The process of dying Easter eggs can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. It can be a fun, kid-friendly activity, or a serious, quiet artistic endeavor. Either way, you will end up with a beautiful finished product. Here's how:
- Gather your supplies. To simply dye your hard-boiled eggs, you will need: hard-boiled eggs, newspaper to lay out on the table to protect it from the dye, small cups or bowls, a slotted spoon, vinegar, food coloring and hot water. You may also want rubber bands, electrical tape and cooking oil for some of the fancier dying techniques. If you plan to decorate hollowed-out eggs, you should gather up: a needle, glue, sequins, ribbons, glitter, paints, colored foil, tissue paper, tempera paints and acrylic spray. Children may want an old shirt or smock to protect their clothing from the dye and other craft messies.
- Boil or hollow out your eggs. To boil eggs, place eggs in a saucepan filled with COLD water. Make sure the water is at least one inch over the eggs. Using high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a medium boil and cook for ten minutes. Remove from heat and put the eggs into a bowl of iced water until the eggs are completely cool. (This will prevent the greenish ring from forming around the yolk and it keeps the yolk a nice bright yellow color.) To hollow out the egg, use a pin to put a small hole in one end of the egg and a slightly larger hole in the other end. Stick the needle far enough into the egg to break up the yolk inside. Once the yolk is broken, you can blow into the smaller hole and the egg will come out of the bigger one. Rinse the eggshell out and let it dry before decorating. And of course, you should always wash your hands after handling raw egg.
- Make the dye. After you have boiled or hollowed out your eggs, make the dye. Place ¼ teaspoon food coloring into a small bowl. Add ¾ cup of hot water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to each color. Mix well.
- Decorate before dying. Before you dye the eggs, you can decorate them with a waxy crayon. Draw pictures, write your name or decorate with swirls or polka dots in different colors of crayon. Then dye the egg. The dye will not stick to the wax and will create a neat effect on the egg. You can also wrap the egg in strips of electrical tape or with rubber bands before dying for a striped effect. Another idea is to place some drops of cooking oil into the dye and dip in the egg for a swirly look. The dye will not stick to the egg in areas that the cooking oil has touched.
- Dye the eggs. To dye an egg, place it in one of the cups of egg dye until it has reached the desired color. The longer you leave the egg in the dye, the brighter the color will get. Remove the egg from the dye with a slotted spoon. Place the egg in an egg carton with holes punched in the cups for drainage. Let the eggs dry completely.
- Decorate hollow eggs. To decorate hollow eggs, you can dye them as above, use paints, glue, glitter or any other craft supplies you can find, and spray with acrylic spray to create an egg that will last a long time.
- Store. A hard-boiled egg stored in the refrigerator can be kept for 2-3 weeks safely. Do not eat eggs that have sat outside, hidden in the bushes by the Easter bunny!
Following these directions will produce some imaginative, beautiful eggs in your basket this Easter.