Eggs and dyes are the two central elements of Easter crafts. Decorating eggs perfectly isn't hard; just follow our tips. If you want to save eggs from year to year or turn them into ornaments to hang from branches, blow them out instead of hard-boiling the eggs before dyeing them.
Tip: Try dyeing different types of eggs in order to vary the sizes -- use quail for smaller and goose or ostrich for larger. Also consider dyeing brown eggs to alter the range of colors you can produce.
To empty a raw egg, begin by using the tip of a sharp utility knife to pierce both ends of the egg; turn the knife in one of the holes to widen it slightly. Then, poke a straightened paper clip through the larger hole to pierce and "stir" the yolk. Hold the egg, larger hole down, over a bowl, and then blow the contents out with a rubber ear syringe.
Protect your work area with paper towels or newspaper. Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 20 drops of food coloring (use more to intensify color) in 1 cup of hot water in a heatproof bowl, cup, or jar deep enough to let you submerge an egg completely.
To create different tints of a color, vary dipping times: Submerge eggs for less than 5 minutes for light colors, and leave the egg in for 10 minutes or more for deeper shades. Using tongs makes handling the eggs easy.
To make a two-color egg, dye the whole egg first in a light color, let dry for 15 minutes, and then submerge half into a darker color (this idea works best for hard-boiled eggs).
Hand-dyed eggs make great gifts, but delivering them can be tricky. Save time and effort by buying plastic half-dozen-size cartons, which you can quickly turn into attractive carriers. We dressed ours up in scalloped organdy or sheets of tissue paper, and satin and grosgrain ribbon, and affixed card-stock tags with stamped greetings.
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