Easter Craft: Design and Dye Eggs (Naturally)

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Dyeing Easter eggs is one of the most popular Easter traditions, found in many parts of the Christian world. Here’s an American way to decorate eggs that I learned growing up, with the twist of using natural dyes.

 

Materials:
Candle and matches
Natural dyeing agents (red cabbage, turmeric, beets)
Pot
White vinegar
Salt
Strainer
Small bowls
Eggs
Large metal spoon
Paper towels
Drying rack

 

Instructions:
1. Design: First design the eggs using candle wax. Light a candle and allow your child to drip the candle wax all over the egg, with assistance. Do not use too much wax as the parts with wax will remain white after dyeing.

 

2. Dye: Select a dyeing agent, and place it in the pot using the amount listed:

 

Red-cabbage dye: 4 cups chopped cabbage
Turmeric dye: 3 tablespoons turmeric
Beet dye: 4 cups chopped beets

 

Add 1 quart water, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt; if more water is necessary to cover ingredients, proportionally increase the amount of vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a bowl.

 

Set raw eggs in a pot of strained dye; bring to a boil for 20-40 minutes. The longer you leave the egg in, the more saturated it will become with the color. Remove and dry eggs on a wire rack.
Once dry, you can scrape the candle wax off with your fingers and see the neat designs!

 

Inspiration for this craft came from three places:
1. One of my favorite new websites/blogs is http://www.gnaana.com/blog/. I love it because of the beautiful images, cool products she finds (like this post on multicultural products) and multicultural lens through which she sees the world. She then pointed me to the next source of inspiration.
2. Martha Stewart‘s the go to woman for anything crafty.
3. My own childhood memories of dyeing eggs with my Mom at Easter (even though we used the standard Paas kit.

 

Notes and Modifications:
This was a really interesting modification to the Easter egg candle wax idea. Put herbs, rice and/or celery stocks on the egg, wrap in onion skins, wrap in cheese cloth and dye!

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