Easter is later on the calendar this year – thankfully, that gives me more time to decorate with the kids. They especially love dyeing eggs, but I’m tired of making multicolored egg salad and hoping none of us get food poisoning. With a little help from all the apps on my new iPad and crafty friends on Pinterest, I’ve found some new ways to do the Easter eggs this year.
The method that takes the most work, but promises to be the most fun, involves treasure hunting at thrift stores and rummage sales. I learned how to dye eggs by transferring the colors and patterns from old silk cloth! Trial and error showed that old, silk scarves, like the ones grandmas wore over their curlers, work really well. Cutting squares of fabric out of thrift store silk blouses is another great resource. The more brightly colored the silk, the better the transfer of colors. Avoid silks that have been marked as “stain-resistant.”
Cut your silk fabric into 6″ squares. Now here’s the tricky part: wrap your raw egg in the silk square, trying to keep the silk fully in contact with the egg’s surface, and as wrinkle-free as possible. Next, cut a piece of cheese cloth (or muslin) that is about 9-11″ square. Place your silk wrapped egg on top of the cheese cloth square, and wrap the cheese cloth snugly around the silk-wrapped egg. Tie the top closed with a piece of plain cotton string.
It’s best to boil your eggs in a glass pot, large enough for the eggs to fit close, but not wedged in tight. Pour a mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% warm water into the pot, enough to cover the eggs but not so much that they float. Boil eggs lightly for 45 minutes. You’ll need to have a second pot heating with the half-and-half mix of vinegar and water, to replenish the egg pot as the water boils down. When the eggs have finished boiling, gently remove them with tongs, and place them, still wrapped, in a baking dish that is lined with old towels. Once they’ve cooled, cut the string from the top of the eggs, and carefully peel the fabric away. Put the eggs in an empty egg carton to finish fully drying!
The other two methods we’re trying this year are much simpler. First of all, we are enamored of the new washi craft tape. We’re not even going to dye these eggs, just hard-boil them and then add all kinds of snipped shapes with the patterned washi tape. Check out the great examples from one crafter at: http://lovelyindeed.com/diy-washi-tape-easter-eggs/.
Lastly, and perhaps long-lastingly, I was inspired by chalkboard paint. By spraying this paint on wooden eggs I’d had forever, and some papier-mache eggs purchased at the craft store, we now have funky Easter eggs that we can re-decorate every year, by simply drawing on them with different colors of chalk!