Monday, March 5, 2012

Silk Tie-dyed Easter Eggs

I realize there is still a month to go until Easter, but this is part of my plan to post holiday projects BEFORE the actual holiday.  This project involves using silk neck ties to dye Easter eggs.  The idea is that the dyes in the tie will transfer over to the egg while it is boiling.  With a little patience, and if you follow the directions, you should get a pretty nice final product.

Here you can see how the different colors on the ties showed up on the eggs.  My favorite is the striped one :)

This is the third time I've tried dying eggs in this way.  The first time was in college with one of my roomates, Chase, and we had great results.  The second time was last year, when I tried dying eggs that had the yolks blown out.  That ended up being a disaster.  So this time I tried to replicate what Chase and I had done the first time, and I got decent color transfer on the eggs, but no where near as good as the first time.  Chase - maybe you can help me remember what we did that first time that made it work so well!  Anyway, here are the instructions for making them.

What you'll need:

- Eggs
- Silk ties (They have to be 100% silk, make sure and check the tags.  There are a ton of silk ties at thrift stores)
- Scrap cloth for wrapping over the silk
- String, or twist ties (something to secure the silk and cloth)
- White vinegar
- Water
- A glass or enameled pot. (I'm not sure if it is absolutely necessary, but a lot of the sites I've seen say to use one.)

This was a good chance to use some of my 3000 yards of bakers twine :)

First, deconstruct the ties.  You can save the white lining to wrap up the eggs in if you want.  Once you've taken apart all of your ties, you're ready to start wrapping.  Cut a piece of silk large enough to wrap one of the eggs, and dip the silk into some water to make it easier to wrap.  This will help it stick to the egg so you don't have to hold it on there as well.

What I should have done next was wrap the silk with lots of string to make sure there were no air bubbles.  Air bubbles = white spots on the finished eggs.  Instead I went straight to wrapping the silk covered egg with a t-shirt scrap then tying the ends of that up like a piece of candy.  The key is to make sure that the silk is tight on the egg all over.

Once all the eggs are double wrapped, you can place them in the pot, cover in water and add about 1/4 cup of white vinegar.

Boil the eggs for at least 30 minutes then remove from the heat and let the eggs cool.  I let mine boil for almost an hour, hoping for better color transfer.  Then I removed them from the pot with tongs and placed them on a cooling rack.

If you have the patience you can wait till they're cool to unwrap them.  After letting them cook for an hour my patience had run out and I couldn't wait any longer.  Here are some pictures of the final product.

This next picture is of the eggs that Chase in I made in college.  The colors were awesome!

Here are a few links to sites showing other people's tie-dyed eggs.

Oh, and don't be afraid to use some really ugly ties.  Sometimes they make the best eggs.  The dark colors might transfer over as nice bright springy colors.  Good luck!


  1. YES I got mentioned in a post. I feel important and stuff. Honestly, I can't remember if there was really a secret, but I've made them every year since we first tried it. The few things I HAVE found are that textured ties don't really work too well--it's all about the smooth 100% silk ones. I also take the eggs out of the fridge and let them get to room temperature before I boil them. Also, the last couple times when I've wrapped them in the t-shirt, I do it more like a gift basket rather than a piece of hard candy. I gather all the the t-shirt material at the top and use a twist tie. I think having one opening (rather than two) makes it harder for water flow to get in there and bubble up the tie. (I could be completely wrong)Opening those little pouches up is like opening up Christmas presents. You are totally right though, the darker colored, most ugly ties make the best eggs!

    1. P.S. I also put a little canola oil on the eggs to make them shiny and I think it might bring out the vibrance in the colors too.

    2. Thanks, Chase! I think you're right about wrapping them up. It would be better to only have 1 end to tie up. I guess I'll just have to try again next year :) I thought about spraying my eggs with some spray polyurethane that I have, but for now I just left. Maybe I'll try the oil trick.