It speaks to the beauty of these eggs that my little porous brain can still picture them thirteen years later. My friend Kendra had brought in the most beautiful eggs to decorate Bissetts bar for Easter. They had pattern and swirls and vivid color. She had dyed them with silk ties. Every Easter since then, I’ve thought about doing it but never followed through until now.
It seemed like a lovely little project for some Montessori kids. Easy to do, big impact. (Although I think adults are more impressed by them than kids.)
- 100% silk ties
- Raw Eggs (small is ideal so you can maximize your ties)
- Panty hose (or white cotton fabric can substitute, but the hose made it quite easy).
- Teeny tiny rubber bands (the kind for teeny tiny braids) - can substitute twist ties, string, dental floss
- Olive or vegetable oil (optional)
Here’s what you do:
- Start a pot of water on the stove. Add 1/4 c. of vinegar. When it boils, reduce to a simmer.
- Deconstruct the silk ties by ripping out the seam and separating the silk from the liner.
- Cut out a large rectangle from the silk. If you use small eggs, you can get 2 - 3 rectangles from one tie.
- Wrap the silk around the egg so that the right side is against the egg. We bundled it up so that it tied on top.
- You can secure it with a twist tie, string, or rubber band. I think the twist tie was easiest for the kids, but teeny tiny rubber bands were most effective and by far the quickest method when I did them on my own. The more you can get the silk to make contact with the egg, the more dye transfers.
- Cut the panty hose into 3 or 4 inch pieces. Knot the bottom, slip the egg into the hose (I called it a nest with the kids), and then knot it tightly on the top. The tighter you can get the hose, the better the dye will transfer to the egg.
Don’t try to use the teeny tiny rubber bands to secure the top of the hose. If you do, you’ll feel all smart about it right up until the eggs hit the boiling water - that’s when all the rubber bands snap.
You can also skip the hose and wrap the silk covered egg in white cotton fabric, securing that with a twist tie or string if you prefer. I think it’s easier for the dye to transfer with the hose, though.
- Put the eggs in boiling water for 20 minutes. Let cool and then unwrap. Revel in their beauty.
- Optional but lovely step: Put a dab of olive or vegetable oil on the eggs. Rub it in, then polish it off with a tissue. This gives your eggs a nice shine.
- Whichever part of the egg will show should be the part with the most tie contact. For instance, if your egg will lay on its side for display, gather the silk on the long side. If your egg will sit in a cup, gather the silk for tying on the bottom. (This is counter to what comes naturally.) White spaces where the silk has gathered are fairly inevitable, so you want those to be on the opposite end of the side you are showcasing.
- Ugly ties make for cool eggs. I avoided some of the duller colored ties until I had run out of bright ones. Most of the dull colors ended up with the most vivid eggs. It’s a surprise every time.
- If there is an image on your tie that you like, then try to make that contact point as smooth as possible on the egg. This guitar was part of a Carlos Santana tie. I think it looks amazing.