Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Would you believe me if I said that I have never dyed Easter eggs before?  I use Easter egg dyeing kits a LOT... but to dye yarn.  I am Jewish so dyeing eggs wasn't ever something we did in my home.  My husbands family is Christian so we celebrate Easter with them.  Now that Lucky is 3 I thought it would be fun to try dyeing eggs with him this year.  Before attempting to dye eggs with Lucky, I wanted to try some more advanced techniques myself.

When I was looking at Easter egg dyeing kits online, I realized that a lot of the "special" techniques involve the same dye pellets that I love to use with something else added.  I thought it would be fun to take the classic kit (i.e. just the dye pellets) and try to figure out how to do some of these modifiers myself.  

In this dyeing experiment, I decided to attempt to make a Glitter Egg, a Marble Egg and a Speckled Egg.  All of these techniques can be done without Easter egg dye pellets, you could substitute a few drops of food coloring.  However I wanted to start by adding a little oomph to the most basic kit.  

My plans 
  1. Glitter Egg: 1 dye tablet, 1/2 cup water, 1 T white vinegar, glitter
  2. Marble Egg: 1 dye tablet, 1/2 cup water, 1 T white vinegar, 1 T vegetable oil
  3. Speckled Egg (take 1): 1 dye tablet, 1 T white vinegar (NO WATER), 1/2 cup Rice, 1 plastic bag.  

First I had to boil some eggs.  I haven't created hard boiled eggs in years!   Lucky had an egg allergy that he finally outgrew at 3 years old so we didn't cook eggs very much when he was younger.  Of the 7 eggs I boiled three cracked.  This is why I started boiling an excess of eggs!

The Glitter Egg

The glitter egg was a complete failure.  I learned that 1) it is hard to get a completely solid color without a random splotch and 2) although the instructions have you add glitter to the dye, and then glitter after the dye, very little glitter remains on the egg.  All of the eggs ended up with the same amount of glitter as the solitary glitter egg!  I will note that the glitter I used came from an egg dyeing kit so I wasn't trying to recreate instructions with this egg.

The Marble Egg

I think the marbled egg is my favorite one.  The dye remained in the water and when I added the egg it seemed to bead up around the egg.  For a while I thought that nothing would happen!  Eventually color started attaching to the egg and we got these brilliant designs.

I think that it would be really fun to do these marbled eggs in multiple colors.  The eggs were oily in the end but wiping them with a paper towel took care of most of that.  

The Speckled Egg

Like the other two eggs, I got the suggestion for this decoration on the back of a PAAS easter egg box I saw online.  However, the kit comes with liquid dye NOT a tablet.  I figured that if I try mixing the dye with 1 T of white vinegar I might get a similar effect.  If this didn't look like enough liquid, I could always try adding some water to help things out.

I started out adding two dye tablets, each dissolved in 1T white vinegar, to 1/2 cup of dry brown rice.  The first egg was almost solid.  There are some specks that resulted from where rice was stuck to the outside of the egg as the dye dried.  (I waited to brush of the rice until the end.)  I put a second egg in the bag and just pressed it lightly.  I ended up with some small specks but also smudges from where my fingers touched the egg.

I ended up adding another 1/2 cup of rice to the dye and then added a third egg.   I shook up the egg in the dryer rice and then I had some fantastic specks!  It worked!  I was afraid to brush off the remaining rice because I didn't want to smudge the cool pattern.  I'll try to have a tool on hand to help flick off the rice next time.  OR I might leave the egg surrounded by rice for a while to let the colors get darker.

I wouldn't be Rebecca from ChemKnits if I didn't film my dyeing experiment.  Watch me attempt to dye some eggs!

Dyeing Easter Eggs was so much fun!  I think that I will hold off one more year to dye eggs with Lucky.  I imagine that attempting to dye eggs with him at 3.5 years old might result in a huge mess.  Lucky DID use the egg dye tablets to help me dye some yarn a couple of weeks ago.  This video will take a LOT longer to edit than normal since I have a lot more footage to go through.  Stay tuned!  

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