For as long as I can remember, Easter celebrations got kicked off at our house with an egg dying extravaganza. I call it this because we always made it a big ordeal. My family would spend all day sitting around the kitchen table taping and dunking our allotted eggs into colored water. It was always a good time! My mom and I recently spent an afternoon enjoying this old tradition. She recalls learning the original technique from Carol Duvall back in the late 80’s. It is truly a lot of fun and can be a great tradition to start with your family this holiday season!
- PAAS egg dye kit with the large variety of dyes (maybe you can use another brand – this is the only one I’ve ever used)
- white vinegar (any brand will do)
- clear plastic cups (that an egg + water will fit in)
- hard-boiled eggs cooled to room temperature (the number depends on you. about 6 eggs per person and a dozen or so extra
- room temperature water
- electrical tape
- newspaper, garbage bags, old towels & rags
First, protect your working surface with a layer or two of garbage bags, several sheets of newspaper or magazines, and a couple of old towels. If you have some cardboard to make your surface flat again , that would be good too.
Next you will want to prepare your dye cups. Open your kit and find the dye tablets. We used two kits. One advertised 9 colors/tablets (but included 12 – one extra of 3 colors) and a ‘neon’ kit which had 6 colors/tablets. Place one dye tablet in each cup. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into each. The vinegar ensures you get a really vibrant color so don’t forget it!! It’s also important to let the tablets dissolve completely before moving on. You can tell when they are completed because the fizzing will stop. Give the cup a swish just to make sure! Next add 1/2 cup room temperature water (may vary – check your kit’s instructions to be sure) to each cup.
Now that your dye cups are prepared, let’s make sure your eggs are clean and dry! Wipe off any debris from the surface of your eggs and dry them completely. It’s always nice to have some solid color eggs to accent your decorated ones. Drop one egg into each dye cup. It also helps you determine which color the dye will turn out to be… sometimes you just can’t tell!
While the first batch of eggs are coloring, you can get your trays ready. Pop out the circles on the back of your dye kit box and VOILA! instant drying tray. Also bend your metal dippers (included in your kit) into ‘L’ shapes for retrieving the eggs out of the dye cups.
Keep checking your eggs and remove them with the dipper and place on the drying tray (dye box) once you’ve attained your desired color. It is also a good idea to arrange your dye cups in order from lightest to darkest once you’ve verified each color. You could label the cups if you so desire… jusyt be careful not to spill them!
You can begin cutting your strips out of the electrical tape. You can cut any length and width you see fit to cut. This is the creative part. Go ahead and ‘tape up’ a few of your white eggs. Just apply a strip or two of tape onto the egg. Make sure you press the tape firmly onto the egg (but not too firmly… it’s an EGG!). The tape will keep your egg from getting dyed underneath. Keep that in mind when you are taping selecting your colors.
Once you’ve cleared all your solid colored eggs out of the cups and prepared a few eggs with tape, you are ready to get started. It’s always best to start with light colors. Go for a yellow, orange, or pink. Drop your taped egg in. You can also do a few eggs with a colored base. This means you will dye the entire egg -sans tape- for the first round and will begin taping before your second round of color. These eggs will not have any white on them at all once completed.
Keep cutting strips as you wait for the eggs to color. Check on them often. Once an egg has attained the color you like, remove it, and dry it on your rack. Let it sit a few minutes. Go ahead and add more strips to your egg. Make sure each egg is thoroughly dried (use your old rags) before applying the next layer of tape. Remember to get a good adhesion with the each piece of tape.
Drop the egg in the next color. Go to the next lightest color, or determine what color you’d like to create next. For example, Orange and then Pink make a nice transition, but Pink to Green will make brown.
Keep this up until you’ve gotten your egg nearly covered in tape! Try different things. Different widths of tape. Do some “polka dots” using squares. Have fun with it!
When your completed egg is finished drying, you can remove the tape. It is a slow and tedious process… rushing can break your egg in a hurry. Yep! I broke one 🙁 Use the scissors to cut off the tape as you peel if needed. Dab your egg dry as you go.
You’ll come out with some truly unique eggs. The color combinations can be beautiful and pairing your creations with the solid eggs make a beautiful centerpiece. Enjoy this with your family and let me know how much fun you all had! Will this be your newest Easter tradition?
Take some pictures and post them to facebook! Tag me and Project Hermosa! !