Dyeing and decorating eggs is one of the most special traditions of Easter. Since we’re constantly on the hunt for new Easter egg decorating ideas and tips, we asked our catalog food stylist Alison Attenborough if she could offer some of her best DIY decorating tips, from showcasing bright colors to avoiding messy cleanup. Read on for her pointers.
1. Choose the right vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is best for dyeing the base coat. “We tried to save time on the shoot and use cider vinegar because we had it on hand, but it won’t stay on the egg the same way,” says Alison. “You really need to make sure you have the right kind.”
2. Use glass bowls for dyes. Some ceramic bowls will stain when filled with dye, but not glass ones. “Nesting bowls are great for dyeing eggs—they’re really easy to wash and clean.”
3. Let the eggs dry properly. “You really need to stand the eggs up when they have the paint on to let them dry,” says Alison. She closed the egg box and turned it upside down so she could prop the eggs in between the ridges,which worked perfectly. She also recommends drying the eggs in between coats (you may want to do a couple of coats of dye for a more intense hue).
4. Mix it up! “It’s fun to do all different colors of eggs, or you can choose a color palette to stick to,” says Alison. When working with the chalkboard kit, she recommends trying two colors, such as black on one side and pink on the other. Be bold—darker colors are her favorites!
5. Create a contest. “We used to have a competition where you would put a bunch of different decorations on a table covered in newspaper, and people did whatever they felt like,” Alison says. “At the end, we stood the eggs up on a windowsill and silently voted on each one.” You can number the eggs and ask everyone to write their top pick on a piece of paper, then collect the papers, and tally up the scores. The winner takes home a big bag of Easter candy! (Alison’s tip: “The simplest ideas are always the strongest.”)
6. Make it an occasion. We love the idea of making Easter egg dyeing part of a brunch party. Cover a table with paper and let kids decorate the eggs. You can even set out egg decorating kits with liberty floral patterns so kids can dress up their eggs as Easter bunnies while adults chat over coffee and an assortment of baked goods. “Host your brunch the weekend before Easter, then save them for a hunt on Easter day,” says Alison.