The Spring and Easter season is always a great time to get crafty and dyeing Easter eggs is just the way to get started! Egg dyeing has been a tradition for as long as 60,000 years! The traditional dyes like Paas, which was first introduced in the 1880′s, are fine for hiding and eating, however, if you really want to show off some hot colors, alcohol inks provides all of the bright hues you can imagine!
Alcohol inks are all the rage right now. You can find almost anything that has been decorated with them. From tiles to Yupo and now even Easter Eggs! With an alcohol base, these brightly colored inks dry fast and are best used on a non-porous surface and an egg shell is a great surface to work on.
You can use alcohol inks in a bottle (like Pinata’) or for more control try them in marker form such as alcohol ink based Copic markers. I must say this was the more clean application process! After years and years of using the basic food coloring for dying eggs, this process of dabbing alcohol inks on them is quite exciting.
I wasn’t sure about decorating on a hard boiled egg and then eating it, so I decided to blow out some eggs. Blowing out the egg ensures a long life for your creation and when you are done, they are very durable works of art and can be carefully enjoyed from year to year.
I use white eggs, but you can try the process on brown farm eggs for a more muted results. But, for me, the brighter, the better!
1. The first step is to carefully make a small hole at either end of the egg. I used a very sharp pointed knife and a gentle peck, peck, peck method so as not to crack the shell unintentionally! I just pictured a tiny chick inside trying to be hatched and just kept pecking away at the small hole. Don’t worry if there is some of the “skin” inside showing.
2. Next, after making a hole in both ends, I inserted a skewer through the two holes. This will help to open the ends completely. If you will back the skewer out a little so it will move inside the egg, you can actually scramble the egg inside and it will be easier to blow the egg out. Just be careful not to crack the egg shell at the entrance.
3. Hold over a bowl, and cover the top hole with your mouth. Gently begin to blow through the egg. It should start to empty into a bowl. When you have completely emptied the egg contents, rinse the inside with warm water and blow it through again to clean the egg out.
4. Once you have blown out the egg shells, with proper storage, they can be enjoyed for a long time without deteriorating. And, of course, you will have plenty of scrambled eggs for breakfast in the morning!
5. When the eggs are dry, you are ready to decorate. Gather everything you will need before you start.
What you need-
1.Pinata’ Alcohol Inks in various bright colors or Copic markers- The inks will mix on the shell very quickly, so you will want to limit the number of colors used to 2-3. This way you will not end up with a dull or blackish egg.
2.Skewers- to hold the eggs while you are applying the inks. This keeps your hands cleaner and the eggs are easier to handle. You can find skewers at your grocery store.
3.Tape- to keep the eggs from slipping off of the skewers. I was able to color two eggs on the same skewer.
4.Pinata’ Claro Extender- this solution is used to prep the egg shell for accepting the inks and for blending. I applied it to the surface with a small natural hair brush.
5. 1/4 flat CJ Natural hair brush- this is a soft brush that will allow you to spread the extender and also remove any bubbles left from the varnish.
7. Paper towels-
8. Egg Carton- for drying
Ok, Let’s get creative!
6. Slide an eggshell onto the skewer, then wrap a piece of tape before and after it to keep it from sliding off. Then, add another eggshell and secure it.
7. First, apply a generous coat of Pinata’ Claro Extender to the eggshell using the flat brush. Then, drop the ink in various areas, changing the color to marble the surface. Swirl the egg and move it to keep runs from forming. If you do have an area that you do not like, you can brush it will more extender to blend or smooth the area.
8. Gold and Silver inks are great to add a little bling to your design. Prep the next egg with extender.
9. You can drop the extender directly onto the egg to move or dilute a color.
10. Make sure you keep the egg moving. The ink dries rather fast.
12. Next, I used the wide nib Copic markers in red, yellow, and orange. The markers provide more control as to where you apply the color. You can get very creative with the markers. Fine and broad tips are great, as well.
14. I randomly applied streaks of orange to the egg.
15. Then, some red squiggles.
16. I used the small flat brush dipped in the Claro Extender to model the inks into a beautiful marble finish. This one was my favorite!
17. For the last egg, I applied a layer of yellow at the top of the shell.
18. Then, overlapped with orange.
19. And finished with red. Then, I dropped some of the Claro extender directly onto the ink and allowed it to blend thoroughly.
19. This one looks fiery!
20. Such variety in color and application!
21. Finished eggs drying on skewers.
22. Time to varnish. I used Minwax Polycrylic varnish, mainly because I had it on hand. But, Golden has a great Archival Liquid Varnish that comes in Satin, Flat, or Gloss. This varnish will also keep the colors from fading over time. You can apply it just as I did the Polycrylic.
I dipped the eggs into the Poly. Although you can just brush it on. Brushing might disturb the inks if done too aggressively.
23. Allow the egg to drip for a minute and then use a soft flat brush to remove any bubbles and to smooth the surface.
24. I propped up the eggs on the skewers to allow them to dry.
25. I even used a Silver Sharpie marker to write Easter greetings on the eggs! You can also use a white “acrylic paint pen” to add words like Cherish, Love, Life, Grow, Dream, Hope, Wish, Believe, Create, Laugh, ect.
26. Use an egg carton to dry the eggs on or use a paper towel roll to make stands by cutting 2 inch lengths and sitting them flat on a surface, then place the egg upright to dry.
VOILA! HAPPY EASTER TO YOU!
Just look at these beautiful and bright, eggciting and eggcellent Easter eggs! These make great gifts to add to someone’s Easter Basket! However, they may be too fragile for an excited child. If cared for and protected these beauties will last a long time!
This project is fun for the whole family and will give you lots of pleasure when sharing with friends!
The the practice of exchanging Easter eggs became a Christian tradition, as the hatching of an egg symbolized the resurrection. So, as fun and eggciting as the Easter holiday is, with its colored eggs, bunnies (especially the chocolate bunnies!), baskets, Peeps and treats, let us not forget, the great gift that was so unselfishly given to all of us that is the reason we celebrate.
I give thanks that He Died, He Arose, and He Lives, So we could have Eternal Life.
HAPPY EASTER, FROM ALL OF US AT CHEAP JOE’S!
Keep your Easter eggs BRIGHT and your Easter bunnies CHOCOLATE!
PS- Thanks! East Bunny! Bok! Bok!