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Spring is here, and you may be trapped in your houses, but undoubtedly you have noticed that the trees are starting to bloom, the bulbs have blossomed, and the sun is shining on a more regular basis. We as humans have long celebrated the return of spring. After the long dark months of winter, there is something magical about new life bursting forth from dark bare tree limbs, and birds making new nests filled with eggs. With an unprecedented amount of people stuck at home and children out of school, now more than ever, we encourage you to craft at home! Decorating eggs is a great way to bring the whole family together, and the egg has been celebrated as a symbol of spring in many cultures around the world. Here are a few techniques that inspired us! We have included coloring pages for the young, and some more complicated skills for older individuals. Take your pick from a variety of choices and find one that inspires you, or make all of them and add a few ideas of your own to create a rainbow dozen!
Living Egg Half Shells
You will need: Half of an egg shell, seeds, soil
Start saving your empty eggshells after breakfast for this simple DIY craft. This works best when you intentionally try to crack your egg shell perfectly in half. Save the best half, or both if you are lucky enough to get two complete halves. Set aside while you complete cooking your egg for breakfast, then wash out the half shell. Let dry. Fill with a bit of potting soil (or dirt from outside) and sprinkle any seeds that you have on hand. Many types of sprouts and lawn seeds will work, as well as flower seeds. Cover with a light sprinkling of soil and keep moist but not soggy. Place in a sunny location or windowsill, and watch for your tiny sprouts to emerge. Simply enjoy as a spring decoration or crack the egg shell and plant your seedlings in the garden!
Crochet Egg Coverings
You will need: Thread or yarn, and a crochet hook
This is also a long tradition that originates in the regions of Eastern Europe. You don’t have to be an expert crocheter to make one of these. As long as you know a few basics you can easily improvise a design we did, or follow this pretty pattern found here. Essentially you will be making a small round pouch, with the widest part being the same width as your egg. You will need some thread or yarn, an appropriate sized crochet hook to match thread, and a few inches of ribbon. Simply start by chaining for about an inch, and connect to your first stitch to make a circle. Continue in the round, increasing gradually until the small pouch is as tall as your egg. We decided to do a simple lacy pattern, with the first three rounds consisting of chains of 4, then 5, then 6, each connecting on the center stitch. At the top, use your ribbon to weave in and out and gather the pouch around your egg.
Hollow String Eggs
You will need: White Glue, small water balloons, string
This is a fun craft to do with children. All you need is string or yarn (something similar to bakers twine works great), and some white glue. In an old container that you don’t mind tossing, such as an old cottage cheese container or yogurt container, pour in some glue. Add equal amounts of water. Mix together thoroughly so that you have some liquid glue. Now blow up the water balloons to the desired size. We suggest watching the shape and going for the most egg shaped stage of the balloon. But this is up to you! You can also make giant eggs with regular sized balloons. String made of natural fibers will soak up the glue easiest, but you can use acrylic too. Dip the string in the liquid glue, and then wrap around your balloon. Keep going until you have a lacy looking effect, and the egg shape is filled in enough that it will be recognizable after the balloon is popped, but not so much that it is solid. While the glue is still wet, you can sprinkle some glitter on for a sparkly string egg if you like that sort of thing.
Now let your egg dry completely (we suggest about 24 hours). Find a place to hang your egg. Tie a small loop of string to the top of your egg which you can cut off later to hang it by. When the glue covered string is dry, brace yourself and pop the balloon with a needle or a sharp object. If necessary, use some tweezers to retrieve the balloon bits from inside the string balloon. Your egg is finished! Hang as a decoration or add to an Easter egg basket.
Traditional Pysanky Eggs
You will need: Wax, Kitska, egg dye, candle, paper towels,
Optional: egg blower
This is one of our favorite types of decorated eggs. This is a very old tradition handed down through the generations by the Ukranian people. You can use chicken, goose, duck or ostrich eggs. The pysanky process uses a wax resist method, and results in very complex beautiful designs. A kitska, which is a specialized tool that is essentially a miniature metal funnel on the end of a stick (you can also use similar tools designed for Batik), is filled with a small bit of wax and held over a candle flame to melt. Using this tool, you can draw designs onto your egg. Everywhere you draw with the melted wax, the color underneath it will be preserved. Starting with a natural colored egg, and progressing to darker colors (usually starting with yellow and ending with blue or black dye last), you preserve a little bit of each color with the melted wax before dipping it into the next color. At the very end, you have an egg covered in wax lines, that is a bit globby and covered in blackened wax. Now comes the fun part! Holding your egg above the candle flame, the wax is gently melted off and wiped away with a paper towel to reveal the design underneath. As the wax is wiped over the surface of the egg, it also seals in the dye, acting like a varnish. These eggs are not traditionally eaten after dying, but rather given as gifts and used again each year as decorations. We like to blow them out first, and decorate hollow eggs. There are many types of egg blowers that you can find online, or you can grind a small hole using a nail, on the top and bottom of the egg, and blow it out the old fashioned way.
DIY Hack. We’re guessing you might be feeling inspired by this process and wanting to make a pysanky egg, but realizing you don’t have a kitska at home on the ready? Here is a DIY hack that will not produce the same result, but still looks pretty cool and you probably already have the materials at home! You can try this method with regular hard boiled eggs along with the rest of your Easter egg dying. Instead of using a kitska to draw on your design with wax, you can use a crayon as the resist.
Step 1: Choose three colors, a light medium and dark shade of dye to use, and dye your egg the lightest color first (or start with natural egg color). Next, dry your egg completely with a paper towel.
Step 2: Using a crayon (the color doesn’t matter as you will be melting it off at the end), draw on a fairly simple design, leaving empty space on the egg for more patterns later. Make sure you have a thick layer of crayon, we suggest coloring over your crayon lines twice.
Step 3: Dye your egg in the next medium shade. Pat dry. Now make a second round of designs with your crayon. Whatever color your egg is now, will be the color the design you are drawing will be at the end.
Step 4: Dye your egg one last time. This last layer should be the darkest of the three shades. Leave in the egg dye until you get a nice strong color. Pat dry.
Step 5: Light a candle, and hold your egg a few inches above the flame. The goal here is simply to melt the crayon enough so that you can wipe it off with a paper towel. Rotate your egg, and continue wiping until you get all the crayon off. Be careful not to overheat your egg, or burn your egg shell. Now the colors of your design should be revealed!
Please always use proper precautions when working with an open flame.
If you decide that you want to try this traditional craft, you can purchase pysanky tools here.
Free Egg Craft Coloring Pages
To download you free printable egg craft coloring book pages, click on the links below!