I know today is your day to dye eggs with the kids, but before you get out the PAAS kit, consider a little something like this instead.
My sister Jennifer is entirely responsible for the eggs in this post. She claims this was “the second easiest egg decorating method [she has] ever used (temporary tattoos being the easiest, http://gotindia.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-professor-magnum-and-dandy.html), and by far the biggest wow factor for the effort.” Seconded. I believe “WOW!!” was precisely my response when she texted me a photo. Here’s Jennifer:
I printed china patterns onto napkins, cut out little bits of the pattern, and used a mix of half water and half glue to paint them gently onto the egg. When it dried, it looked like i had painted the blue onto the egg since the white part of the napkin blends perfectly with the egg. Surprisingly, it really was just that easy.
I came up with this based on a Martha Stewart tutorial I saw online which used pre-printed floral diner napkins. I tried to find some cool napkins at the store, but didn’t like what I found. So I just printed my own.
Most napkins are 2-ply, so I had to peal them apart and just use one layer of the napkin. I taped the napkin to a sheet of regular printer paper and just used my normal ink-jet printer. It worked perfectly, to my surprise.
The ratio of glue to water is imprecise, I just mixed it until it seemed the right consistency to paint easily onto the egg. I’ve also heard you can use egg whites as your adhesive.
I got lazy a couple of times and tried to glue bigger pieces of the napkin onto the egg at once. That always resulted in little creases as I tried to mold it to the curvature of the egg. Smaller bits of pattern worked better.
And of course, you can do this to boiled eggs rather than blown eggs. Instead of napkins you can also use one layer of a kleenex, or even tissue paper. In fact, when my little girl is older I’m thinking I might cut shapes out of solid colored tissue paper and help her paint those onto eggs for Easter, rather than dying eggs one year.
Jennifer has a long and glorious history of doing innovative Easter eggs, but I think these are my favorite of all time. I’ve spent many an hour on Ukrainian Easter egg making, and I think these puppies are just as impressive.
At my own house this year, I bought craft eggs from Michael’s which are supposedly dyeable. They were chalky to a fault, covering our hands in powder. They were difficult for my 3 year-olds to weight down into the dye bath without spilling. And they did not take the dye well at all. These were made with twice the vinegar and left to dye for over an hour and they are still pastel.
Despite the disappointing results, my kids really enjoyed dyeing the eggs this year. If they could really enjoy dyeing the eggs AND the eggs could come out like this…
well, that would be spectacular!