By Emily Wurst

As springtime rolls around, it’s time to embrace the season and the holiday it brings. With Easter at hand, there is one constant craft you can count on: dyeing eggs.

With a tradition as classic as egg dyeing, it’s easy to feel stuck in a rut. But it doesn’t have to be that way. From the dyes themselves to the decorations and techniques, the possibilities for unique, creative Easter eggs are limitless.

Here are a few ideas to help spark your creativity when it’s time to get cracking on those Easter eggs.

 

Traditional Dyed Eggs

This tried-and-true method for dyeing eggs is simple, classic and easy.This method can be used for any color, or mix colors to create your own.

You will need:

–          Bowls or cups large enough to submerge an egg

–          Tongs or a slotted spoon

–          Liquid food dye in the colors of your choice

–          White vinegar

–          Boiling water

–          Recommended: newspaper or paper towels to cover surface

Keep in mind: This, like all dyeing methods here, requires cooled, boiled eggs.

For each color of dye, fill one bowl with ½ cup boiling water, one teaspoon white vinegar, and 18-22 drops of liquid food dye in the color of your choice. Using the spoon or tongs, slowly lower the egg into the dye solution. Leave the egg in the dye for five minutes, rotating occasionally. Use the spoon or tongs to remove the egg to dry.

If you enjoy the fun of dyeing eggs but don’t love the smell of vinegar in your kitchen, swap the traditional vinegar and food dye mix for one made from Kool-Aid drink packets. Instead of vinegar, you’ll have a fruity scent. Simply mix the contents of one packet of powder Kool-Aid drink mix with ⅔ cup of water, leave the egg in the solution for five minutes, and remove to dry.

 

All-Natural Dyed Eggs

The bright, vibrant colors of Easter eggs do not need to rely on artificial dyes. You can easily create your own, all-natural dye from everyday ingredients from the grocery store.

You will need:

–          Bowls or cups large enough to submerge an egg

–          A small pot to bring dye solution to a boil

–          Mesh strainer

–          White vinegar

–          For blue dye: 2 cups chopped purple cabbage and 2 cups water

–          For yellow dye: 4 tablespoons turmeric and 2 cups water

–          For pink dye: 2 cups peeled, grated beets and 2 cups water

Place ingredients for each color dye in a small pot and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer until the desired color is reached. Once the colors are to satisfaction, remove the solution from heat, allow it to cool to room temperature, and pour the solution through a mesh strainer into individual bowls. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to each bowl, and then place eggs in the bowls. Place the bowls with the eggs in the refrigerator to set until desired level of colo

r intensity is reached.

 

Masking Stripes, Prints and Designs

Adding designs to dyed eggs doesn’t have to be complicated; stripes, lines and intricate designs can be created with an easy technique called masking. This is achieved by applying an extra layer of a material to the e

gg in certain spots before dipping it into the dye.

You will need:

–          Egg dye as prepared by any of the previous recipes

–          Electrical tape, rubber bands, or thin lace

For thick, even stripes, wrap a bare boiled egg with a strip of electrical tape.

For thin, sporadic lines, wrap a rubber band both across and down the length of the egg.

To add a delicate touch, wrap a strip of lace around the center of an egg.

When the egg has been prepared, simply place it in the preferred dye solution (either traditional, Kool-Aid or natural) and allow to soak as normal. After the egg has completely dried, remove the masking to reveal your art. Experiment with other materials to create your own designs.

Marble Eggs

This fun dye method from Everybody Craves on Youtube uses shaving cream to create a fluffy dye and a unique swirl pattern. It also does not require any boiling or hot liquids. Up your standard egg game with this fun and artistic technique.

You will need:

–          Shaving cream

–          Cookie sheet or disposable foil pan

–          Liquid food dye (neon dye creates brighter colored eggs)

–          Spatula

–          Water

Begin by covering your cookie sheet or pan with an even layer of shaving cream. Drip food dye onto the shaving cream and use the spatula to mix color and create swirls. Next, roll one egg through the colored shaving cream. Allow egg to sit for five minutes, then wipe away extra shaving cream and

rinse in cool water.

 

Kid-Friendly Sticker Eggs

Involving young children in egg dyeing projects can sound like a messy tragedy waiting to happen, but that doesn’t have to be the case. For mess-free fun, use stickers to decorate eggs.

You will need various stickers in favorite shapes, colors or characters. Help children apply stickers to already-dyed or bare, boiled eggs to let even the youngest helpers be part of the project.