Decorating easter eggs is one of those things I just love doing. I even won a competition once!
There is something about eggs that makes them so perfect for decorating. I think it's their flat matte finish, perfect roundness and fragile nature.
This year I was inspired by semi-precious stones in saturated jewel tones and metallic finishes.
Here's my method and tips on how I made these eggs this year. The most important thing to note is that dyed easter eggs rarely end up looking how we expected or planned, but this is not a bad thing. In particular, I love the mottled and aged look some of them have. You may have heard me shun perfectionism before, and I encourage you to do shun it again with this project.
I was so surprised by how much I loved these eggs and I played with them for much longer than I needed to. They are so beautiful.
- You need white eggs. The brown eggs at the supermarket will interfere with the brightness of your dye colours. I got mine from a European deli-style green grocer. Even then I had to check the box to find one with a good ratio of white eggs.
- Food colouring. I used red, blue and green in the larger 50ml bottles by Queen.
- White vinegar.
- Hot water.
- Melted coconut oil.
- Bowls, spoons, paper towels.
- Gold leaf flakes (I got them from Riot Art & Craft).
- Modge-podge glue, or a non-toxic glue.
- Newspaper and an apron!
- A go-with-the-flow attitude.
- Boil your eggs and let them cool completely.
- Prepare your dyes in bowls. The ratio is 1 cup hot water, 1 tablespoon vinegar and as much food colouring as you can handle. The boiling water and vinegar help the food colouring take and give a deeper colour.
- As far as the coconut oil is concerned, you can either dab this on the eggs before hand or swirl it in the water. This repels the dye and creates the mottled effect.
- I also had a go at speckling by dipping a toothbrush into the dye and rubbing it over a sieve. This created a little spray of dots onto the egg.
- You can either dye the whole egg one colour or just part of it. If you position the egg on a submerged paper towel bed or cradle it in a spoon so some of it pokes out of the dye and stays white.
- I also tried putting a couple of rubber bands around the middle of one egg which made a nice little tie-dye ring where the dye couldn't touch the egg.
- One of the coolest things that happened, and it was a total surprise, was that I dyed some eggs blue and was not happy with them so I waited until they dried and then dipped them again into purple dye. There must have been drops of coconut oil left over because it created a two-tone mottled effect that I deeply love.
- Finally, once they are completed dry you can gold foil them. Dab your glue sparingly on the egg in places where you want to highlight or hide or accentuate the dye patterns. Take bits of gold leaf flakes and put them on dabbing with your finger or using a soft brush. Once dry you can brush off any loose bits.