Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Egg Time!


Every Easter since my kids were itty bitty I have always dyed Easter Eggs.  I've also carved Pumpkins at Halloween too but that is a different story.  Even before they could hold  a spoon I was letting them sit with me and watch or touch as I happily dyed Easter eggs.  I really think I do it more for me than them.  I constantly have to remind myself that their eggs do not have to look perfect and to keep my hands off.  Then I always leave a couple for myself so I can release my own creativity and be done with it.  This year I did things a little differently.  It all started with the Martha Stewart Egg Dying 101 app.



Every year until now I have bought a kit to color eggs with.  It varies every year and they are all fun but this year I discovered Martha's app.  From the minute I downloaded her egg dying app sometime in late October I knew what I was going to be doing this Easter.  All of her methods and tips can be found on her website but the app makes it so easy and convenient.  It was only 99 cents and when I bought it I thought why am I spending a dollar on an egg dying app in the Fall?  I'm so glad I did. 


Before we even started I let my kids look through the picture gallery on the app and decide what they wanted to try.  I knew there was no way we could do all of them.  They decided on the sticker masked eggs, the tape masked eggs, the sticker embellished eggs and of course the lady bug finger print eggs (my personal favorite).    


Here are the supplies I used, which I already had lying around the house.  


Stamps, stamp ink pads and permanent marker for the lady bug fingerprint eggs and the stamped eggs.




Paper punches and sticker paper or sticker labels like I have here.  We used these to punch out stickers for the masked eggs.  


Then of course stickers for embellishments... 




and of ribbon.  Why I have never thought of putting ribbon on my eggs is beyond me.  It's such a simple way to make them look so elegant.  



Martha recommends using an egg drying rack.  If you had asked me a year ago why I didn't have an egg drying rack for my Easter eggs I would have looked at you like you were nuts.  Now I don't know how I lived without one.  Martha did use actual straight pins for her board but since I didn't have any I improvised.  The toothpicks worked just fine.  She also recommends drawing a 1x1 grid onto the foam.  I eyeballed it and it doesn't look beautiful but it worked beautifully.  So I took a large piece of foam, and stuck toothpicks into it about one inch apart.  This was so helpful when drying because it prevented the egg from sitting in it's own drippings and getting a ring around the bottom.  Such a wonderful idea. 




The basic egg dye recipe is:


1tsp white vinegar


20 drops food coloring


1 cup hot water




My kids had a wonderful time adding the food coloring.  






We let the eggs sit for about 1 to 2 minutes to get them really bright.  




This is always their favorite part.  Something about playing with colored water and eggs is so exciting.  Yes I had all four kids crowded around the egg dye, patiently dipping their eggs.  They did such a good job. 




Once the eggs were colored we let them sit on their little pin board drying rack and it worked perfectly.  I did get a little drippy spot at the bottom but if you catch it early enough you can wipe it right off the egg.  Look at those colors.  I did use the Neon food coloring so maybe that is why they came out so bright.  





While we waited for the first batch of eggs to dry we tried out some of the other techniques.  Here is the sticker masking technique.  Since I didn't have any cute shaped stickers I made my own with label stickers and a paper punch.  I know it's a little hard to see the white on white but hopefully you get the idea.  Doesn't Marina make a lovely hand model?




Once the stickers were on we dipped them in the dye and then later removed the stickers after drying.  It left beautiful white flowers all over the egg.  This was one of my favorites.  To achieve the yellow flowers I dipped the egg in yellow first and once it dried applied the stickers and dipped it in purple.  Once it dried I removed the stickers and Wham, a purple egg with yellow flowers.  It's like magic. 




The other masking technique we tried was with tape.  I used regular scotch tape and just let the kids place it wherever they wanted on the eggs.  Then we dipped it, let it dry and removed the tape.  Then I dipped it again to get a second color where the tape had been.  This resulted in an egg with stripes of color on it.  The tape didn't stick so well which is why it looks kind of crinkly or rough around the edges, but I kind of like it. 




These are my absolute favorite.  We used stamp ink pads and had the girls put little finger prints all over the egg.  Then I took a black permanent marker and drew the lady bugs around the finger prints.  They are so adorable, and I'm a sucker for finger print crafts. The green egg in the back is actually lady bug stickers I had on hand.   




The stamped eggs were something I came up with.  Since we already had my ink pads out why not stamp on the eggs.  I really love the silver flowers on the pink and blue eggs.  It's not as easy as I thought it would be to stamp on a round surface but the imperfections give it character. 




Then lastly another Martha suggestion was to use stickers and ribbon to embellish the eggs.  I used glue dots to stick the ribbon to the eggs.  I still love glue dots.  They are my favorite crafting accessory.  The stickers were actually Martha Stewart stickers that I had picked up last summer.  




So ends our Easter egg dying adventure for this year.  Hope you enjoyed it and hope you take away even just a tidbit of information to help you enjoy your fun Easter holiday.  



Happy Easter



Credits:

Martha Stewart of course and her wonderful Egg Dying 101 app.  Most of the information found on her app can also be found on her website. 

My lovely children (especially Marcus my eleven year old who I'm thrilled still plays along with us)