Thursday, March 25, 2010

Extraordinary Eggs!

GORGEOUS! My sister-in-law Lindsay called me this morning and showed me these cute eggs she made. (Hers are the ones in the first picture!) Now this is an awesome project! They are actually died by wrapping old silk ties around the eggs and boiling them. The print transfers onto the eggs. These eggs are so darling and such a fun project to do with your kids. I will be doing these this weekend but couldn't wait to share with you!

The instructions are as follows~

Silk-"TIE DYED" Eggs
(Tutorial and last 3 pics by "")

You need 100% silk for this to work. Make sure to check the labels to make sure ]you're not buying polyester, which can look similar. I grab old ties at the thrift store where they're all under a buck. And remember: when it comes to ties, you may not want ugly ones on your man, but ugly ties do make pretty eggs! You could also use silk from an old blouse, a scarf, whatever.

I try to find an assortment of colors and patterns. Usually dark blues, purples, and reds work the best, but it's fun to experiment with all kinds of things. The interesting thing is that you never know how much of the color and pattern will transfer to the eggs. Sometimes ties I think will be awesome really disappoint, and ones I didn't think much of make the most beautiful eggs. Here's the ties I picked up this year:

Usually it will tell you if it's 100% silk right on the main label of the tie, but a lot of them don't, and if that's the case, check that little tiny end, it's usually hiding there.

The first step is to deconstruct the tie. Snip the seams and remove the lining so you are just left with the silk. (And yes, this old Christian Dior Tie, which I love, was only 50 cents at the thrift store!)

Next you cut a piece large enough to cover an egg. Wrap the egg with the right side of the fabric making contact with the egg. The right side is the printed side, or the side that would be on the outside of the tie. You want to try to wrap the fabric as tight as you can without breaking the egg of course. The more direct contact the silk has with the egg shell the clearer the imprint of the pattern. Where there are folds in the fabric you'll get kind of a swirly water color effect. I love those parts- it adds to the charm. Once wrapped, tie with a piece of string or a twisty tie. (Do yourself a favor and go with the twisty tie!)

A little thought: You're going to use the largest part of the tie, at the bottom, and be left with the rest of it which might not be large enough to use again. What I do is take all of those pieces and just stitch them together on my sewing machine. It's really fast and then I'm left with a brand new piece of silk to cut squares from. You can get a lot more use out of them that way and it's fun to combine fabrics. Also, you can use a piece of silk more than once, but it loses a large amount of it's potency after the first dye, so I always just toss the used pieces.

After the eggs are wrapped, you're going to wrap them again with a light colored light weight piece of fabric. An old pillowcase or sheet is perfect. If you go to the thrift store to get ties, you may want to grab a pillowcase too. Otherwise you might get impatient at home and just take one from your kid's room. Don't tell my husband I did that.

Put all those little guys in a pot and cover them with water. Add 1/4 C vinegar and bring it to a boil. After about 20 minutes you can remove the eggs and set them in a colander or on a towel to dry and cool. Once they're cool enough to handle you can remove the fabric.

This is my favorite part. I get so antsy waiting for them to cool. It's always a surprise to see what went on in that little package. Below are some of my results. I have to say that the first one is probably my favorite egg of all the ones I've ever done. I can't believe how clearly those flowers transferred and how bold the colors turned out. Incredible!

I absolutely love the cool stripy, swirly thing going on in this one

This is one of the disappointments I talked about. I was so excited for a green tie and I thought the pattern was cool (ya know, for an egg) but it turned out super light and muted. Still pretty though, kind of like water colors.

I almost didn't buy this blue tie because it looked boring, but I'm glad I did. Remember: bad ties make good eggs!

So that's that. Try this out and let me know how it goes. Everyone will wonder how on earth you did it! Just tell them you're a genius.

Rub the eggs with a bit of oil on a paper towel to make them glossy and beautiful!

And if you do try it out, make sure to take some pictures and put them on our facebook page so we can all admire them!

Safety Note: A few people have asked about the dye transferring to the actual egg. Know that it is not food safe dye. Who knows where the silk came from our how it was colored. That being said, I have indeed eaten the eggs in years past and I'm still here, but to be on the safe you probably shouldn't.

Using Blown Eggs: Thanks to the commenter who said the following: I ran into the floating blown egg problem when I tried my first test batch today. I placed a metal colander on top to hold them down they turned out great, you'll just have to blow the water out once they're cooled and unwrapped. The eggs turned out so nice, I'm really excited to make them with my family this weekend.


  1. These are beautiful! I dont know that mine would turn out as wonderful, lol!:)

  2. Kelli, those designs are beautiful. I can't wait to do some decorations with my daughter. There is an award waiting for you at Self Sagacity.