A Guide to All the Different Types of Eggs to Use for Decorative Projects
Plus, how to best dress yours up for Easter.
While ordinary white chicken eggs make a beautiful blank canvas for all sorts of decorating projects, we think it's time you tried to experiment with different types. Eggs come in unusual colors and a variety of sizes; when combined, they make for a surprising display. Mix sizes (use quail for smaller and goose or ostrich for larger) and colors (dyeing brown eggs will alter the range of colors you can produce). All eggs benefit from being wiped with vinegar before being dyed (it makes them take the color more evenly), but this step is crucial with some specialty eggs. Many types of eggs can be found at gourmet food stores or ordered, already blown-out and sanitized, from specialty suppliers.
The standard by which all others are judged. Color variations in the shell (whether white, mottled brown, palest blue) reflect the breed of hen and make little difference in crafting possibilities. Colored varieties are identical to white chicken eggs; when immersed in dyes, darker shells take on darker colors. Add them to the mix for a wider range of colored eggs.
Eggs from Araucana chickens, like the ones raised by Martha on her farm in Bedford, have naturally pastel-hued shells—no dyeing required.
An emu egg's emerald-green shell makes this variety more coveted for crafts than cooking. With such a rich jewel-toned shell, these make a great starting point for projects that involve embellishing eggs rather than dyeing them.
Duck and Goose Eggs
These eggs are large (duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs, goose eggs larger still) and have smooth, white shells. In both cases, the shells are thicker than those of chicken eggs; wiping the surface with a paper towel dipped in white vinegar before dyeing, then immersing them in an extra-strong dye bath (add an extra tablespoon vinegar and a few additional drops food coloring to the basic recipe) will help the color penetrate.
On the opposite end of the size spectrum are quail eggs. Tiny and dappled, these eggs make for dainty decorations.
The largest egg of all, its porcelain-like shell is the perfect medium fora variety of decorative art projects and make a showstopping addition to any Easter basket on display.