Thursday, April 5, 2012

Three Days Until Easter? It's Egg Time, Baby!

Grammy Coloring Easter Eggs with Lars, 2003
Remember when your kids were really little, just barely old enough to understand that something special was going on when the holidays rolled around?  Remember how exciting it was to set up the Easter egg dye for the first time and watch their amazement when the eggs changed colors before their wide, wondering eyes?  You didn't need to do anything fancy, and you didn't need anything other than food coloring, eggs and vinegar to create those memories.

Fast forward about a decade, and I am starting to realize that there may be more holiday craft memories BEHIND us than ahead of us.  Which is why I'm ramping things up a bit this year, with more advanced egg coloring plans that are better suited to my 8 and 11 year old helpers.  I'm not going to know ahead of time which year will be the last that my kids are interested in coloring Easter eggs, so we can't take any eggs for granted!

I've been trolling around on Pinterest for ideas (you can see all of them on my Easter board here), and I've narrowed it down to a few ideas that are different enough to pique the boys' interest, but easy enough for them to get good results without too much assistance:

Madras Electrical Tape Eggs, by Jen Wallace of Indie Fixx, tutorial here
These eggs by Jen Wallace of Indie Fixx remind me of madras plaid Easter shirts or ties, and they were made by wrapping the eggs with electrical tape and repositioning the tape between colors, an idea Jen got from a Martha Stewart Living tutorial here

I like this idea because we already have electrical tape out in the garage, and it's just basic egg dying with a fun twist. 

Another Martha Stewart idea we'll be borrowing is the DIY egg drying rack made of 1/2" foam core and straight pins.  Ingenious!  I've always hated the ugly blemishes you get on the eggs if you set them on a paper towel or back in the egg carton to dry, and with multi-dye techniques you'd get multiple ugly splotches, one for each color. 

The second technique I want to try this year is marbleized eggs, another Martha Stewart project (instructions here).  This is another method that builds on basic egg dying.  First you color the eggs the way you normally would and allow them to dry, and then you swirl them in a second shallow dye bath in a contrasting color, with olive oil drizzled in the dye bath.  I'm picturing this kind of like how they drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a plate at the Olive Garden when they bring the bread out.  Is that the Olive Garden, or the Macaroni Grill?  It's one of those Italian restaurant chains where Bernie refuses to eat because he always gets an upset stomach every time we go there. 

Back to the eggs!

Eggs Embellished with Temporary Tattoos
One more idea to throw into the mix: In the past, when they were much younger, I tried giving the boys stickers to embellish their Easter eggs, but I seem to recall they just fell off, resulting in disappointment and tears.  I found this photo from Tina Roth Eisenberg of SwissMiss showing plain brown eggs decorated with temporary tattoos.  Lars LOVES temporary tattoos, so much so that he'd plaster them all over his face if we allowed it.  My boys probably won't be excited about sweet little bunny rabbits, but maybe I can find some fake tattoos that will fulfil the twin objectives of arousing little boys' enthusiasm while respecting that this is, after all, a religious holiday (there will be NO SKULLS AND CROSS BONES on our Easter eggs.  Period!).

If Bernie ever comes back from getting his oil changed, I'll head out to round up supplies for our Easter eggs.  The boys have an Easter egg hunt and craft party at church on Saturday, so that means I need to dye four dozen eggs today and have everything ready for decorating them on Friday.  I'll try to remember to post pictures!

Happy Easter!

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