For whatever reason, I had it in my head that Easter was at the END of April. But my calendar says otherwise. It says it lands on April 5th this year which means if any of us plans to dye eggs for Easter, it’s time to get cracking! (Minus the cracking part–yuk, yuk).
I was lucky enough to know someone kind enough to bestow goose eggs upon me. As you can see from the photo below, goose eggs are about three times the size of large chicken eggs (the brown one in the center). The eggs I dyed were goose eggs, but, of course, any size white egg will do.
Since I figured it might be a while before any more goose eggs came my way and I had high hopes that these would turn out to be eggceptional, I decided to preserve the eggs by blowing them.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do that.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, tap one end of the egg to create a hole. Once you have made a tiny hole, use the tip to gently widen it until it’s large enough to fit a wooden skewer inside. Repeat on the opposite end of the egg.
Now insert the skewer and use it to break up the contents of the egg. There is no photo to accompany the next step because I didn’t think I wanted a photo of myself, cheeks filled with air, lips pressed to the egg, posted to the internet.
So you’ll just have to carefully follow my words. First rinse the exterior of the egg with very hot soapy water (and/or wipe the area where you will be planting your mouth with rubbing alcohol). While holding the egg over a container, press your lips to one end of the egg and blow. You will soon see yolk and albumen come out the other side. Grab what you can with your fingertips to help remove it. Tip: There were moments when it felt like my eardrums were on the verge of blowing out. To avoid this, I found it helpful to “plunge” the egg with the skewer and vigorously shake it in between rounds of using lung power.
When your egg appears empty, rinse the inside by holding it under the faucet and letting hot water run through it. Shake the egg to see if any yellow matter flies out of either hole. If so, rinse again. Rinse until the only thing coming out of those holes is water. Set aside to dry.
And now…on to dyeing the eggs!
Using natural egg dye is, well, natural, and sometimes free.
To dye white eggs a yellowish brown, use onion skins boiled in water. I used the skin of two onions (if you don’t plan on buying two onions, you may be able to “harvest” the fallen skins from your store’s onion bin; hence the nod to “free”).
For a yellowish-brown Easter egg dye:
Add 3 cups of water to the skins of two onions. Boil for 20 minutes. Let cool. Strain liquid into a glass or metal bowl. Add 2 T white vinegar.
For a purplish-blue hue:
Add 1 cup of sliced purple cabbage to 4 cups of water. Boil for 25 minutes. Let cool. Strain liquid into a glass or metal bowl. Add 2 T white vinegar.
Dye the eggs by placing them into either dye. Rotate them frequently to prevent one side from absorbing more dye than the other. When they have reached your desired hue, use a slotted spoon to scoop them from the liquid. Set the eggs on a baker’s rack (with paper towels placed underneath to absorb drips and protect your countertops from becoming yellow-ish brown or purpish-blue) to dry.
And then you will have these beauties!
For our next trick, we are going to make leaf impressions. All parts of the egg will be dyed EGGCEPT where the leaf was placed.
Fern, sage, Italian parsley leaves (as shown below), and clover, all make good designs. If you want to really venture off course, so does string, or rubber bands, wrapped around the egg in a random way. But for this tutorial, leaves it is.
Use old pantyhose to keep your leaves in place during the dyeing process. Cut segments from a leg section and carefully pull the hose onto the egg while keeping your leaf in place. Or pull a leg section on the egg and slide your leaf inside. Both ways work well. Twist each nylon end and secure with twine.
Strain your onion Easter egg dye and submerge the eggs into the liquid, making sure to rotate them, frequently.
When the color is right, remove the eggs from the dye. Allow them to dry COMPLETELY before removing the stocking casings.
Now decorate, at will!
Yes, that’s a gilded egg on that plate, below. Also easy to make. It’s as simple as applying sizing (gilding adhesive) to the parts of your dyed egg that you want to turn gold (or silver, if you use silver leaf). Once the sizing becomes tacky to the touch, use tweezers, or your fingers, to place the sheets of gold leaf on the sticky areas. Use a dry brush, or your finger, to smooth the leaf and rub away any extra. Easy as that!
How about you? Do you have any fun Easter egg dyeing tips in your basket?