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Craft Project - Dyeing Hardboiled Eggs
by Wen Zientek-Sico

Learn our basic techniques for hardboiling eggs, dyeing eggs rich deep colors, marbelizing eggs, layering eggs, and many other fun and easy techniques.

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Dyeing Hardboiled Eggs

Hardboiled eggs are integral to most Easter celebrations. While not as versatile as blown eggs, they are still a lot of fun. Hardboiled eggs are not safely edible after being at room temperature for more than two hours. If you plan on leaving your eggs out, make sure no one eats them to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

Our favorite method for hardboiling eggs is quite easy. Place the desired amount of eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Place on a cold burner, then turn the burner on to high heat. Bring the eggs to a boil, and then immediately turn the heat off, leave the eggs on the burner, and cover tightly. Let sit for 15 minutes and you have perfectly hard-boiled eggs.

Dyed Eggs

There are dozens of ways to dye eggs, from customized kits to various food colorings. Our favorite method is to use paste food coloring which is available in a wide variety of discount and craft stores in the cake decorating center. These colors offer a wide range of rich hues that dye eggs darker than liquid food coloring while still being edible. The paste lasts a long time, making each jar good for several years of egg dying and cake making projects. Our mixture is 1/2 cup very hot water mixed with a small amount of the food coloring paste until the desired hue is reached. Once the mixture cools to room temperature, add 2 tablespoons white vinegar to strengthen the dye. Dip or immerse the eggs into the dye for the desired amount of time, using metal tongs to quickly and easy transfer the eggs. Dry the eggs in egg cups, empty egg cartons, or on slices of cardboard tubing. All of the eggs below were dyed using paste food coloring.

Marbleized Eggs

Detail of Marbelized EggOur marbleizing technique is surprisingly easy and results in beautiful eggs. The large image at the top of the article also pictures marbelized eggs. To marbleize eggs, add 1/2-3/4 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the egg dye bath once you are finished dying solid colored eggs. Dip the eggs in as normal and let sit until the desired color is reached. Let the eggs dry, and then wipe any oil that remains on the egg off with a paper towel.

Stickered Eggs

Detail of Stickered EggsStickers are a fun way to add personality and color to plain eggs. Stickers can be used in two different ways. They can be added after dying for easy decorations, or else they can be placed on the egg before dying to create interesting negative space. Place the stickers on the clean undyed egg, making sure to press the stickers firmly into place. Place the egg in the dye bath and let sit until the desired color is reached. Remove from the dye and let dry. Remove the stickers and enjoy the pattern. For a multi-colored egg, only remove some of the stickers and place the egg in a different colored dye and repeat the process.

Layered Eggs

Detail of Layered EggsThis easy dying process requires a bit of attention, but the results are worth the effort. They are filled with beautiful layers of subtle hues that you only get a small glimpse of in the photo. They are much more beautiful in person, and very elegant. Place an egg in a small deep cup or bowl. Add a few tablespoons of dye and let sit for a few minutes. Add a few more tablespoons of dye and let sit for a few minutes more. Repeat until the entire egg is colored. Let dry thoroughly. Be careful not to let the egg sit too long in the dye as the egg can only absorb a limited amount of dye, and it is easy to end up with lower layers of the same hue.

Crayon Eggs

One of my earliest Easter egg making memories involves using crayons to make really neat patterns on eggs and then dying them. Children still really enjoy being able to do this, especially when working with a white crayon and dark dyes. Draw any pattern, design, or words onto a clean egg with a crayon. For really smooth lines, have the children draw on a very warm egg, which will actually help melt the wax of the crayon. Dip the eggs as desired in the dye and let dry thoroughly.

Related Products

Decorating Eggs : Exquisite Designs With Wax & DyeDecorating Eggs : Exquisite Designs With Wax & Dye
by Jane Pollak
If you are looking for absolutely incredible ideas for decorating eggs, you cannot go wrong with this book! It has some of the most gorgeous patterns techniques you will find anywhere. Filled with full-color photographs and detailed instructions, it is very user friendly. Learn how to quilt dye, Pysanky (Ukrainian Egg Dying), about traditional designs, the history behind egg dying, symbolism, basic techniques, and much more. Hands down, it is the best resource I have ever found for decorating eggs in these styles.

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