51 of Our All-Time Best Ideas for Decorating Easter Eggs
Here's a roundup of some of the best egg-decorating tips and tricks we've hatched over the years. With our techniques as a guide, you can create the prettiest holiday treasures.
There's more than one way to decorate an Easter egg. Over the past 30 years, our editors have made some of the most beautiful Easter eggs you've seen yet: painted in colors, découpaged with patterned fabric, and transformed to look like kid-friendly spring creatures.
Any decorated dozen starts with the perfectly chosen egg. There are lots of varieties: duck, quail, turkey, ostrich, and, of course, the household chicken—and they all come in various sizes. To make decorated eggs last beyond the season, blow them out first. Once cleaned, they are ready to be decorated.
Our best ideas find inspiration in the spring season itself: floppy-eared Easter bunnies, flowers in bloom, chicks, and pastel colors. If you're looking to dye Easter eggs, there are several methods to try beyond a standard one-color dip. Use wax, rubber bands, ribbon, and stencils to customize masked designs. And if vivid hues are what you're after, try reusing common kitchen scraps to create natural dyes. Some of the most sophisticated Easter eggs don't require any form of dyeing at all: From découpage to acrylic paint, you can use other craft supplies to create intricate designs that will surely impress. Our most innovative Easter egg designs call for three-dimensional features, including candy molds and polymer clay on our Jasperware-inspired eggs.
Whatever your skill level, we provide helpful resources like printable templates, videos, and color charts. To start, download and print out one of our favorites—there are bunnies, chicks, and lovely floral motifs. These are newfound inspirations that'll thrill everyone in your home. Many of them are easy enough for anyone to make—you, the kids, and everyone in your whole family. Each one is an opportunity to make your home bright and inviting on Sunday morning.
In this ancient practice, fabric is twisted, stitched, or bound with string, then dipped in indigo to produce resist-dyed prints. We found egg dye in the same deep blue, and created the patterns using office supplies: Make lines with rubber bands or washi tape, or apply dot stickers for circles, then submerge the eggs; remove and let dry fully before peeling anything off. For an extra-special presentation, tuck them into mini baskets made for holding sushi or sashimi.
A clutch of colorful faux eggs, made from spun cotton, will age beautifully in your permanent collection. Temari, the ornate balls they're modeled on, are often exchanged as tokens of friendship and are also meant to be cherished. They're made by wrapping wads of fabric scraps in thread, then embroidering the outer layer. Our shortcut method is less involved, but still eye- catching.
The name of the delicate needlework style that sparked our designs loosely translates as "stabs." These, however, are no-stitch (and no-poke).Use a store-bought template and pencil to draw dashed rings or circles (or DIY some dotted lines) onto a dyed or natural egg. Then go over your design with a blue or white oil-based paint pen. When it's dry, erase the pencil marks and put all your eggs in one pretty basket. You've got a spring centerpiece all "sewn" up.
Shop Now: Pysanka Template Set, $9, ukrainiangiftshop.com; Craft Smart Extra-Fine Paint Pens, $4 each, michaels.com; My Hope Bamboo Basket, $15, amazon.com; Toast "Kantha" Bedspread, in Ecru/Kohl (used as tablecloth), $300, toa.st.
Get ready to rock this Easter with a chic new egg-decorating technique: faux-terrazzo. Craft flakes let you copy the stylish stone's look with ease. Brush one side of a wooden, ceramic, blown-out, or hard-cooked egg (just note it's not for eating) with matte adhesive. Then sprinkle on a mix of black, gray, and one bright color, rubbing the pieces in between your fingers to make smaller bits. Let dry, then do the other side. Everyone who spots the results will be floored.
This fine art's signature is black-ink brushstrokes on rice paper. To use a white egg as your canvas, thin black acrylic craft paint with water to the consistency of mayonnaise, and swipe lines or abstract shapes onto one side with a round brush. Let it dry, then decorate the other. Do the same to natural brown eggs with white and black paint, and group them in different-size bowls. Handwritten name cards tied to eggs cradled in raffia complete the well-scripted theme (adapted from the classic art book How to Wrap Five Eggs: Japanese Design in Traditional Packaging).
Translated as "golden joinery," this pottery-repair technique proves that flaws can look totally finessed. Traditionally, it calls for filling cracks with real gold lacquer, but our "kinda-sugi" eggs aren't broken. Just dip a fine-tip paintbrush into liquid gold-leaf paint and freehand a few "fissures." Humpty-Dumpty, there's hope for you yet.
Shop Now: Plaid Liquid Leaf One-Step Leafing Paint, in Classic Gold, $6 for 0.75 oz., amazon.com; Naked Eggs Hollow Natural Chicken, Turkey, and Duck Eggs, nakedeggs.etsy.com; Fog Linen Work Brass Round Tray, in Medium, $49, shop-foglinen.com.
Dècoupaged Wrapping-Paper Eggs
Wrapping paper is the building material for this artful centerpiece. Pick colors that echo your linens and form shreds into a nest.
The beauts below may gleam like fine marble, but they're the real things, tinted and buffed to a fine shine. Long-time Living reader Aine Hudson of Sacramento, California, shared her clever, kindergarten‐simple method with us: Hard-cook a carton of eggs; when they're cool, dry them well with a soft cloth. Scribble swirls all over the shells with crayons to emulate veining. Then dye your dozen per the package instructions, and after they dry, gently "polish" them with a cotton cloth. The pigment won't stick to the crayon wax, hence the trompe l'oeil finish. Color us inspired.
Shop Now: Ooly Beeswax Crayons, $13 for 24, crateandbarrel.com.
Giftable Surprise Eggs
We love chicken eggs, of course, but these whoppers, which can hold as many goodies as a whole basket, are sure to crack some big smiles. To make them, brush eight-inch-long papier-mâché shells with two coats of pastel craft paint. Then dilute a bit of a contrasting color with water, and flick it on with a small paintbrush for speckles. Let dry, fill with paper shreds and treats, and incubate till Easter morning.
Shop Now: The Little Crafty Bugs Company Papier-Mâché Eggs, 20.5 cm, $7.50 each, littlecraftybugs.co.uk. Martha Stewart Family-Friendly Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint, $2.50 each for 2 oz., michaels.com. Celebrate It Jumbo Paper Shred, in Pink, $5 for 4 oz., michaels.com. D. Blümchen & Company Pastel Hardwood Eggs (inside shells), $6 for 3, blumchen.com. Happy Farm Wind-up Chick, $7.50 for a 3-piece set (includes duck and bunny), fishpond.co.nz. Nuts.com Speckled Robin Malted-Milk Balls, $10 for 1 lb., nuts.com.
Royal Copenhagen Eggs
You can use temporary tattoos and nail decals to easily achieve the delicate look of this Royal Easter egg—apply them to the exterior of your egg shell just as you would to yourself.
Our editors found that organic egg varieties did a better job of taking on the dye in this case, as you'll mostly focus on creating custom candy molds to later affix to your creations. For eggs that you can use year after year, you'll need to blow these out before you get started.
Liberty of London Eggs
To evoke Liberty of London's sweet flowerscapes, all you need is tiny rubber stamps, chalk ink, and a steady hand. Gently roll a stamp along the egg's contours; dry the area thoroughly with a hair dryer before starting another section.
Shop Now: Hero Arts mounted rubber stamp mini tub set, in Flower Garden, $12, walmart.com.
These dotty patterns are as fun to make as they are to wear. Spread acrylic paints on paper plates, dip in a foam dauber, and gently press on the punchy pattern. For a grade-A color scheme, mix metallic, pastel, and neon on multi-tone duck, quail, and chicken eggs. Acrylic and chalk paints are ideal for eggshells, because they're opaque and dry quickly on the unique texture.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Crafts Dauber Set, $10, michaels.com.
Craft delicate eyelet-inspired beauties from inexpensive paper doilies (available in bulk online). The large duck egg gets its ruffles from overlapping cut-up scalloped strips, secured along the bottom edges with Glue Dots. To create the melted-on look of the little eggs, adhere smaller doily pieces to the shell using découpage glue.
Add florals, stripes, and swirls to your Easter eggs with this simple silk-dyeing technique.
Luster Splatterware Eggs
Your guests will be shocked when they learn that these eggs are indeed spray-painted, which help to create a ombré sunrise effect when they're all placed together. While you can make as many as you'd like, arranging a few dozen in an Easter centerpiece could certainly serve as a show-stopping decoration.
Dot and Stripe Stamped Eggs
These adorable eggs are actually very simple to make, and they're created with the help of a crafting material that the kids will love to play with—bubble wrap! Try selecting a few pastel shades to mix in a new set of your favorites.
Here's a sweet tradition to start with your family: Copy your favorite photographs of every member, découpage them onto eggs, then arranged on a tabletop "family tree."
Your kitchen is full of natural dyes. Common food items such as red cabbage, onion skins, and coffee can be used to transform plain white eggs into a rainbow of colors. Kids will especially love discovering all the different colors they can create—let them experiment using hard-boiled eggs and bowls of cold dyes.
To get the look of vintage café au lait bowls, set an egg back in its carton, spray-paint the top, and add matching dots. You can easily create polka dots by dipping a foam pouncer into a bit of white or blue craft paint and transferring it to your egg.
Shaving Cream Dyed Eggs
Reach into your bathroom's vanity cabinet for this effortless substitute to dyeing your eggs in pure vinegar (as an added bonus, this method smells great!). Little ones will love mixing all sorts of colors in the shaving cream to marbleize their eggs effortlessly.
Color-Block Painted Wooden Eggs
Who said your Easter eggs have to be actual egg shells? These wooden Easter eggs are easy to customize with color—as an added bonus, you can reuse them year after year, which makes even just one set so valuable.
Dyed Wooden Easter Eggs
These eggs will last for many Easters to come seeing as they're made of wood. To make them even more unique, dye them in any color of the rainbow.
Pierced Creamware Easter Eggs
The easiest way to get this lacy look is to use sticker stencils, which are best used on natural brown eggs or larger white eggs dipped in a gray shade to create a visual pop.
Gingham Easter Eggs
Gingham, checks, stripes—like grass, they pop up everywhere in spring. To dress Easter eggs in men's shirting, découpage fabric strips onto shells and trim, angle, smooth, and adjust as you go. Don't drive yourself crazy over every bump or wrinkle—rumpled imperfection is what gives these guys their charm.
In clothing, Swiss dots usually appear on sheer tulle or cotton (picture party dresses with floating overlays). We got the same ethereal effect by dyeing eggs in soft colors and adding tactile 3-D dots with fabric puffy paint. For even dyeing, first submerge eggs in a mixture of two to three tablespoons of white vinegar and one cup of water for a minute or two, then pat dry.
Shop Now: Batik Egg Dyes, in Rose, Sunflower, and Orange, $1.50 each, bestpysanky.com. McCormick Food Color & Egg Dye, in assorted colors, $3.75 for a set of 4, target.com. Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint Mini Writers, in assorted colors, $17 for 30, michaels.com.
Looking for a last-minute Easter egg to impress your guests? All you have to do is shop your own pantry! To get the speckled look, simply mix food dye and dry foods (think beans, nuts, and popcorn kernels) in a paper cup, then add a hard-cooked egg. Gently shake and swirl the cups to create stunning speckles.
Washi Tape Eggs
Fully stocked with washi tape? With a single roll, kids will love coming up with their own creative and fun designs. Start by lining up strips of tape on waxed paper, overlapping them slightly. (If you use extra-wide tape, one strip should do.) Next, use punches to cut out designs. If waxed paper is tearing while you are doing this, try punching out the shapes with an extra, plain sheet of paper underneath. Peel shapes off (using a pin, if necessary) and arrange on dyed eggs. Combine different patterns, and give a few eggs stripes by simply layering on the tape.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page "Cherish" Punch Set, $26, michaels.com.
Cherry Blossom Eggs
Inspired by the annual flowering blossoms as seen at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden during springtime, these Easter eggs with delicate cherry blossoms celebrate spring in the most beautiful way.
Masked Egg Designs
A simple dye bath is everyone's favorite way to decorate Easter eggs, but have you tried our tips and tricks to the perfectly dyed Easter egg? Here's one tip: Try dyeing different sizes and types of eggs for a variety of looks.
Give your eggs a speckled, cosmic look that makes them appear as if they were freshly plucked from amongst the stars. Paint eggs with two coats of black craft paint; let dry. Using a foam pouncer, dab purple and blue craft paint onto an eggshell's surface to create the look of interstellar clouds. To create the look of a swirling nebula, use the foam pouncer to dab two semi-circles of gold paint, highlighting the center with white craft paint. To get that far-off starry effect, flick the stiff bristles of your paintbrush or lightly tap to splatter paint the surface with white paint.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint, in "Black Beetle", "Periwinkle", "Indigo" "Gold Metallic" and "Wedding Cake", $2.49 for 2 oz., michaels.com.
Personalize your Easter eggs with this bright and colorful typography approach. Use them as place cards or as centerpieces for your Sunday dining table, as they'll look perfect alongside any Easter menu.
Stick-On Gold Easter Eggs
Temporary tattoos stick to eggs just like they would to your skin. All you need is a pretty design and a wet sponge for this simple Easter egg how-to.
Cheeky Chicken Eggs
This brood is all smiles, er, beaks as they pose for a family portrait to welcome their latest addition. (The photo hanging behind them was taken before the new chick hatched.)
If the earth hatched from a giant egg, as the ancient Persians believed, it might have resembled one of these in our dreamy dozen. We used a simple dyeing technique to create the intricate swirls of color. Every Easter egg made this way is one of a kind.
Studding your lawn with these fluorescent gems not only gives little egg hunters a leg up, but also lends a shot of rowdy neon to a holiday otherwise characterized by polite pastels.
Coloring Book Eggs
Clip-art line drawings make it easy to apply graphic patterns to colorful dyed eggs for Easter. Simply cut out the illustrations and glue them to the eggs with découpage finish, then fill in the outlines.
Download and print out Marotta's coloring-book illustrations. Cut closely around shapes with detail scissors. For each egg, brush back of the drawing with a thin coat of découpage finish. Place illustration where desired on dyed egg; smooth down with your fingers. Let dry 1 hour, then color in design with markers.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Detail Scissors, $12.49, michaels.com.
The fabled "golden egg" never looked quite so cool and organic: Ours were dyed in bright colors, then brushed with copper or gold leaf. (Use hard-boiled or hollowed-out eggs.) And you can get as greedy as you like—the metallic leaf is surprisingly affordable.
Dye eggs with food coloring as desired; let dry. For a mottled finish, brush a very small amount of transfer adhesive sparingly onto shell. Let dry 25 minutes. (For fully gilded eggs, brush adhesive all over.) Press metallic leaf against egg, shiny side down; burnish with fingertips. Peel away paper backing. For a mottled finish, go over foiled egg with a dry stencil brush; bristles will remove a bit of leaf. (For fully gilded eggs, leave as is.)
Shop Now: Mona Lisa Metal Leaf Starter Kit, $11.49, michaels.com.
You don't need an artist's steady hand to paint these graphic stripes on Easter eggs. The trick to uniform bands is a notched cardboard box, which helps control the egg and paintbrush.
Cut three pointed notches in one side of the box. With an awl, punch holes on opposite sides of box, 1 inch below top edge, as shown. Push skewer in one side of box, then through holes in egg (enlarge as needed), then through other side of box. Knead two chunks of putty until soft. Pinch onto skewer and each end of egg to hold in place. Dip brush in water, then in paint. (The larger the brush, the wider the stripe will be.) Hold brush handle in a notch, with bristles resting on egg. Use other hand to turn skewer to make a stripe. Repeat in other notches for more stripes. Let dry.
Nature-Themed Artwork Eggs
Selected flower- and bird-themed artwork transforms a variety of eggs—painted wooden orbs, naturally deep-green emu eggs, and tinted and undyed ostrich eggs—into instant collectibles. These illustrations are cut from decorative papers and clip-art printouts, but color photocopies of other vintage imagery can serve equally well. The finished eggs sit atop silver-leafed wooden candlesticks.
Dècoupaged Napkin Eggs
Stylized patterns from paper napkins brighten a clutch of undyed eggs. No need for meticulous cutting: A loose trim around the designs will do, as the napkins' edges will blend into the eggshells. Coat part of a blown-out white egg (or a white paper tag) with Mod Podge using a small brush. Apply one cutout design to the egg, smoothing with a brush. Let dry. Repeat, adding designs as desired. Apply Mod Podge with a medium brush to entire egg (or tag). Let dry.
Shop Now: Mod Podge Matte, $2, michaels.com.
A few coats of paint is all it takes to turn ordinary eggs into mini chalkboards. To make half-painted eggs, wrap middle of egg with stenciling tape, then paint desired area; let dry. Use chalk markers to draw on simple designs, patterns, and springtime messages. The best part? You can gently wipe away your designs and start from scratch whenever you want a new look.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Chalkboard Acrylic Paint, $2.49 for 2 oz., michaels.com.
You can use any stickers to embellish eggs. Kids enjoy the activity, and stickers also offer an easy way to seal a plastic egg or designate special eggs in a hunt. For polka dots, use round stickers or punch circles from adhesive sheets. To make colored dots, use a marker to color in a section of the adhesive sheet, and punch circles from that section. For flowers, punch flower shapes from an adhesive sheet, and use dots for centers. Adhere them to eggs.
These intricate eggs are mesmerizing in their beauty, and decidedly a departure from traditional Easter designs. Pysanky eggs are hand-drawn creations—first in pencil using guidelines to section off an egg into a grid pattern, and then with detail within the grid.
Pointillism Easter Eggs
Take a closer look: these eggs are inspired by pointillism art, which is a painting technique based on applying a series of small dots strategically placed to form an image. Stickers are used to create these teeny-tiny dots in pastel colors. Place a sticker on the eggshell, smoothing out any wrinkles with your fingers; then use a Sharpie marker to lightly dab dots onto the eggshell surface, expanding out from the border of the sticker. Allow to dry completely before peeling off sticker.
Shop Now: Sharpie Water-Based Paint Markers Extra Fine Point Pastel Set, $18, michaels.com.
Floral Basket Eggs
What better way to welcome the new season than with an array of eggs from geese, ducks, turkeys, partridges, quail, and (of course) chickens? The larger sizes were hollowed out and transformed into mini vases; they work as baskets, too. We then colored and filled them with spring blooms like daffodils and pansies, to create decorations full of whimsy and cheer. (Tip: For a ribbon handle, drill 2 holes in eggshell opposite each other, making sure each is at least 3/8 inch down from cracked edge.)
Shop Now: Naked Eggs Goose Eggs, $6 for 18, etsy.com.
Thread-Wrapped Easter Eggs
One simple way to give Easter eggs a crafty, homespun look: Add a bold stripe to dyed eggs with neon thread. Hold the loose end of a spool of thread against the egg with your finger, and wrap the spool around the egg, securing the loose end with the loops as you work; tack periodically with Mod Podge. Once you've achieved the desired coverage, snip the thread from the spool; tuck the end under, and glue in place.
Shop Now: Mettler Neon Poly Sheen Thread, $24 for 8 colors, createforless.com.
What do the kids love this year? Gnome characters! These toys are crafted from all-natural wooden eggs, painted with non-toxic colors, and each one is fitted with a colorful felt hat. What's more, they make a charming addition to a garden-themed basket.
Scrambled Lines and Letters Eggs
These graphic eggs take a design cue from the printing press, where misaligned plates result in slightly skewed, or "off-register," type and images.
Ink Dyed Easter Eggs
You'll want to work carefully with these vibrantly dyed eggs, because alcohol-based inks can stain things very easily. Choose complementary colors to blend when dipping your eggs, which can create a vivid effect without too much effort.