Naturally Dyed Botanical Eggs: A tutorial of sorts. To make these pretty eggs we used yellow onion skins for the red-brown eggs and purple cabbage for the lovely blue ones. We went out to the garden and gathered lots of pretty little leaves, flowers and seed heads.
A few more things you'll need to have on hand: Raw eggs (we used white eggs, I've heard that they turn out pretty using brown ones too, but this is what we had on hand) Rubber bands, scissors, and pantyhose.
Wet the (raw) egg with a bit of water and place the botanical pieces face down where we want them. The water helps the leaves and flowers hold still while we tie everything up with a square of pantyhose.
Wrap the square of pantyhose tightly around the egg and greenery and fasten with a rubber band.
Eggs all wrapped up and ready to be boiled with dyestuff.
For the red brown colored eggs we placed them on a bed of onion skins with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and enough water to cover everything. We brought it to a slow boil and let them cook gently for about 15 minutes (turn it down a bit so the eggs don't rock around too much while cooking and crack!) After 15 minutes turned off the heat and let them sit in the dye bath for another 15 minutes or so. Rinsed with cool water and cut off the rubber band. Removed the pantyhose and the greenery and admired our beautiful eggs!
For the blue eggs I chopped up and boiled a half of a head of purple cabbage with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar for 30 minutes. (I read online that if you boil the eggs with the cabbage leaves they can turn out splotchy... don't know if that is true, but we didn't want to chance it.) After it boiled I strained the leaves out and returned the purple juice to the pot and let it cool before adding our prepared eggs. After the eggs where in the pot we brought it to a slow boil and cooked the eggs for 15 minutes. Turned the heat off and let the eggs sit in the dye bath for at least 15 minutes more. Carefully removed the rubber bands, pantyhose and leaves/flowers/seed heads, rinsed and admired our pretty blue Easter Eggs!
The following are Etched Easter Eggs! Not something to attempt with small children as it involved scratching the designs on the dyed egg with a razor blade! A nap time endeavor for sure!
First we just dyed our eggs (blown eggs) using regular egg dye (food coloring) Then the boys and I drew designs on the eggs in pencil (Draw lightly, so you don't crack the egg and any lines left after etching can be erased.)
Once a design has been decided on and drawn you can begin etching. We used box cutters which have nice short sharp blades and sturdy handles.
Matthew's etched egg designs: Mama bird and her chicks, and a fairy.
Logan made geometric designs.
Ethan says his red egg's design is a flower, abstract I think :-)
I made the yellow dandelion egg and the aqua blue one on the top left with the flowers etched on it. These eggs were inspired by this artist on etsy. Hers are real works of art!! We had fun trying this out, but I think it will be a few years before we reach her level of expertise! ha!
And before nap time we let Claire dye her Easter eggs! This year was the first time she got to join in the fun. I hard boiled 6 eggs just for her and gave her only 3 colors of dye. I thought it best to limit her choices, to make everything go more smoothly.
Only one egg was broken beyond usability. The other 5 she decorated with stickers and declared them beautiful!
As soon as she finished dyeing her eggs I laid her down for her nap. The minute she woke up she wanted to see her eggs again. I took them out of the refrigerator and she carried them over to her baby brother so he could see her pretty eggs!
She showed him the eggs, explaining about each one, and all of the stickers... He thought they were pretty too. I know this because Claire told me "See Mommy? Emmett like them, my eggs. He says they're pretty, Mommy!"