So Easter is coming up rather fast and a few people have asked me how you go about coloring brown eggs. My first response is, “Oh my goodness? Have you ever just loooked at them in the basket? They’re beautiful just the way they are!”
But I get it. With a dozen (or two) layers, you see that every day. And I have children, too. Children who don’t actually remember ever dyeing eggs. Somehow, that suddenly didn’t seem quite right, so we embarked on an egg coloring adventure to show you some ways you can decorate your already colorful eggs this Easter. If nothing else, it helps you remember which ones are boiled and which ones aren’t when you open the refrigerator.
For starters, you can color them just like any old white egg. You know how the yolks of those farm fresh, pastured poultry are just a richer, deeper, more satisfying color than the store bought eggs? Well, it’s kind of like that when you compare dyed white eggs to dyed brown eggs. The eggs on the top were originally white. The eggs on the bottom were brown eggs dyed in the same dyes for the same amount of time to show the color difference.
We dyed the eggs using the directions on the back of the food coloring box: one half cup water, one teaspoon vinegar and 20 drops of food coloring, in varying combinations.
If you have young children, stickers are always a treat. And you can usually even pick them up for a dollar or two.
A little crayon allows for interesting designs. The egg will pick up the dye everywhere the crayon is not, allowing children to draw pictures, write their names, or sketch the Japanese symbols for love and long life.
This one didn’t turn out quite so well as we had hoped because, well, farm fresh eggs don’t always peel as nicely as store bought eggs. They take some aging and sometimes some refrigeration after boiling for the shell to come off cleanly. But we tried our version of Chinese tea eggs. Simply crack the shell of the boiled egg and then dip it in the dye. Make sure you are using vinegar and food coloring if you plan to eat these! This one is a bit trickier with farm fresh eggs so you will have the best luck if you stick them in the back of the refrigerator for a few weeks first so that they will peel neatly.
And should you try that, do not throw away all that egg shell. Instead, put it in a bowl and crunch it up into little pieces. A little glue and Voila! You have a lovely selection of colors for a beautiful mosaic. My daughter isn’t finished with hers, yet, but you can see the beginnings of a very eye-catching egg. As well as a nice project for the older children while the younger ones are simply slapping stickers on theirs.
And finally, there is the silk wrapped egg. I first saw this done with silk scarves, but who has a ton of silk scarves lying around? That they want to cut up and boil? Not me. But I do have scraps of recycled silk sari yarn, so I thought I’d try that to see what would happen.
First, you wrap the uncooked egg in your silk yarn. Or scarf.
Then you tie it in a sock. The only real purpose of the sock is to keep the yarn from falling off. The best way I found to do this was to stick my hand in the sock, grab hold of the egg and slowly turn the sock inside out over the egg so the yarn wouldn’t be rubbed off. Then tie it so it stays tight.
Set it in a pot to boil for ten minutes. It may take some creativity to get it to sink if your sock wants to float. I laid a pair of tongs on mine. When it finishes, you will have a lovely bit of abstract art created by the silk dyes rubbing off on your egg.
And with those few tools and a couple of hours, your children can create a few dozen masterpieces to share with friends, hide and of course eat.