Eggs-travagant EggsBy Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes
Wonderfully simple to do and oh so impressive!
You don’t need a $40 Easter egg decorating kit with pages of instructions to impress your family and guests this Easter – achieve sophisticated elegance with colors taken directly from nature. Simply decorated from a myriad of plants and flowers, you can create a beautiful range of natural colors and textures. Try this technique – it’s simple enough to do with young children.
Gather together eggs, an enamel or stainless steel pot, vinegar, cheesecloth, a rubber band, and plant materials such as onionskins, blueberries, pecan hulls, parsley, beets or dandelions.
1. To prepare the dye bath, fill a pot with two or three cups of plant material. Barely cover it with water (more plant material produces stronger colors.) Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add water and stir as needed. The dyes can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Strain and heat the dye before using it.
2. Use hard-boiled or blown out eggs. Carefully wash the eggs with soap and water. Allow them to dry. Wipe the eggs with vinegar.
3. To decorate the eggs, moisten small leaves and grasses, one at a time. Press them firmly against the egg. Hold them in place by wrapping the eggs in a six-inch square of cheesecloth or nylon pantyhose. Pull the cloth tight against the egg and secure it with a rubber band. Immerse the egg in a container of warm dye. Some dyes are stronger than others. The process may take only a few moments or several hours. Dyes derived from yellow onionskin, red onionskin, and blueberries all provide quick results.
4. Unwrap the eggs, drain, and let them dry upright.
What a magical and unpredictable process. Each lustrous egg is a unique surprise. Some of our favorites were the results of happy accidents. Enjoy discovering!