Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DIY Natural Easter Eggs

So with Easter and the Spring Equinox around the corner I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite traditions with you. I don't hide candy in my yard because well we still have a bag of candy leftover from Halloween. I don't eat it. My kids don't eat very much of it, and overall it ends up being a waste of money. So in keeping with our sort of Unitarian, respect for all cultures, vibe I like to do crafts that respect the origins of Easter.

What You Need:

  • 1 Dozen (or more) white eggs (brown will not work well for this project)
  • Large pots (2 or more for dyeing, 1 for boiling eggs)
  • 1 head of red cabbage (blue, purple dye)
  • 1 beet (red, pink dye)
  • Jars for dyes
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Old panty hose
  • Twist ties (optional)
  • Leaves, flowers, stickers – whatever you’d like to imprint on the egg

Step 1: Make Your Dye
In a large pot, mix 2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Then add 1 head of chopped red cabbage. This will make purple and blue dye. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let simmer for several hours until you get desired color. In another pot, mix 1 quart water 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar with 1 chopped beet for a red and pink dye. You can try other fruits and vegetables for other egg dye colors.

Step 2: Boil Eggs
After your dye is made, you’ll want to make hard boiled eggs. In a large pot, add cold water and your eggs. Then bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the water comes to a hard boil, let your eggs boil for 10 minutes. Take out and cool.

Step 3: Put Egg in Hose with Leaf
Take your panty hose and cut 4-inch squares – the hose should be flat – not doubled. Then lay your leaf down on the hose. Lay your egg on top of the leaf then cover with the hose. Make sure it is tight! Then use your twist tie to secure. You want to make sure your leaf is tight on the egg, if not, the dye will seep into the spots and bleed color where your leaf print should be.

Step 4: Dye Eggs
Put your eggs into the dye and let sit for at least 30-45 minutes – or longer if you want darker colors. For the darker eggs let them sit for four hours. You can use several jars to have more eggs dyeing at once.

Step 5: Dry Eggs
Let your eggs dry before taking off the hose! If they are still wet, they can drip into the imprinted spot. Being wrapped in the hose longer also makes them darker. You don’t want them to dry for too long or your egg will pick up imperfections from where they are laying. Make sure the leaf side isn’t touching anything when drying. The perfect time for drying is about 45 minutes to an hour. Unless they are super wet and in that case, try an hour and a half. 

Step 6: Let Leaf Dry
Once you take the hose off, you’ll want to make sure the rest of the egg is dry before pulling off the leaf. This only takes 10-15 minutes, unless your egg is completely dry already.

Step 7: Take off the Leaf
After everything is dry, gently pull off the leaf and see your imprint!

If you're more of a visual learner this YouTube video is a GREAT tutorial.

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