I was working on classic Easter egg designs for Family Circle this year when I hit a stumbling block with one of the ideas I was supposed to execute. I'm glad I did because it led me in a new direction that was really fun for me and incredibly easy to do. I started with patterned hosiery, wrapping squares of it around eggs, then securing it with a rubber band in the back and dipping it into a dye bath. I was surprised at how clearly the intricate designs showed up on the eggs, even when they were done in pastel shades. So I went back and tried some other items. I used pieces of patterned lace fabric and tulle, hosiery in different patterns, and cheesecloth. All of them worked well and were equally easy to use. So if you're looking for eggs that look intricate but are really simple to do, this is the technique for you.
Here's how to do it:
Dye bath in preferred colors
1. Cut squares of fabric approximately 5-6 inches. If you're using pantyhose, cut a 5-inch tube. (You can either cut along the seam of the tube to create a square or keep it as a tube.)
2. Place a boiled egg in the middle of the fabric square or tube and gather tightly, securing the excess fabric with a rubber band, at the back or bottom of the egg.
3. Holding the excess fabric as a handle, dip the egg into the dye bath until the desired color is reached.
4. Remove the egg from the dye bath and blot dry with paper towels. When the egg is dry, snip the rubber band open with the scissors and gently remove the fabric. Blot dry again, if necessary.
1. If you want to reuse your fabric pieces, rinse them out while the dye is wet and blot dry.
2. Blotting your eggs dry with paper towels helps with consistent coloring as it prevents the dye from pooling in certain spots. It also gives you cleaner, more detailed designs.
3. Look for any kind of open weave fabric to create your designs. Also, play with the orientation of the fabric, placing some designs horizontally, some vertical, and some diagonally.
Jessica Simpson hosiery (lots of patterns available, sometimes multiple patterns in the same pair of pantyhose)
Lace fabrics and tulle were purchased from Jo-Ann Fabrics
Cheesecloth can often be found in groceries and kitchen supply sections of stores.