Dipping and dyeing

An easy way to start the great egg-decorating adventure, dyeing eggs lets anyone create something beautiful.

packets of dye

Dyes are easy to find around Easter time – try your local delicatessan, especially if they stock European foods, as egg-dyeing is an Easter tradition in many European countries. Some use cold water but many use a mix of hot water and vinegar, which helps make the shell porous, to help the dye absorb into the shell. Though freshly made-up dye is best if you want really strong colour, we often keep the made-up dye, reheating it and still getting pretty shades. With all the dyes, the longer the egg stays in the colour, the stronger the colour. Be careful though – if you want the egg dyed evenly, you need to keep turning the egg over or hold it under the dye with a weight of some kind.

Make sure you drain and dry the egg thoroughly after dyeing, especially if you want to paint over the top. Having a bubble of dye suddenly pop out of the hole and wash away part of your masterpiece is a tragic tale indeed!

You can even create your own natural dyes, using different vegetables. Have a play with onion skins or beetroots and see what interesting colours you can make. Chef Markus Mueller, from Earth, Food and Fire, has some great instructions on How To Make Your Own Plant Based Easter Egg Dye.

Once you’ve sorted out the dye itself, you can eggsperiment with all the different ways you can change up the eggs, such as blocking out areas from the dye or dipping colours over the top of each other to create new colours.

overlapping dyed egg

Overlapping dye creates new colours, which have then been outlined in gold.

dyed spaghetti egg

Spaghetti and meatballs, with cheese on top – a combination of wax-resist dyeing and paint.