Easter Egg Dyeing

Not a scout related post, but I’m apparently expanding into family matters. This is too fun not to share.

So, I’ve been seeing so many fabulous egg dyeing techniques on Pinterest, that I decided I would have fun this year. My daughter loves dyeing eggs. Well, she loves doing anything artsy with Momma, which warms my heart, so I figured we’d try a different technique every weekend between now and Easter, and we try them with blown eggs so that I can keep my favorites of each technique rather than having to throw them out and keep only the memories and pictures. After all, everyone can always use more seasonal decorations, right? My problem is that I have 12 methods I’d love to try. That’s 3 years of month long experimenting. Sounds fun, now just to choose this year’s.

Well, I have sharpies on hand, and nail polish remover is cheap, so that one goes on the list. I have food coloring, baking soda, and vinegar all in my cupboard, so that one’s on. Same with the shaving cream, and I doubt I’ll use all that dye, so there’s number 3. Well, we can go with kool-aid, that’s cheap, or we can stick with the tie-dye/marble theme and go for nail polish marbling, that’s not too expensive either, or sharpie doodling. We’ll see.

Catch my other theme? Cheap. We have not so much money this year, which is cool, I’m finishing up grad-school and budgets happen. On the future list is gold-leafing (though I hope to mix it up with other metals), glitter (don’t tell my daughter, she’ll want to do that one right away), decoupage (which just involves more time looking for appropriate pictures to cut out than I’m willing to invest this year), and yarn wrapping. Then there’s natural dyes and onion dye with plant reliefs. I think I’ll put the kool-aid with them and let my daughter decide between nail polish and sharpie doodling this year.

Anyway, so, yesterday we dyed six eggs, three each. Honestly, that’s all the eggs we can handle in a meal, and I don’t want to just throw out the edible parts.

For our first experiment, I decided to try the baking soda paste washed in vinegar method some people call volcano eggs,  mainly because I haven’t been to the store for the fingernail polish remover yet.

I took the instructions from a lovely blog post found on Pinterest, where else?

So here’s our experience:

First, after blowing the eggs, I gathered our supplies. I figured a glass per egg, but that was unnecessary, I only ended up using one. I also realized I needed a way for the eggs to dry, so I cut an x in the bottom of some cupcake liners, inverted them, and viola.

First, after blowing the eggs, I gathered our supplies. I figured a glass per egg, but that was unnecessary, I only ended up using one. I also realized I needed a way for the eggs to dry, so I cut an x in the bottom of some cupcake liners, inverted them, and viola.

Then I made a paste of baking soda, a few drops of food dye, and water. I just used as much baking soda as I thought I'd want, enough dye to get a good rich color, and then added water until it was a thick paste but still spreadable.

Then I made a paste of baking soda, a few drops of food dye, and water. I just used as much baking soda as I thought I’d want, enough dye to get a good rich color, and then added water until it was a thick paste but still spreadable.

I think this may be the first time I’ve preferred the picture with flash. The colors were so muted in the natural light available in our cave like apartment. I used neon food dye for my first egg. The pink, blue, and purple turned out amazingly, but the green washed out. It turned out all right, though, because the pale yellow/white spots just show off the bright colors better anyway.

My daughter had gotten so excited about experimenting with different egg decorating techniques she didn't wait for me to tell her my idea before coming up with several of her own and decided to water color paint hers. Once she saw what I was doing, however, she immediately switched methods.

My daughter had gotten so excited about experimenting with different egg decorating techniques she didn’t wait for me to tell her my idea before coming up with several of her own and decided to water color paint hers. Once she saw what I was doing, however, she immediately switched methods.

Once gooped up, the egg was placed in the glass and held down with a toothpick while the vinegar was poured over top.

Once gooped up, the egg was placed in the glass and held down with a toothpick while the vinegar was poured over top.

We learned this method through experimentation. My first egg was dropped into a couple inches of vinegar and just bobbed on top, having to be submerged with a toothpick, so the second egg we placed in the glass first and poured vinegar over it, but just having the vinegar wash over it wasn’t really enough either, and it too was held down by the toothpick. So after that we just started by holding it down. This may not be a problem for hard boiled eggs, only hollow ones, but I don’t know.

Watching it fizz and bubble was a lot of fun, and my daughter discovered that the thicker the baking soda paste is applied, the more flecks float off on the foam which in turn add these great speckles to the eggs.

Watching it fizz and bubble was a lot of fun, and my daughter discovered that the thicker the baking soda paste is applied, the more flecks float off on the foam which in turn add these great speckles to the eggs.

Hers are in the front, mine are in the back. You can see that one of her watercolor eggs was too pretty to get the baking soda vinegar wash.

Hers are in the front, mine are in the back. You can see that one of her watercolor eggs was too pretty to get the baking soda vinegar wash.

The middle egg in the back was dyed with traditional colors, the red, yellow, blue, green pack, and it turned out pretty, but pastel. I probably would have liked it a lot better if I hadn’t been so happy with the vibrant colors of the first egg. I might try again later, but if I do I’ll probably only use yellow and red dye in the respective pastes rather than adding any water at all, because the yellow is barely visible, and the red is entirely washed out. (I liked her water color flower better before the face was added, but the face definitely makes it hers. She is NOT an understated child.)

My favorite from her eggs.

My favorite from her eggs.

This was her first baking soda egg, the first one to show the pretty speckles.

My favorite from my eggs, taking the lesson learned from my daughter and piling on the baking soda so I'd get the wonderful flecks.

My favorite from my eggs, taking the lesson learned from my daughter and piling on the baking soda so I’d get the wonderful flecks.

I copied her method of glopping the paste on instead of spreading it out, hoping to get the same result, and I did. It was watching this one in the vinegar that we discovered the flecks or chunks of baking soda on the foam that makes them.

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