Conscious Making - Botanical Printed Naturally Dyed Eggs..
With the Easter weekend upon us and school holidays in full swing, it's the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and make some gorgeous naturally dyed eggs, that not only look lovely but taste wonderful too.
I featured a basket of naturally dyed eggs in my column 'The Simple Things' in the Autumn issue of Mildura Living Magazine, so I thought I'd share some simple instructions and tips to create your own. Now I know there are plenty of DIYs on dyeing eggs, so I'm going to keep mine quick and easy and share what worked for me.
Some lovely happy free range eggs
Skins from about six small onions
Some small leaves or herbs
A pair of stockings
Scissors, two small saucepans, a ladle, a bowl and some paper towel.
Get Your Eggs ready..
Make sure you choose some lovely fresh, local, happy free range eggs. The natural colour of your eggs will alter the overall finished colour. The lighter the eggs, the more vibrant the colour.
If you're creating your eggs as a fun Easter craft, it's simple to just hard boil your eggs, that way you can enjoy them from lunch afterwards. If you do, allow them to cool before continuing.
If you'd like to keep them for a display, blow out the yolk and whites by piercing a hole in the top and bottom. Clean and dry them, ready to dye.
Prepare Your Dye..
There's many wonderful colours you can create using natural dyes. For more information about how to achieve these colours I recommend Kirsten's beautiful blog post. I found the fastest and easiest way to achieve these lovely botanical printed eggs is with brown onion skins.
Pop a good handful of onion skins in a small saucepan with enough water to cover your eggs and bring to a gentle boil. Allow it to gently boil while you prepare your eggs.
Preparing the eggs for Dyeing..
Pick a variety of small leaves with interesting shapes. Gently rub each egg with vinegar, especially concentrating on where you would like the botanical pattern, then gently apply the leaf.
Cut a length of stocking, tie one end and gently slip the egg in without disturbing the leaf, then tie off the other end. Try to ensure a snug fit, so the leaf can't move around too much. Repeat this process with each of your eggs.
Dyeing the Eggs..
Turn the dye mix down to a simmer and gently add the eggs. It's best if you leave them in the dye for a two to three hours, but you can achieve a nice print in about an hour.
Check your eggs after about an hour and you should notice a difference in colour. When you're happy with the colour, gently remove them from the dye and allow to cool on paper towel before cutting the stocking. This is when the magic happens. Cut the stocking away and peel back carefully to reveal your beautiful botanical patterns.
Now you can enjoy your beautiful eggs.
No two eggs are the same and this process can work in mysterious ways, so just have fun and be sure to try out some different colours too!