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Your Everything Guide to Dyeing Easter Eggs the Old-School Cool Way

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Remember the days when all you needed was food coloring, boiling water and vinegar? They're back

It's the day before Easter, and you totally flaked. You hurry to the store, make a beeline for the Easter aisle and find a wasteland of broken-eared chocolate bunnies, malformed Peeps and picked-over egg-dyeing kits. Womp, womp. Well, we have good news: This is the year you take Easter back, Mamasita, because you're going to make your own damn egg-dyeing kit. You got this.

Not only can you find most of these supplies at common stores, but it's possible you even have some already laying around the house. So hold your head high knowing you have the game plan to end all game plans.

You're going to kick it old school with a little modern crafting know-how, and it's going to be better than any mass-produced Easter egg kit you could buy. It will be glorious, and you'll be mom of the year.

More: How to Host an Easter Egg Hunt for Adults

Your everything guide to old-school Easter egg-dyeing

* Items marked with an asterisk are required. All others are as needed.

  • Eggs *
  • Food coloring* (both regular and neon if possible)
  • Vinegar*
  • Coffee mugs, rocks glasses or the like*
  • Cheapo wire whisks large enough to fit an egg inside (or spoons if you must)*
  • White crayons (nibs from old sets are fine)
  • Shaving foam (not gel)
  • Washi tape
  • Glitter and school glue (and a paint brush, though if you're careful, you can use your fingers)
  • Paint pens (regular of puffy)
  • Rubber cement
  • Temporary tattoos or stickers
  • Gold-leafing kit

Of course, just telling you what supplies you can get doesn't help much if you don't know what to do with them. Here are some fun tips, though you can find many more online (maybe skip Pinterest — you can barely pull that stuff off; do you really expect your 6-year-old to nail it?).

Eggs

If you're doing this for decoration, you can blow the eggs out. Otherwise, you'll want to boil them. I recommend using Betty Crocker's foolproof method, but you can use your own.

Food coloring

Yep. Just regular old OTC food coloring. You'll want the normal RBG(Y) colors, but you can also get neon colors, which gives you extra flexibility in your mixes. Don't worry — these will last for years, only needing to be replaced when you run out.

This extended egg-coloring chart from McCormick is really handy when you want specific colors. Just make sure you follow their directions for the water to vinegar to drops ratios. And (spoiler alert) you do need the vinegar. More on that below the graphic.

Remember the days when all you needed was food coloring, boiling water and vinegar? They're back
Image: McCormick

Vinegar

Why vinegar? Because science. Essentially, vinegar makes the color adhere better, meaning you get better saturation (and therefore the brightest color).

More: No One Will Believe You DIY'd These Fancy Hollow Chocolate Easter Eggs

Coffee mugs or rocks glasses

You obvs need something to dye the eggs in, but coffee mugs (preferably ceramic and not white to prevent staining) and rocks glasses are the perfect size. You just want the egg to fit in so it's not too snug (or it will dye unevenly) and you don't want to ruin any dishes by dyeing them by accident.

Whisks (or spoons if you must)

Cheap wire whisks are flexible, so you can open them wide enough to put the egg in and they snap back to keep it in place. Spoons are OK, but you have to be careful not to let dye build up or you'll have a weird spot on your egg.

White crayons

White crayons can be used to draw designs before you dunk your egg. The wax will prevent the dye from taking wherever you draw with it. It's a great way to use those broken discarded ones your kids seemingly never use but somehow always destroy.

Shaving foam

Shaving foam lets you make fun swirled eggs. Just make sure you get the foam kind and not the gel kind.

Washi tape

Dye your eggs then use washi tape to create fun designs. They can be as simple or complex as you're comfortable with.

Glitter and school glue

After dyed eggs are dry, paint them lightly with school glue, then roll them in a matching or complementary glitter color. The glue will dry clear and your eggs will sparkle. Wash the eggs carefully after peeling.

Paint pens

After dyeing, you can add flourishes with regular or puffy paint pens. Just make sure to choose nontoxic and food-safe pens to be sure it's OK to eat them.

More: Easter Egg Hunt Ideas You Haven't Tried Before

Rubber cement

You can drizzle or paint rubber cement on eggs before dyeing to control where dye goes, then gently rub it off and create some pretty epic designs.

Temporary tattoos or stickers

Let your kiddos ink their eggs (or themselves... or you for that matter) with temporary tattoos or use their fave sticker to show their true colors.

Gold-leafing kit

Older kids might have fun stepping it up a notch with gold leafing.

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