A kitchen whisk is one of the best dyeing tools.

One of our favorite Easter traditions is to design and dye colorful eggs (even if it means the inadvertent result of colorful fingers, hands, and table surfaces). By that, we mean the mess that is often inherent in the making. Over the years, our editors have thought of clever solutions that minimize mess while maximizing creative potential whether they were tasked with carving pumpkins, decorating Christmas trees, or dyeing Easter eggs. For the latter, try our three best tips.

whisking an egg in a pot with orange dye
Credit: Janelle Jones

Pick Up a Whisk

Put down the slotted spoon and pick up a whisk. And why not? It beats eggs into omelettes and whips up lofty meringues, but it's also a handy kitchen tool for dyeing Easter eggs. How it works: Simply pry open the whisk, slide the egg inside the wired bulb, and it's caged for dipping into the dye-this minimizes slips and splashing, and mess. Here, we used this trick for our naturally dyed eggs using kitchen scraps like cabbage, onion skins, coffee grounds, and powdered turmeric.

Credit: Emily Kate Roemer

Pin a Drying Rack

Decorating a dozen or two? After dyeing, set them aside to dry on a pin-board. The board is simple to make, plus it can be saved to use again next year and for years to come. Simply use a pencil and ruler to draw a 1-inch grid on a sheet of 1/2-inch thick foam board. Push flathead pins into the foam, one at intersecting corner in the grid, and your drying rack is ready for use. As you remove eggs from the dye bath, rest them atop the pins, and this will prevent the color from pooling and drying unevenly. The board itself can be cut to any size for dyeing and drying as many eggs as you'd like, or the pins repositioned to accommodate any size of egg from standard-size chickens to larger emus.

Credit: Emily Kate Roemer

Build a Box

For Easter egg designs that involve splattering and spray-painting, an open-ended box keeps all of the color contained. Using our pin-board idea, cut a small square of foam board and insert a grid of flathead pins. Place the foam board into a cardboard box turned onto its side, and set the egg onto the pins. Once inside, spritz and spray with freedom. Another tip? For robin's egg speckles, flick the stiff bristles of a paintbrush or lightly tap onto the eggshell to splatter-paint the surface. Our splattered eggs reuse another household item: To get the look, we simply mixed food dye and dry foods in a paper cup, plopped in a hardboiled egg, and gave the cup a gentle shake to create these stunning speckles.


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