Instead of resorting to the same old egg dyeing kit, try something new this Easter. Here are some out-of-the-box ideas for your next egg decorating party.
1. Make swirls
This trick draws its inspiration from an old elementary school experiment. Fill a container with milk and add several drops of different colors of food dye. Next, add a drop of shampoo to make the colors move and swirl. The soap dissolves the fat molecules and reduces the surface tension. The milky surface around the soap will begin to move and push the dye into different directions. The result is a swirled pattern of dye that just begs to have an egg dipped into it.
2. Use a whisk
If you insert your egg in a whisk, you can dip your eggs into dye without get your hands involved. Eggs often fall off of a spoon, but whisks create a cage to keep your creation in place.
3. Scratch away a design
First, color the eggs with crayons; you can use one color or a whole rainbow. Next, paint over your colors with black paint. Once the paint dries, you can scratch away at the paint to reveal the colored egg underneath. Add some glitter for extra flair.
4. Make them glow in the dark
If an egg’s albumen (egg white) has more than 12 percent ovotransferrin, it can be made to glow. Heating a raw egg with sodium citrate (commonly found in food dye) can sometimes trigger this eerie effect. The video above shows what can happen when you briefly microwave a dyed egg. It doesn’t always work, so you may need to try a few eggs before you find one that glows. Just remember that the eggs are no longer edible once they've been through this process.
5. Bounce your eggs
You can change a hard eggshell’s properties by soaking it in vinegar for 24 hours. When you remove it, the egg will be soft and translucent. The acetic acid breaks down the eggshell, so what’s left is the yolk encased in the protective membrane.
6. Use nail polish
For beautiful marbled eggs, try using unwanted nail polish. Fill a container with water and slowly pour several different colors of polish on top. Swirl the colors until they look exactly how you want. After putting on rubber gloves, dip your egg into the swirls. Ta-da! Marbled eggs.
7. Dye them naturally
Instead of using artificial dyes, you can make your own natural dye with ingredients from your pantry. For a nice purple color, you can use beets or blueberries. Red cabbage makes a light blue color, and onion skins make yellow. Boil your food in vinegar and water; the vinegar will help strip the pigment from the food so you can use that color on your eggs. The natural dye will be less vibrant than artificial ones, but the imperfect coloring is uniquely charming.
If you want to add a design that fits the natural theme, try tiny leaves. Situate flowers or leaves on your eggs and secure them by wrapping the egg in panty hose. Dip the whole thing in your dye. The leaf or flower will work like a stencil and leave a nice imprint on your egg.
8. Make tie-dye eggs
Start by coloring the egg with permanent markers—the more the better. Next, take a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover and swab your egg. The acetone in the nail polish remover will break down the marker and make the colors bleed together. The finished product will look like you tie-dyed your egg.
9. Use baking soda for added fun
Another way to make tie-dye looking eggs is with baking soda. Mix food coloring with baking soda to create a thick colorful paste that can be painted onto your eggs. When the egg is fully covered, drop it into a glass of vinegar. Just like the volcano experiment from grade school, the glass will fizz and overflow. You can remove your egg with a spoon or whisk to find it beautifully colored.
10. Melt some crayons
This one requires some caution. While boiling your eggs, shave some crayons into a powder. When the eggs are done, carefully insert them into an egg carton. Before they cool, sprinkle the crayon shavings on top. The crayon will melt and create a cool texture. Just make sure you don't burn yourself on the eggs!
11. Boil your eggs with baking soda
Once you’re finished decorating your eggs, you probably will want to eat them (so long as they’re not too covered in glitter or nail polish remover!). To assure that the egg shell will slip right off, boil your eggs with baking soda. The baking soda raises the pH of the water and helps separate the membrane from the shell for easy peeling. For added flair, try the trick in the video above and blow the egg right out of its shell.