Year 2 Easter Eggs Week 4 – Kool Aid with Botanical Illustrations

The final dye method we played with last year was Kool-Aid.

2016-3-6 easter egg experiments - cool aid and decopage

Wish I could tell you the flavors. Pretty sure that’s blue raspberry and lemon lime, the black one is probably grape? the yellow is probably lemonaide, seriously no clue what the brown one is, and the red is most like cherry

I really liked the mottled coloring, it had a very interesting effect.

The addition we made to these was decoupage. I have two versions of a flower guide coloring book from my grandmother. They both had the same color guide illustrations inside the cover. We used one set of pictures to cut out flowers for our eggs.

kool aide eggs

I can only photograph one side of the egg at a time, but my daughter added a flower to both sides of the egg. I only placed one on each. Also, the green egg on the end is a much prettier green in person, just think, that table cloth their on? Yes, that’s a spring green. This is what happens when the only camera you own is a also a phone. Pro tip guys, don’t drop you nice camera (high-mid range point and shoot, actually, nice ones are expensive for amateurs) on concrete.

It turned out well, overall, I think. Except, piece of advice, seal the Kool-Aid (is there a hyphon or not? I keep going back and forth) or other dye before adding the decoupage. I wish I had coated them all in Modge Podge and let it completely dry before adding the flowers. The dye had a tendency to run in the wet glue.

kool aid eggs mine

The iris on green is my favorite, and you can kind of see in the others where the white flowers have been tinted by the Kool Aid

kool aid eggs hers

That pink egg is red, remember the first picture in the post? the one taken last year on my real camera? I think she did a great job with her decoupage, not wrinkly or bunching her very narrow and delicate picture.

I do think decoupage on one of the smoother dyes, like food coloring or Paas, would showcase the flowers better, but thus is the nature of experimenting. I do really like the iris and green, though, that one worked particularly well, probably because it’s green…


Year 2 Easter Eggs Week 3 – Food Coloring and Foil Leaf

Ok, so this was really week 2. The natural dyes were week 3. I’m a hot mess most of the time. (Why is the mess hot? What kind of mess are we talking about? Seriously, where did we get this saying from? Personally, I got it from my manager when I worked at Michael’s 7 years ago…sorry) Anyway, like I said earlier, my son only started sleeping semi-decently a couple months ago and two months away from being 2, so counting late stage pregnancy issues, two full years of sleep deprivation on top of employment upheaval and financial stress and the resulting multi-cause exhaustion eating away at my cognitive capacity. Be grateful my children are fed, clothed, and we all make it to work/school/church relatively on time, everything else is a bonus.

Week 2, the week before the natural dyes and plant relief, we played around with food coloring and a foil leaf, gold/silver/copper.

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The food coloring produced beautifully brilliant eggs and is the only method to produce as even a color distribution as Paas.

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The three on the left are hers, the three on the right are mine. Don’t remember what I was going for with the grey one, but I still like the way it turned out.

To add dimension this week, we applied foil leaf to our eggs with foam paint brushes and Modge Podge.

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The blue one is my intentionaly global-esque egg. My daughter “banded” her pink and orange eggs on different axis, and went for a random approach with the teal one.

This was a bit tricky and I don’t think my daughter enjoyed it at all. I was trying to save money and bought the package that had all three metals mixed together in flake form. I think she probably would have been all right with the sheets that you then rub off in places for the mottled look. The flakes didn’t like to stay where you put them. They’d either slide around in too much glue or stick to your finger or the applicator and reject the egg altogether. In the end, we persevered and figured it out with some gorgeous results, though.

P.S. If you know a better way to apply foil leaf and can point out how we made it more difficult for ourselves than necessary, please, by all means, enlighten me. Seriously, any of my posts that you can point out short cuts or improvements to, please please please make suggestions.

Year 2 Easter Eggs…They really did happen! Natural Dye and Plant Relief

So I apparently only blogged the first week of last years Easter Eggs. Must have gotten distracted by annoying life things, but the eggs themselves did happen. I promise.

Week 2 was natural dyes with a plant relief pattern. I learned a valuable lesson regarding natural dye. It requires planning ahead. I did not plan ahead. And then I think we were impatient and did not let them set more than a few hours instead of overnight. not sure exactly, it was a year ago, but I also made do with what vegetables I could find at Kroger, we didn’t have our Sprouts yet. Anyway, they turned out pretty, but not as colorful as I was hoping. This is one we’ll be returning to in a few years.

As far as the plant relief goes, some turned out beautifully, some obviously weren’t secured tightly enough, either than or the chosen weeds were more porous than others.

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can’t remember what made the black one; the blue was cabbage, improperly aged and set; the yellow is turmeric; the stone looking one blackberries; the brown is beets; and the tan is carrots

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the relief on the black egg didn’t show up at all; the relief on the cabbage egg was a flower with smudged and smooshed petals, looks pretty cool, but the panty hose we tied it on with was tied at the top and made the dye really thin there; the relief on the turmeric didn’t show up at all, but the color was gorgeous.

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the relief on the blackberry died egg didn’t show up at all, and it came out with an odd stone look. it’s odd, not really bright or colorful, but beautiful in a subdued way; the beets probably needed to be prepared differently, or combined with something, but the odd color is still pretty, and it has one of the best reliefs; and the carrots weren’t colorful at all, but, again, pretty in a neutral way, with a very nice relief

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all in all, it was a learning experience and well worth trying again with better attention to directions, hehe

Easter Egg Dyeing: Year 2 – Paas and Glitter

If last years theme was ways to tie dye eggs, this years theme is experimenting with dye. My daughter even decided to keep a journal of the results.

We started out with a ubiquitous PAAS egg dyeing kit. I let her choose her three colors and then choose three from what was left. (our kit contained nine color tabs.)

Word of advice, when planning to dye eggs, make sure you have white vinegar on hand. I did not, and we did not. However, in gathering methods, I found an explanation of why we needed the vinegar. I had never thought about it before, but one gentleman who dislikes the smell experimented with quantities until discovering the optimum pH level desired for egg dyes. So, since we had apple cider vinegar, I looked up the acidity as compared to white vinegar and, it being half as acidic, I doubled the amount and we were just fine.

It being an experiment in dye sources, we didn’t do anything fancy, only dunked a whole egg in one color.


my daughter’s eggs are on the left, mine are on the right

Then, because solid eggs aren’t all that much fun, we’re also going to add something different to each type. This week we added glitter.


my daughter’s are in the front, mine are in the back

She started with random and messy on the pink egg while I started with swirls on the orange. She she did zigzags and polka dots on the red, and her zigzag gave me the idea of making the yellow egg a Charlie Brown egg. She finished with a large band around her teal egg, and I opted for half-covered on the slant for the blue.

After a while I plan on coating them with a clear acrylic sealer to contain the glitter, but I forgot to pick some up while at the store, so that will have to wait.

I think PAAS has changed their formula over the years, because I don’t remember them turning out this well, but it’s been a long time since I’ve used them, so I can’t be sure. Also, I wonder if hollowing out the eggs first has anything to do with it. Surely not.


P.S. I bought the PAAS set at the store.

Easter Egg Preservation and Display

So in all my searching for fun egg dyeing techniques, I came across this post about making eggs last 10 years or more, and that sounded good to me.

So, as per the blog, I gathered my Modge Podge, a random foam board I had lying around, some toothpicks, an empty hand-sanitizer bottle, nail scissors, a paint brush, and a small cup of water.IMG_5902IMG_5903




I used the toothpicks to make a peg board to dry the eggs on, mixed the glue and water, and poured some in the hand-sanitizer bottle. I didn’t have any straws, and the medicine syringe I had on hand for the sharpie and nail polish remover eggs had disappeared. I fear it was accidentally thrown away, and I had imagined it to be perfect for this. Oh well, I improvised with the hand-sanitizer bottle. When necessary, I used the nail scissors to enlarge the holes in the eggs, but even still, I’m not entirely sure how well coated the inside of the eggs really became. I’m not that worried about it though, since this was just a precaution, and I intend to treat them as very delicate anyway. The hand-sanitizer bottle didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped, but it was much easier than trying to insert the glue in other ways.

Once there was as much glue as I felt I could reasonable get inside the eggs, I swirled them around, let any drip out that would, and used the paint brush to coat the outside of the egg. Then I set it aside on the peg board and moved on.


Once they were completely dry, I got my ribbon and a piece of something firmer than cardstock but quite a bit less than cardboard, like the stuff gift boxes are made out of, which I cut in half. (Don’t know what it came out of as I collect things that may be useful some day.)

2015-4-3 easter egg display (1)


I used a tapestry needle to thread the ribbons through the eggs, tied off a bow under the eggs, and stapled the top of the ribbons to the cards. This way, the card can sit on the shelf and can be weighted down by anything, really: books, figurines, other Easter decorations…

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my daughter’s: volcano, nail polish, shaving cream, and nail polish remover


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mine: shaving cream, nail polish, volcano, and nail polish remover



you can also see her pretty Easter poster

you can also see her pretty Easter poster

Since my daughter wanted to keep almost all of her eggs, I got the idea to use ribbon scraps from the display cards to create a garland. I just used square knots to link the ribbon in alternating colors and hung the eggs one from each segment (in the opposite color of course) except the ends, which I tied in loops to hang the thing by.

the daffodil egg in the middle is one i was given several years ago

the daffodil egg in the middle is one i was given several years ago

For the two eggs of my own that I particularly liked but didn’t rank favorite, I just hung from ribbon loops. The rest of mine are sitting in an Easter basket on the counter.


Easter Egg Dyeing the 3rd

So this week we used finger nail polish. It was a learning experience, but a method I’ll probably return to eventually. Another popular Pinterest method, I followed this particular blog.

I picked out some new Spring-ish colors at the dollar tree special for this activity, but I allowed my daughter to use what she wanted from our existing stash as well. (I never manage to use up a whole bottle before I end up throwing out half-dried useless goo anyway, or even fully dried really useless crust, so I wasn’t worried about saying goodbye to any of those probably-already-too-old colors anyway.)

There are plenty of tutorials out there, so I’ll just share our experience and what we learned along the way.

We gathered our supplies

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and began. Once again, we used blown eggs, so bamboo skewers poked through the holes made a handy way to dip the eggs and limit the amount of nail polish we got on our hands. Notice I stress the word limit. There was still quite a bit on my fingers when we were done, but that was mostly from scooting the eggs off the skewers so they could dry. In retrospect, it might have been a better idea to find something I could just stand the skewers up in. Of course, had I done that I’d probably be sharing the difficulties of having nail polish drying the eggs to the skewers, so maybe this was better after all.

Anyway, nail polish fingers don’t make for good camera hands, so I didn’t get a string of pictures documenting the entire experience. But the basic process is this:

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drip the colors onto the water

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swirl it with a tooth pick

Lesson 1: There is no glitter polish that works. It all comes out goopy and blobby on the eggs. The really find glitter, the large glitter, the glittery color: it all had the same blobby results.

Lesson 2: You only want to dip the egg once, slowly. If the polish doesn’t want to stick to the egg in one place, repeated dipping won’t help, it’ll only muddy what did stick the first time. My first egg had a large white spot, so I tried rolling the egg around until it was covered. All I did was end up with a teal that looked like a darker green because it was layered over other polish rather than white egg, and I still had a mostly bare spot.

My theory is that the top of the egg as you dunk it the first time gets wet in the wake of being dunked, so as you come back up, the polish just slides off that bit. Maybe I should have experimented with rolling an egg across the surface rather than dunking it…hm, food for thought.

dense purple polish wanted to bead and sink.

dense purple polish wanted to bead and sink. “slow and draw…”

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thinner pink polish had no trouble floating on top

Lesson 3: Some nail polish is denser than other and will tend to sink if poured/dropped too quickly. My impulsive, fast-moving daughter’s mantra became “slow and draw…” pour slowly and draw it across the waters surface. It floats better if it’s spread out.

Lesson 4: Don’t take too long swirling your polish together or it will start to dry on the water and will be goopy on the egg.

Lesson 4: Goopy eggs can be saved, and most disappointing eggs will dry prettier than you thought they would. (Either that, or your disappointment fades and you can appreciate what you ended up with.)

2015-3-15 easter egg dyeing week 3 - finger nail polish (7)Left to right:

My first egg: pink polish with pink/purple glitter. It was goopy, and I used a toothpick to spread out the blobs. I was rather disappointed at first, but now that it’s dry I kinda like it, (except for the green spot you can kinda see on the bottom where it touched my still wet second egg).

My second egg: teal and lime polish. You can see the difference between the teal on the second and the steal on the third eggs. That’s because it was double dipped so there’s a layered marble look that I wasn’t fond of at first, mostly because of the altered color, but now that I’m over the color I kinda like the layered look.

My third egg: my favorite of mine. Teal, lime, and pink polish. (This was the egg dipped into the pictures above).

My daughter’s first egg: pink polish with a large-piece glitter polish. You can’t see the glitter in the picture, but the darker bits are where the pink is concentrated around glitter or in the clear base for the glitter. I’m not a huge fan, but my daughter is either easier to please or less discerning than I am, either way she is happy which means I’ll never say a word against it.

My daughter’s third egg: red and pink polish. This is the egg that she took a long time swirling, also, she used red from our stash, so it was probably a bit thick to begin with. It’s stripey because it came out really goopy, and she was ready to right it off as a loss, but I used a toothpick to sorta scrape the excess polish off. I was trying to smooth and swirl as I went, but I noticed the stripes and thought it worked, so I just went with it. By the time I was done, she “actually really like[d] it.”

My daughter’s second egg: my husband’s favorite, my second favorite (and favorite of hers). Pink and lime polish. The lime was the thinnest of the polishes we used and spread out across the water quite a bit, while the pink was a little denser and, once swirled, let the lime show through in a very pretty way.

Again, in my cave of a home, the flash showed up truer colors than the available light. *sigh* Oh well.

*PS the “drying rack” is an idea I got from a post lost to annals of Pinterest. It’s just t-pins stuck up through Styrofoam, but be sure your tripod for each egg is spaced far enough apart or the eggs will want to roll off at the slightest provocation. Trust me on that one…

Easter Egg Dyeing the 2nd

Well, it’s another week and we dyed another six eggs. My daughter didn’t make as many egg related puns this week, but she was excited to find out what I was planning to try. Also, she figured out that if we dye six eggs a week for four weeks we’ll have twenty-four eggs, “Momma! I just did times! Six times four is twenty-four!” I’m so proud of my little math geek.

This week, we went with permanent markers and nail polish remover. Also saw this method several times over on Pinterest holiday and egg decorating boards, but credit for my experiment goes to a pin from the blog post here. Her eggs turned out a little more sophisticated than mine. I think I need more practice…

What you can’t see here is that I also have a baby medicine syringe as a third option for applying the nail polish remover to the egg.

We selected a few different types of markers. We had brights, pastels, and jewel tones, the pastel and jewel tones were both from the same set of Bic permanent markers, and the brights are RoseArt permanent markers.

The eggs, once blown out, washed, and dried, were slid onto bamboo skewers to make decoration easier and to prevent unsightly finger print smears in the wet marker ink. It worked out pretty well, though perhaps one egg per skewer would have been even more convenient.

All set up, we got to decorating. Without any guidance from me, my daughter decided to decorate one egg first to see how it would turn out before coloring on the other two.

I didn’t get pictures of my first egg or my first attempts at using the nail polish remover, sorry, but I started with the jewel tones and just colored patches all over the egg at random. I started with the medicine syringe, but I couldn’t get the plunger to advance smoothly, so it came out in powerful spurts that kind of sprayed the ink off the egg, and I wasn’t fond of the effect or the mess, so I tried the q-tips, but that was more like drawing with a blur effect, and I didn’t want anything that intentional (but someone more skilled than i could probably make some pretty designs and swirls and things with that method. I just didn’t want to waste my eggs. Might experiment with that in the future, though.) The cotton balls, though, seemed to work great. They hold enough nail polish remover to gently wash and spread the ink without being too forceful or too specific.

My daughter decided to learn from my experience and only ever used the cotton balls.

I decided to try the pastels for my second egg. Here you can see the first completed egg and the second colored egg before I used the nail polish remover: (you can see that the purple ink kind of took over my first egg. It spread much more than any of the other colors.)

The pastel inks didn’t spread nearly as much as the jewel tone inks did, which makes sense, I suppose, when you think about the amount of pigment that is probably necessary for the different shades.

Here you can see that the pastel colors were mostly washed out more than they were spread. I may go back and color over them later, just leaving it a color block egg. You can also see the coloring on my third egg. I thought I’d experiment with different shapes in the color blocking. I went back to the jewel tones because my daughter used the RoseArt markers on her first egg, and those pigments seemed almost as colorfast as the pastels. They spread a little better, but she had to kind of draw them out with the cotton ball as opposed to just dabbing the remover on the way I had my first egg.

I don’t think the color blocks on my third egg were large enough to have the nice blurry effect of the first. At first I wasn’t fond of the result at all, but as it dried it grew on me a little. It definitely isn’t my favorite, but I’m not throwing it out just yet, either.

On my daughters egg you can see how little the RoseArt purple spread compared to mine, and I don’t know that she used much nail polish remover on the left egg at all. She was nervous that it would turn out like my third, which she didn’t think was all that pretty, and by the time she was half-way done with it, however, she was getting bored “working on the same egg for so long,” so I think she was also concerned about ruining something she’d put so much effort into. She was excited when I told her she could use as little or as much as she wanted, or even none at all if she just wanted it to be colored. That opened the door to drawing pictures on the last egg, which she couldn’t do on the first because I told her it was all going to smear and wouldn’t look the way she drew it. I think her “rainbow” egg may be her favorite this week.

So, the verdict on markers and nail polish remover is: great for blurring large colorblocks, with room for experimentation using intentional blurring techniques, but a bit boring for an active eight-year-old. Drawing with markers? Total win.

Sorry for the yellowish light, the lighting in our apartment is terrible, and it’s been overcast or raining for a week, so I can’t take it to the window for natural light.