Nature Print Eggs with Natural Dyes

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This week we are learning about Romania and I wanted to find a craft to tie into our studies. I searched online for Romanian crafts ideas and pictures of leaf print eggs caught my attention. The eggs are dyed in natural dyes (which also tied in nicely with our medieval studies) and finding the little flowers, ferns, and tiny leaves to imprint on our eggs added to this week’s nature studies. Multi-subject lessons are the best! I’m not sure how Romanian these eggs are but they were fun to make and they are absolutely beautiful.

Just a few words to keep things real, this project was time consuming. From boiling the eggs, preparing the natural dyes, patience with the egg designs and waiting for the colors to come through, and the mess (oh, the mess!! see end of post) this is not your average-throw-a-color-tablet-in-a-cup-of-vinegar-and-add-an-egg type of thing. BUT if you are adventurous and like a good creative-challenge, this project is for you!!! (And my four year old stayed with us and enjoyed the project the whole time, so if he can do it…..)

Materials:

  • white eggs (hardboiled)
  • tumeric
  • beets
  • coffee
  • red cabbage
  • white vinegar
  • water
  • nylon knee highs
  • small hair elastics
  • small flowers, leaves, clovers
  • papertowels

Directions:

1.) Boil the eggs and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2.) Search outside for small flowers, interesting leaves, ferns, and clovers. Cilantro and celery leaves would also work.

2.) Make the natural dyes. I followed Martha Stewart’s directions for dying eggs naturally.

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3.) Decorate the eggs. We noticed the condensation on the eggs (from being in the refrigerator) helped the leaves and petals stick better. If the eggshells were dry, we added a little moisture to the leaves to help keep things in place. This cut down on frustration levels for those with little hands. 🙂

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4.) Cover decorated egg with nylon. The foot of a knee high works great but since we only had two per package, we had to create our own “foot” with an extra small elastic. Pull nylon tightly around the egg to hold things in place.

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5.) Give the eggs a natural dye bath. The longer the eggs soak, the more vibrant the color. We left the eggs in the dye for a minimum of an hour. See Martha Stewart’s directions for time and color suggestions.

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6.) Cut off the nylon and peel off leaves and flowers. (We patted the egg dry with a paper towel before we cut the nylon. I am not sure if this make a difference in color but it made the eggs less slippery to work with.)

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7.) Observe and enjoy!!!

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And the promised TRUTH…(BUT it was worth it!!!)

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Decorating Easter Eggs with Nail Polish

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Happy Easter!  He is risen! The tomb is empty and we celebrate hope and new life. I hope that you had a blessed day gathered around your friends and family.

Now, I realize that this post may be a little late for this year. Most of us will not be dying or decorating eggs until next Easter but I had to share this nail polish technique. Tuck it away for next spring or boil some eggs and give it a try. I couldn’t believe that it worked so well. Our eggs look like art. They boast bold, bright colors and unique designs and patterns. I was very tempted to boil another couple of eggs just to see what different patterns I could create.

You will need:

  • eggs (hard boiled or blown out)
  • bright colorful nail polish (the more expensive brands worked better than the cheaper polishes)
  • plastic cup
  • water (room temperature)
  • toothpicks
  • plastic gloves
  • newspaper or table cloth
  • paper towels
  • a place for the eggs to dry (egg carton, plate with paper towels)

Directions:

Watch the tutorial below.

 

Tips:

1.) Decorate eggs in a well-ventilated area. The nail polish smell can be overwhelming.

2.) Cover your table or work area with an old table cloth or newspaper. This can be a messy project.

3.) Be sure to use room temperature water.

4.) We had difficulty using the nail polish brush to drop the nail polish into the cup (see video.) Instead, we carefully tipped the nail polish bottle and let the desired amount polish slowly drop out into the water.

5.) When lowering the egg into the water, hold the egg vertically rather than horizontally. We noticed that the patterns and swirls seemed to come out better this way.

6.) If you do not want to waste eggs, blown out eggs would be work great too. (http://www.wikihow.com/Blow-Out-Eggs)

7.) To fill in any white spaces, dip the nail polished egg into the traditional egg dye.

8.) NOTE: I WOULD NOT ADVISE EATING THE EGGS AFTER DECORATING WITH NAIL POLISH. Instead of eating them, try an egg fight. Egg fights were a fun Easter tradition in our family complete with “trophies” and bragging rights.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j2yJtea6Ug

Here are some of our eggs:. 

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