Just in time for the Easter break, here’s a beautiful craft project to do with your little ones, care of the oh-so craft Lindy at Little Picasso Studio. Not only this an easy and fun thing to do together, but all the materials are probably already in your kitchen!
Dyeing and decorating eggs is fun for everyone. It is simple and has two main elements — eggs and dyes. In this project, we’ve streamlined the dyeing process and given you a couple of options to making your eggs. We opted to keep this craft nice and simple, but you can also use acrylic paints to speckle your eggs at the end or add paint, twine, sequins — it’s up to you!
You have two options for making your eggs: draining the eggs using food dyes or boiling your eggs with natural food dyes like beets for red, blueberries for blue, etc.
*Drain the Eggs Using Food Dyes
Draining your eggs is preferable if you want to save the eggs from year to year or turn them into ornaments. Please note that this is not recommended if you are working with very young children as the eggs are very fragile and emptying the eggs is quite tricky with little ones. (Or mummy could do this part first part.)
What you’ll need:
Raw regular eggs
Paper towel to protect your work space
Sharp object like thin pointed knife, needle or skewer
Ear bulb syringe, an “egg blower,” or a small drinking straw
Bowl to catch the egg whites/yolks
Glass jars, small bowls or old coffee cups (one per colour)
Egg carton for a drying rack
1. To empty a raw egg, begin by using the tip of a sharp utility knife to pierce the larger rounded end of the egg; turn the knife in one of the holes to widen it slightly. Then, poke a straightened paper clip or skewer through the larger hole to pierce and “stir” the yolk. Hold the egg, hole down, over a bowl, and then blow the contents out with a rubber ear syringe, or a thin straw or just shake the contents out.
2. Protect your work area with paper towels or newspaper. Mix 2 to 3 teaspoons of vinegar and 20 drops of food coloring (use more to intensify color) in 1 cup of hot water in a heatproof bowl, cup, or jar deep enough to let you submerge an egg completely. Slowly submerge the egg in the liquid to let the liquid enter the hole to help weight it. Be careful to “prick” any air bubbles that prevent this.
3. To create different tints of a color, vary dipping times: Submerge eggs for 5 minutes for light colors, and leave the egg in for 20 minutes or more for deeper shades. You can also leave overnight for a very dark colour. Using tongs makes handling the eggs easy.
4. An egg carton works well for a drying rack.
*Boil the Eggs Using Natural Food Dyes
We suggest you try the boiling process if you are working with young children and/or have limited time. Here Lindy has narrowed the necessary ingredients down to three — fresh red beets, yellow and red onion skins and frozen blueberries. That’s all you’ll need to produce the primary colors: red, yellow and blue. By combining the resulting dyes in varying amounts, she can create any color of the rainbow.
What you’ll need:
Hard boiled eggs
Tongs, slotted spoon
Paper towel to protect your work spaces
Natural products from the kitchen e.g., fresh red beets, yellow onion skins, frozen blueberries (for primary colours: red, yellow and blue). You can also include spices (saffron, curry powder, turmeric, etc. to make yellow, orange colours.) For the mottled effect use red and yellow onion skins and wrap around egg secured with rubber bands.
Saucepans for boiling foods, spices
Rubber bands if you’re doing the mottled effect with onion skins
Egg carton for drying rack
*How to make natural egg dyes:
Use your own judgement abut exactly how much of each dye food stuff to use. Except for spices, place a handful (or two or three for stronger colour) of the dye stuff in a saucepan.
1. Wash hard-boiled eggs in warm soapy water to remove any oily residue that could hamper the colour from adhering to the eggs. Let eggs cool.
2. Add tap water to come at least one inch above the dye stuff. Note: This will be about 1 cup of water for each handful of dyestuff.
3. Bring the water just to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for about 20 mins. or to an hour until you like the colour obtained. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Pour mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of strained dye liquid. Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs.
5. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Leave the eggs in the water until you like the colour. Note: Allow the egg to sit in the water for several hours or overnight if you want deep colour. If you plan to eat the eggs do this step in the refrigerator.
6. When eggs are dyed to the color you desire, lift the eggs out with a slotted spon. Let them dry on an egg carton. Hande the eggs gently and minimally as some of the colours can easily be rubbed off before the egg is dried.
7. For a textured look, dab the still wet egg with a sponge.
8. Eggs coloured with natural dyes have a dull finish. For glossy eggs, after they are dry, rub the eggs with cooking oil.
*Dyeing and Decorating Tips
-For uniform color and to deepen the colour add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the dye.
-For a mottled, tie-dyed or spotty effect, leave all the ingredients in the pans.
–Use crayons to make designs — circles, geometrics, your name — on the egg; the crayoned part will not take up any dye. White crayons work especially well.
-The longer the eggs remain in the dye, the deeper the color.
-For special effects, dip half the egg in one color, the other half in another.
And don’t miss the Easter holiday workshops at Little Picasso Studio next week! Lindy is offering a sparkling alternative to this natural idea and making bedazzled and decorated Easter eggs during their Easter Workshops. Go to www.littlepicasso.hk or click here to view details on our workshop page.