I usually defer to Genny Upton when it comes to crafts. But, this year, I was more than ready to up our game when it comes to decorating Easter eggs.
For many years, we've relied on the store-bought decorating kits that left me wondering why I wasn't using the oodles of food coloring in the cupboard or why I can never remember that those stickers in the kits never stick (I can't be the only one with this problem).
So I searched around online for some new ideas and tried some old ones that I'd seen over the years.The result? I will never buy one of those kits ever again.
First, we boiled the eggs. When I boil eggs, I put them in a single layer and cover with water. Then I turn on the stove to high so the water boils. Then I cover the pot and take the eggs off the warm burner. I let them sit in the covered pot for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Then, we made dye using food coloring. Following the directions on the box, we mixed 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 20 drops of food coloring for each color in a mug. The box included recipes for various colors - like orange or purple. My older daughter loved figuring out the amount we needed for each. My younger daughter loved counting each of the drops.
Before the eggs cooled, we tried out the first egg decorating idea that I'd found: Decorating hot Easter eggs with crayons. You can see a description here at The Chocolate Muffin Tree blog. Using eggs that are still hot or warm, color on them with a crayon. The crayon melts onto the egg and turns a little bit slippery, but it makes for some beautiful designs. My three-year-old was more abstract with her design (her purple blob is a "carousel"), but my older daughter and I chose more realistic designs - a rainbow and "Happy Easter" slogan.
You'll need to be very careful with the eggs as they need to be warm or hot for the crayons to melt. My daughters cradled the egg in a kitchen towel to avoid touching them. If you want to decorate both sides of the egg, you'll need to make sure that the first side you colored is dry as the crayon can rub off.
Once we were done coloring, we dipped them in the dye for a great effect. We will definitely be doing this again.
Other decorating ideas that I've seen over the years and finally tried this year on cooled eggs:
- Sticking stickers on the eggs before they are dyed. We used heart and circle stickers. My girls stuck them on their eggs, then dipped them in the dye. Once we took them out of the dye, we patted them with paper towels to dry them off and then took the stickers off to reveal white hearts or circles. Then we dipped them in another color to create a two-tone effect.
- Putting temporary tattoos in the Easter eggs. For some reason, we have all manner of temporary tattoos at my house. And we put them to good use over the weekend by sticking them on eggs. One recommendation: Smaller tattoos work better than larger ones, which can be trickier to wrap around an egg.
- Adding a little bling to your eggs. After dying them, my girls stuck gem stickers on their eggs for a sparkly look.
How do you decorate your Easter eggs?