Deck arrangements of flowering branches with personalized pendants.
1. Make a hole in shells. With an egg blower (available at crafts stores), poke a small hole at top and bottom of each egg -- be sure that the pin pierces the yolk; carefully expel contents. Rinse, let dry. Write messages or names on the shells with white crayon, and then dye them with food coloring; let dry.
2. Cut a 15-inch length of seam-binding ribbon, and fold in half; create hanging loops by knotting the folded end of the ribbon 2 inches from top. Thread ribbon ends through a beading needle, and use needle to draw the double-stranded ribbon through each egg and a wood bead, as shown. Tie knots in ribbon to secure beads; trim ribbon ends, and hang ornaments from branches.
Cover work area with old newspaper to catch drips. Use cups or bowls as deep as an upright egg, so you can completely submerge the shells.
To prepare dyes, use 1 teaspoon of vinegar and about 20 drops of food coloring for each 1/2 cup of boiling water. Experiment with various shades in different bowls; a couple of blue drops added to a red dye, for example, will yield a raspberry color.
Vary dipping times to create different intensities of a single color. Shells absorb dye at different rates: Dipping for less than 5 minutes will produce subtle, translucent hues. To deepen color, leave egg in dye bath for at least 10 minutes.