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Etched Eggs

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: Martha Stewart


Create beautiful designs on Easter eggs using a traditional Lithuanian technique, called marguciai, with this how-to from egg etcher Christine Luschas. For the best results, choose eggs that are smooth and without bumps. While etching, bumps could cause your blade to catch and crack the egg in the process. Farm fresh eggs tend to be the strongest.


Marge's egg blower available from the Polish Arts Center. Egg dye available from PysankyUSA.


  • Eggs

  • Pin

  • Aunt Marge's egg blower

  • Cotton ball

  • Vinegar

  • Powdered egg dye

  • Tongs

  • Rubberband

  • Pencil

  • Box cutter

  • Eraser

  • Ribbon

  • Wire


  1. Pierce top and bottom of egg with pin, being sure to pierce and scramble yolk inside shell as well. Use Aunt Marge’s egg blower to pump egg out of shell.

  2. Wash inside of egg by filling with and pumping out hot water. Clean outside of egg by rubbing with a cotton ball soaked in vinegar.

  3. Create dye bath by mixing powdered egg dye in hot water with 1 teaspoon vinegar; let cool.

  4. Using tongs wrapped with rubber band, submerge eggs in dye bath until desired color is achieved. Once dyed, remove eggs from bath and place on pin drying rack.

  5. Once dry, use a pencil to draw a rough sketch of desired design directly onto egg.

  6. Using a box cutter, etch design into egg. Be sure to hold blade like a pencil, on its side, scratching in a forward motion, gliding across the egg rather than digging into the shell. Vary pressure on the blade depending on whether you want lines to be light and thin or more white and thick.

  7. Shade design using quick and light strokes over the surface of the egg.

  8. Remove any unwanted or stray pencil marks with an eraser.

  9. To hang egg as an ornament, knot piece of ribbon into a loop. Using a small piece of wire, pull loop through holes in egg, leaving knot on bottom.

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