One of my fondest memories of growing up is decorating Easter eggs. My mom would buy me an egg decorating kit at the grocery store, and I was always slightly disappointed to open the box only to find a few tiny tablets and one wire egg dipper. (Looking back, I'm not sure what else I was expecting.) When I had my own kids, I bought them the same kit, and soon realized why my mom hated decorating eggs — the mess. I had to start looking for some Easter egg dyeing hacks to bring egg decorating into the 21 century.
Egg decorating has typically be associated with the Christian holiday of Easter. According to Greek Reporter USA, this tradition dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, where early Christians stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Jesus, and is still practiced by Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. But, National Geographic reported that Pierre-Jean Texier from the University of Bordeaux discovered a set of 270 decorated ostrich eggshell fragments in a South African cave. The eggshells date back 60,000 years, which means that the tradition of decorating eggs is apparently a lot older than anyone thought.
Here are some slightly more modern Easter egg dyeing hacks to try with your kids this year.
1. Use A Whisk
Instead of using that confusing little wire egg dipper that comes with your dyeing kit, I've found that it's easier to slip your hard boiled egg through the slots of a whisk before dipping into the dye. Not to mention it's virtually mess-free.
2. Skip The Dye Kits
Instead of running out to the store for an Easter egg dye kit, check your pantry for food coloring and vinegar. According to McCormick, you just need to mix a half cup boiling water, one teaspoon of vinegar, and 10 to 20 drops food coloring in a cup. You do this for each color and dip your eggs in the solutions for about five minutes.
3. Use A Muffin Pan
Instead of using a bunch of cups, dye your Easter eggs in a muffin pan. Each hole can be a different color, and your kids can experiment with color combinations. This method, in my experieince, also keeps spills at bay.
4. Consider Natural Dyes
According to Better Homes & Gardens, you can combine beets, purple cabbage, or turmeric with white vinegar to create yellow, blue, and pink Easter eggs with natural ingredients.
5. Try Adding Glitter
Instead of using dyes, cover your egg with school glue and sprinkle with glitter. Your eggs will shimmer in the sunlight and be easier to find at the egg hunt.
6. Decorate With A Ribbon
If you're in a time crunch, or simply don't feel like dealing with the smelly mess of vinegar and dyes, glue some pretty ribbons around your eggs instead.
7. Incorporate Leaves Or Flowers
This is a trick from my book that works well. Flatten some tiny leaves or small flowers and glue them onto your eggs with a glue stick. You can glue it before you dye, and then peel off the flower and see it's imprint. Or you can glue the flowers or leaves onto dyed eggs to make them extra special.
8. Be Artistic
Let your kid's creativity shine through but letting them draw on their Easter eggs with markers or crayons.
9. Make Chalkboard Eggs
Paint your eggs with chalkboard paint, and let your kids decorate using different colored chalk. This also makes a cute place card idea for your Easter brunch.