The Roundup -

Upping the Easter Egg Ante

 


There’s no doubt that the creation of Pinterest has upped the ante when it comes to at-home crafts, and spring egg-dying wasn’t left out. From standard to natural dyes, from Kool-Aid to intricately designed Star Wars themed eggs, dying eggs has evolved from a simple kid’s craft to an art for all ages.

To get started, pick up a dozen eggs, either at the grocery store, or from a local producer. If you choose fresh farm eggs, be sure to wash the eggs before using them. Both brown and white eggs will take dye, though brown eggs may need to be soaked longer and dyes may not stay true to color.

The easiest way to prepare your eggs for dying is to hard boil them, creating a less-fragile work surface for small, clumsy hands. Eggs should be boiled for about 13 minutes, cooled and kept in the refrigerator.

For the easiest road to dyed eggs, choose a ready-made egg-dying kit. These usually come with pigmented pills that are dissolved in a vinegar and water solution, and the kit usually contains a dipping tool. The dyes are generally non-toxic and the dyed eggs are safe to eat.

For a more natural route, try boiling pigmented foods, like purple cabbage to make blue dye, or shredded beets to make pink dye. For each of these, boil one cup of ingredient per cup of water for 15 to 30 minutes, let cool, and strain. Add one tablespoon of vinegar per cup of liquid, and soak eggs until the desired color is reached. For extra decoration, place a leaf or flower on the egg, wrap it in cheesecloth or pantyhose and then soak until the desired color is reached. Naturally dyed eggs will also be safe to eat.

For adults and older children, the egg-dying possibilities are endless and get quite creative. To silk dye eggs, wrap unboiled eggs in colored silk and then in cheesecloth. Place in a pot with equal parts water and vinegar, and boil gently for about 45 minutes. Remove and cool the wrapped eggs. Once completely cooled, carefully unwrap. These eggs are great for decoration, but should not be eaten.

If you plan on eating your decorated eggs, choose a non-toxic method of decorating, like non-toxic or natural dyes. If you choose to decorate with things you wouldn’t normally consume, forgo consuming your decorated eggs, as eggshells are porous and may absorb harmful chemicals.

 

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