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Egg-Dyeing Basics

Eggs and dyes are the two central elements of Easter crafts. Decorating eggs perfectly isn't hard; just follow our tips.

Photography: Antonis Achilleos

Source: Martha Stewart


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 for larger. Also consider dyeing brown eggs to alter the range of colors you can produce.


  • Raw eggs

  • Sharp utility knife

  • Paper clip

  • Bowl

  • Heatproof bowl, cup, or jar (for hot water)

  • Rubber ear syringe

  • Paper towels or newspaper

  • Vinegar

  • Food coloring in various colors

  • Tongs

  • Drying rack made with pins and a foam board


  1. 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 (available at drugstores).

  2. 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.

    A drying rack made with pins and foam board keeps things neat. Learn how to make a drying rack by watching our video.

    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).

  3. Once you've learned the basics, try these egg-dyeing techniques:

    Wax-Resist Patterns
    Masked Designs
    Marbleized Swirls

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