Friday, April 15, 2011

Easter Eggs

I've come across some very beautiful and interesting egg dying techniques this week, that use common things that are inexpensive. Did you know you can use fruits and vegetables to create dyes? If you want to eat your Easter eggs (I never actually do) natural dyes are great, no worries about possibly ingesting chemicals. I've been doing some research on common things that you can dye with. Add any of these ingredients to boiling hot water, the longer you simmer it, the stronger the dyes. Natural dyes take longer, it seems at least 30 mins, to up to 2 hours, so you have to be patient. Except for the onion skins, add a teaspoon or so of vinegar, it will help set the dye.
  • Yellow onion skins=rust orange
  • Red onion skins=purple
  • Tumeric=golden yellow
  • Coffee or tea=beige to brown, depending on how long it sits
  • Beets=red or pink
  • Red cabbage leaves=blue
  • Grape juice=purple

I love these eggs, the rust colour is stunning. The designs are made with flowers and leaves. For information and the instructions on how to do this, check out it out here.

Another tried and true method is to use hot water, food colouring and a teaspoon of vinegar per colour. It's much faster than natural dyes, and you can get really intense colours. Add drops of food colouring to small containers of water until you are happy with the shade. Then add two more. That should be about right.

 For an interesting marbled effect add some oil to the dye and swirl the eggs around.

 To add decoration and patterns, the easiest way to do it is with the wax resist dye method. Draw patterns with a white wax crayon. When you dye the eggs, the dye won't stick to the wax, that part will stay white.
Use the mask method: Try wrapping the eggs with flat dental floss, rubber bands or strips of masking tape. Stickers are great to add words or shapes. If you want to do multiple colours, start with the lightest colour first and gradually add the darker colours. Keep in mind the rules of colour mixing-so you don't end up with grey, brown or muddy colours (unless that was on purpose).

Red+Blue=Purple, Red+Yellow=Orange, Yellow+Blue=Green, But Purple+Orange+Green=Muddy Brown

One last tip-keep the egg carton handy to allow the eggs to dry before handling. Use a spoon to lower the eggs in and out of the dye, so you don't get dye all over your hands.

For more information and ideas, I suggest Martha Stewart's website-tons of inspiration.

Be creative and have fun!

1 comment:

  1. I just love Easter- these eggs are gorgeous. I think I will try it out for myself!