Drop the wax crayons.
Egg decorating is just one of the many traditions we love to celebrate with our families over the Easter holiday. In my house, Mama hard-boils a dozen eggs before her kids come home to the nest – even though we're all grown up, now – in preparation for one or two hours of drawing, dipping, coloring, sticker-ing, rubber-banding, and dyeing eggs. Our goal is to master the perfect balance of elegant and playful, hoping that our polka-dotted eggs will be good enough to be displayed on her Easter table during brunch. It's become a little competition.
Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever colored eggs has experienced: dyeing Easter eggs is a messy, difficult business. You could be a family of artists; if you try to etch on a hard-boiled egg with wax crayon, you're going to end up with less-than-appealing wax flakes on your Easter creations. So, every time a new Easter egg techique comes to the surface, we love to jump on the trend. Rubber bands, dot stickers, pantyhose, juiced beets – you name it, we've dyed it.
Turns out, we've been going about Easter-egg-dyeing the wrong way. With this incredible technique decorating technique, you are just a few steps away from gorgeously patterned, centerpiece-worthy Easter eggs, and all you'll need is water, vinegar, and some old silk ties.
Our sister brand Martha Stewart did a great job of breaking down the process step-by-step. The first thing that you'll need to gather is some silk ties or scarves. The fabric needs to be silk for the technique to work, but – great news! – there are dozens of old ties at your local thrift store that likely fit the bill. Pick a few up for a dollar here and there, and you've got yourself a bargain!
Cut a square of silk to fit the size of your egg so that you'll be able to close completely at the top. The vibrant print on the silk should be directly against the egg's shell. Lay each egg onto an old, cut piece of white sheet or tablecloth, and then fasten the top of the fabric with a twist-tie or rubber band.
Place your eggs gently into a large pot, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the eggs completely. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the water, and bring the eggs to a boil. Once the water has boiled, turn down the heat and let the eggs simmer for about 20 minutes in the pot.
WATCH: Homemade Blueberry Easter Egg Dye
Let your eggs cool completely, and then carefully remove both the fabric and the silk. You'll have a mimicked print transferred onto your egg! To give your Easter eggs a little shine, you can rub the final product with a little bit of vegetable oil before displaying. The end result is colorful, festive, and much more detailed than what we can do with a box of wax crayons.
As you're planning for your Easter activities, stop by the thrift store to prep for this fun technique. Just make sure that the fabric you use is 100% silk, or you'll be disappointed with the results. And, following your Easter-egg-dyeing: Since the silk prints aren't food dye, take caution if you choose to eat the eggs after displaying them; the dyes may not be safe for consumption.
Here's to pretty Easter eggs on Mama's table!