I’ve never really celebrated Easter with lots of crafting and decorating eggs, but I’d seen lots of egg decorating ideas on Pinterest (where else?!), and decided that this year I wanted to try some out. Luckily I like eating eggs, so they wouldn’t go to waste.
I tried blowing eggs, as that was what I thought most decorated eggs required (having never done egg decorating as a child, I really had no idea). I’m hooked, it’s great fun blowing them and N was intrigued. It was a great way of teaching him about yolk and whites, and also about why chicks didn’t come out of all eggs. I’m not sure my explanation was really true but he’s not to know until he’s a bit older and keeps asking.
Tip for egg blowing
If you’re not using the egg white/yolk immediately, try putting a plastic bag open inside a mug or cup to catch the egg. It makes life easier as there’s a wider opening than into a cup so less mess. Or use a bowl.
Silk tie dyed eggs
The first ones I tried were silk dyed eggs using the instructions at Just Short of Crazy. It was interesting trying to find silk ties in charity shops – many feel like silk but don’t have labels, or if they do don’t say what the material is. Our charity shops were short on ties, or silk ones that weren’t designer and really expensive. I managed to find a couple, although they weren’t really very bright or interesting patterns, but for a first try, they were fine.
I blew eggs out as in the instructions (ie 1/4 cup white vinegar added to the water), but this attempt didn’t work at all. I’d had to put plates on top to keep the eggs from floating in the pan, but the dye just didn’t take to the eggs.
Second take, I decided that I’d leave the eggs as is, and hard boil them while dying them. I tied them in the deconstructed ties
And topped them off with squares of old sheet
I simmered them in water with the added vinegar for around 20 minutes. Then lifted them out, and unwrapped. The dye had taken, but it wasn’t great – mostly because the patterned ties weren’t that interesting. It’s also hard to get the ties round the eggs without folds touching the shell as you end up with white patches.
These had a touch of vegetable oil rubbed on to make them shiny. So not the best, but not awful.
Natural dyed eggs
I’ve been seeing the beautiful colours on eggs from natural dyes over the last few weeks online, so wanted to have a go. You can see the full range (and successes) again at Just Short of Crazy, who very kindly researched the best way to do them. I’m a big purple/blue fan, and had a red cabbage in the fridge from eons ago, so fancied trying that, and the blueberries version.
Of course, I always end up adapting instructions because I’m missing ingredients, although the off piste version of blueberries dying I did was the one that worked.
For the blueberries, I used fresh (as I always have loads left as N never eats them all and I can’t stand them unless they’re in muffins) rather than frozen. I mushed them to break the skins (you could blend them to more like a paste), topped up with water in a pan and added some white vinegar. Elsewhere, it seems people use a cold method for blueberries, just soaking hard boiled eggs in the liquid, but I decided to hard boil the eggs in the mixture instead. After simmering for the usual length of time, I then left the eggs sitting in the pan for a few hours.
For the red cabbage, I chopped a quarter of it into a few pieces, added it to some water, plus some white vinegar again. Popped the eggs in, boiled the water and then simmered for 20 minutes. I then left them to cool in the pan and sit for a few hours.
I was quite optimistic at first as I could see the water was a glorious purple hue.
But when I removed the eggs I was a tad disappointed. The blueberries were a lovely bluey colour, although not as deep as I’d wanted (I’d tied string around one egg in each dye, hence the stripes). But the red cabbage ones hadn’t changed at all. In fact, they looked paler than they started. Bit of a fail there, and don’t really know why. Next time I’d probably put more cabbage in to water and use a bigger pan to fit more cabbage in. Or maybe tie the cabbage around the eggs.
They still looked pretty in the bowl together, although maybe if I’d done them more in advance, I’d have added some glitter or stickers to the cabbage ones.
Handmade chocolate eggs
Finally I decided that rather than buying Easter eggs for N, I’d just get some chocolate bunnies for a hunt (which we didn’t end up doing) and then make some chocolate eggs to fill with mini eggs. I had a silicone mould I think I’d found at a poundshop and used some milk chocolate, mixed with a bit of plain. As it was for N and his cousin, I thought they probably wouldn’t want dark, so the mix would work quite well.
I used the microwave melting, lazy way of melting the chocolate, left it a little to cool, then swirled the first layer into the moulds. The first layer was nice and neat.
But the second layer I had to remelt, and didn’t go in so smoothly. Understatement really, they were a mess inside, but who really cares if the outside looks amazing. And they did once they were turned out.
I filled them with mini eggs, matched them up and tied with ribbons. If they’d been neater on the edges, I might have tried to seal them with additional melted chocolate. It would have been nice to have got hold of some coloured foil to wrap them up properly as well – maybe next year.
I then added the little chicks to a bag with one egg and some hollow chocolate bunnies.
N and his cousin almost had an argument about the bags, they were that excited about them. So definitely a success, and really easy to do (allowing for the time needed for the chocolate to set).
What Easter treats have you tried making? Have you got any egg decorating tips?
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