method is perfect for children too young to be working with hot dye baths, and gives eggs a natural, speckled look. Paint cool, hard-boiled eggs in a solid color with acrylic paints, or dye them yourself. After they're dry, sponge on an additional layer of paint in another color for a lacy, spotted effect.

Melted crayon Easter eggs: Very young children will also have fun with this method. Let hard-boiled eggs cool to the point where they are still warm but are safe to handle. Let kids draw designs on them with crayons. The heat of the eggs will melt the crayons, resulting in more fluid designs.

Silk tie eggs: Here's a creative way to recycle old silk ties you never wear. Wrap egg in a square of the silk with the colorful side against a raw egg. Tie silk wrapped egg securely in a section of pantyhose or white pillowcase. Boil egg in water to cover and three tablespoons of white vinegar for at least 20 minutes. When egg cools, remove silk to reveal unique color patterns.

Marbled Easter eggs: Make use of kitchen scraps by wrapping raw eggs in the skins of onions. Place each wrapped egg in a section of pantyhose and secure tightly with rubber bands. Boil eggs for 20 minutes with two tablespoons of vinegar. Unwrap eggs after they have cooled. If you wish, enhance the sienna color effect with an additional dye bath in the color of your choice.

Unique Egg Decorating Materials

If you're looking to branch out beyond egg dyes, try some of these ideas to add texture and shine to your eggs:

- Coat eggs in diluted craft glue and roll in superfine glitter.

- Glue multicolored pasta in a variety of shapes over eggs to create a mosaic pattern.

- Glue used postage stamps (or small magazine photos) over egg to cover it. When dry, coat in decoupage solution.

- Cover plain or dyed eggs with stickers and add glitter if you like.

- Paint shiny stripes on dyed eggs with colored metallic paints.

- Glue bunched up pieces of crepe paper or confetti to coat eggs.

- Attach ribbons to dyed eggs with double-sided tape.

- For sophisticated, shimmery eggs, glue on sequins and/or mini mirrors.

You don't have to follow any hard and fast rules to get great results with your Easter eggs. With a little imagination you'll be creating beautiful eggs, each as unique and beautiful as a snowflake.

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