The Colorful Tradition
For centuries, families have been dyeing Easter eggs each Spring. With the countless ways to create beautiful eggs at every skill level, egg dyeing is accessible to everyone. Every year our family gets more artistic, a bit more creative and they always enjoy the wonderful colorful options! The smell of the vinegar while organizing the colors brings back so many childhood memories…it never gets old.
But why do we do it? The birth of the Easter egg as we know it officially began in the Ukraine over a thousand years ago. Non-Christian egg decorating is much, much older. Basically Eggs are a symbol of new life, reminding us of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Just as the little chick breaks through the shell of the egg, Jesus came forth from the tomb. Colors on the egg hold special significance for Easter eggs:
White: purity and innocence
Yellow: wisdom, recognition, harvest and reward
Orange: strength, endurance and ambition
Red: happiness, hope or passion
Green: sign of spring, hope and innocence
Blue: good health
Purple: royal color, faith and trust
Brown: earth and mountain color, harvest color, positive symbolizing happiness
Grey: not a positive color
Black: strong color, meaning of remembrance
Encourage family members to decorate a personalized egg for Easter morning. Each member should have an egg with their name that can be used as “placecards” for the Easter breakfast (especially nice in eggcups).
One specially decorated egg can be designed as the “Alleluia Egg,” or “Golden Egg” which is usually golden or yellow, with Alleluia incorporated in the decoration. If the family has an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday, this egg can be the egg to win the special prize. Our eldest always has the best of luck in finding the Golden Egg!
Here are some tips and tricks on how to decorate your Easter Eggs…
How to Dye Easter Eggs:
Dying Easter eggs is a basic skill you’ll need for many of the more advanced decorating techniques. Luckily making an “egg bath” and dipping eggs is really easy. Here’s a simple egg dye recipe to get you started:
- ½ cup of boiling water
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- Food coloring (15 to 25 drops per color).
To dye Easter eggs, use tongs to place cool, hard-boiled eggs into the dye bath. Release the eggs and let them sit in the dye for a few minutes, turning occasionally with a spoon until they reach your desired color intensity. Remember you can dip eggs in more than one color bath for more complex, mixed colors.
Natural foods you may already have in your kitchen are also perfect for creating color in an egg bath:
Yellow eggs: Use a standard dye bath with turmeric.
Pink eggs: Use a standard dye bath with the cooking water from beets.
Brown eggs: Use a strong coffee dye bath and add a teaspoon of salt to the recipe. Soak eggs overnight.
Blue eggs: Use the cooking water from red cabbage and add a teaspoon of salt to the dye bath recipe. Soak for 30 seconds up to overnight for desired color intensity.
You can also purchase premade kits at the store for under $5.
Creative Ways To Dye Easter Eggs
Once you’re eggs are colored…let your creative juices flow!
Rubber band eggs: Before dipping eggs in the dye bath, wrap some rubber bands around them. To get more color variation, take off a few rubber bands as you dip the egg in additional colors.
Leaf, stencil or flower print eggs: Lay leaf, stencils or flowers over the egg and place it in a section of pantyhose. Pull tight and rubber band both ends to hold the leaf or other shape in place. Soak in dye bath, then carefully open the pantyhose and peel off the leaf. Make sure to let the egg dry completely before touching the stenciled area.
Rubber cement eggs: Create shapes and designs on eggs with rubber cement before dipping in the dye bath. After eggs dry, peel off the rubber cement to reveal white designs. If you wish, dip eggs in a different dye bath for more color variation.
Alternative Ways To Dye Easter Eggs
Traditional egg baths aren’t the only way to color eggs. Here are some other methods that also bring nice results:
Sponge painted “speckled” eggs: This method is perfect for children too young to be working with hot dye baths, and gives eggs a natural, speckled look. Paint cool, hard-boiled eggs in a solid color with acrylic paints, or dye them yourself. After they’re dry, sponge on an additional layer of paint in another color for a lacy, spotted effect.
Melted crayon Easter eggs: Very young children will also have fun with this method. Let hard-boiled eggs cool to the point where they are still warm but are safe to handle. Let kids draw designs on them with crayons. The heat of the eggs will melt the crayons, resulting in more fluid designs.
Silk tie eggs: Never tried this one, but give it a a whirl! A creative way to recycle old silk ties you never wear….wrap egg in a square of the silk with the colorful side against a raw egg. Tie silk wrapped egg securely in a section of pantyhose or white pillowcase. Boil egg in water to cover and three tablespoons of white vinegar for at least 20 minutes. When egg cools, remove silk to reveal unique color patterns. Who thought of this and what were they drinking?
Marbled Easter eggs: Make use of kitchen scraps by wrapping raw eggs in the skins of onions. Place each wrapped egg in a section of pantyhose and secure tightly with rubber bands. Boil eggs for 20 minutes with two tablespoons of vinegar. Unwrap eggs after they have cooled. If you wish, enhance the sienna color effect with an additional dye bath in the color of your choice.
Unique Egg Decorating Materials
If you’re looking to branch out beyond egg dyes, try some of these ideas to add texture and shine to your eggs:
- Coat eggs in diluted craft glue and roll in superfine glitter.
- Glue multicolored pasta in a variety of shapes over eggs to create a mosaic pattern.
- Glue used postage stamps (or small magazine photos) over egg to cover it. When dry, coat in decoupage solution.
- Cover plain or dyed eggs with stickers and add glitter if you like.
- Paint shiny stripes on dyed eggs with colored metallic paints.
- Glue bunched up pieces of crepe paper or confetti to coat eggs.
- Attach ribbons to dyed eggs with double-sided tape.
- For sophisticated, shimmery eggs, glue on sequins and/or mini mirrors.
You don’t have to follow any hard and fast rules to get great results with your Easter eggs. With a little imagination you’ll be creating beautiful eggs beyond your expectations. Most importantly- have fun and remember to eat them afterwards.
#easter #eggs #traditions