Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs

One of the few non-book-related blogs I follow is Our Best Bites. They frequently have recipes that sound so yummy I want to try them immediately - but, time being what it is, they usually get relegated to the stack of recipes sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for one of my all-too-infrequent-marathon-cooking days.

Monday, however, their post was not for food per se, but for these Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs. Tie-dyed as in, you dye them using old silk ties! The second I saw it I thought, "I HAVE to try this," posted it to my Facebook page, told all the mommies in story time about it, and then at lunch time, ran right out to Goodwill to buy five of their most interesting silk ties.

That was Monday. Today is Wednesday. That time thing again!

Today, however, since we have story time, and since our theme is eggs, and our craft is decorating paper eggs, I decided I was justified in trying the eggs here at work. I had a few questions, making this a little bit of a science experiment. For one thing, most eggs bought in the store look like this:

Whereas the eggs in my refrigerator look like this:

Yes, the store's are cleaner, but they look pretty pathetic, don't they?

The question is, will the white ones take the dye better? I decided to do some in each color and see.

I also wanted to know if it would make a difference if the egg was blown out or not. It would certainly make a difference if they turned out really pretty, and I wanted to keep them! To blow out an eggshell, just poke a hole in each end with a straight pin, and blow really hard into one hole.

I was going to do half this way. Not taking into account that I have a really bad cold. About the time I finished this first one, my head exploded. It was quite a mess.

Hard-boiled it is, then!

basically, what you do is cut up a silk tie, and wrap the eggs print-side-in:

Aren't these pretty already?

Then you wrap it again loosely in a light-colored cloth:

Place in a pot,

Cover with water, and add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Or so. I don't measure. That can cause problems sometimes, but this doesn't seem to be an exact science.

After boiling for about twenty minutes and really stinking up the library, I set the eggs out to cool (still wrapped). The water was a dark blue at this point, and since I can't even throw dirty water away without feeling guilty, I popped in some more white eggs, and the scraps from the two ties I had used.

Deosn't that It turned out well, though:

Purple is, after all, the new pink!

I decided to make myself wait until the end of story time to open these. We had several other egg decorating ideas to look at, so these tied (pardon the pun) in nicely. Besides dye, markers, tissues, etc., we have two old cigar boxes of hand-decorated eggs donated by a local family some time back:

Isn't the detail incredible? They started making these together many years ago, after reading this book:

which they also donated, and which I read parts of this week.
Some of the older siblings that come to story time jumped on this idea, and I would not be surprised to see some cool artwork featured on Facebook in the near future! (Yes, L.S., I am talking to you!)

I'm not quite brave enough to give toddlers real eggs to decorate, so we went with paper. Monday's group made folding egg-shaped cards, while today's experimented with different media and making patterns:

Finally, the grand un-wrapping:

The two eggs on the left were brown, and the one on the top right was green. The other three were white. The colors all brightened up as they dried. I want to experiment more with wrapping them closely, so more of the pattern transfers. I may try rolling them in the fabric and then tieing both ends. Pretty cool, either way! If you try/tried these at home, please let me know how they turned out, and what variations you have tried! 

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