Decorating Easter eggs is one of my all-time favorite holiday activities. I love it even more than decorating the Christmas tree, which is saying a lot! Maybe it’s the spring season in general, or the bright, vibrant colors of dyed eggs, or the fact that I can experiment with different styles… I love it. And there’s a teeny little part of my brain that just wants to dye eggs all by myself while the kids are asleep… But I couldn’t deprive them of the fun of dyeing eggs!
This year, my 5 year old boys were fascinated, and they were actually interested in my long-winded explanation of why leaving the eggs in the dye longer made the eggs a darker shade. And since we did a bit of experimentation with “dipping” the eggs in different colors, we also talked about combining and making new colors.
Because I was decorating eggs for an Easter party we hosted, I had loads other prep work to do so I just bought a PAAS dye kit in their standard colors and dyed the eggs. The colors came out beautifully. Last year, we dyed eggs with regular ole’ food coloring, and the colors were surprisingly vibrant as well. This year, I was hoping to experiment with dyeing with food–blueberries, turmeric, beets–but I just didn’t have the time.
Instead, I did a bit of experimenting with dip dyeing (dyeing small sections at a time) and washi tape.
Dip dyeing eggs
Dip dyeing eggs is super easy–easy enough for kids–and the results are beautiful. The most important aspect of dip dyeing is being careful not to shift, jostle, shake, or otherwise move the egg and cup once you’ve placed the egg in the dye. You’ll need a dye kit and several small cups for the various dyes. Some kits come with cups, and you can use those, but if you’re planning to use food coloring to dye your eggs, small paper cups work great (I used Dixie cups). The process is as simple as pouring a SMALL amount of the dye mixture that you’ve created into a cup and only dyeing a small portion of the egg at a time. The longer the eggs are in the dye, the more vibrant the color. I generally leave my eggs in for 15-30 minutes, so dip dyeing eggs takes quite a bit of time, especially considering the dry time.
Once you remove the egg from the first cup, place it on a drying rack and allow the dye to dry before dipping it in the next color. Do not rush the process! If the dye is not given time to dry, the first color will bleed into the second color. When the first color is dry, place the egg carefully into the next color, allowing some overlap with the first color.
Repeat the process if you’d like to add a third color.
This process works well with contrasting colors as well as a single color. The dip dyed eggs were my kids’ favorites. When I took the first egg out of its third color, my Lincoln exclaimed, “Mommy, that’s BEAUTIFUL!”
Washi Tape Eggs
As much as I loved the dip dyed eggs, these were my FAVORITE. I love geometric design, and I adore how these came out. The only things you need for this is some washi tape, scissors and wax paper. Simply cut small triangles of washi tape and place them on the wax paper for easy peeling. When you have about a billion little triangles cut, start sticking them on!
Keep the triangles as small as possible while still manageable. If the triangles are too large, you’ll end up with creases in the tape. Washi tape is wonderfully thin and adheres really well to eggshells, so it’s really perfect for decorating eggs.
I had a little fun and made my boys a surprise heart egg. I placed a small piece of washi tape on wax paper, folded it in the half and cut out a heart, peeled the heart shape from the wax paper, and stuck it on the egg. My boys didn’t see me do it, and I handed them the eggs without showing the hearts to them, so when they removed the eggs from the dye cups, and I later (very surreptitiously) peeled the washi tape off (once the eggs were dry), they were thrilled to find little hearts on eggs dyed their favorite colors! Gotta keep my babies on their toes!
Despite wanting to take control of all the egg dyeing, I let go of my desire to do it all on my own, and my kids were thrilled to be a part of the process. I think next year, we’ll do a bit more kid-friendly egg decorating, and maybe I’ll spend an evening working on my own eggs. When the kids are asleep. 😉