How to decorate Easter eggs

Painting your own eggs is much more fun than buying shop-bought designs, and results in colourful, individual Easter egg decorations that can be placed around the house.

First, prepare your eggs for dyeing. Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Place on a medium heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Remove the eggs from the heat and leave to cool, drying them gently with a tea towel.

There are many ways that you can decorate your eggs. Here are some of my favourites.

1. Colour dye. Put about a tablespoon of food colouring, 2tsp of vinegar in cup that is just deep enough for the egg. Add water to about halfway. Then place the egg in. The longer you leave the egg in the dye, the darker the colour will go.

2. Natural dye. To create a beautiful marbled effect, place the uncooked eggs in the foot of an old nylon stocking, along with one of the following: onion, tea or coffee for brown; tumeric or saffron for yellow; cranberries for red; beets for purple; spinach for green; or blueberries for blue. Tie a knot in the stocking and boil it gently, as above. Leave the eggs to dry in the wrap, then remove.

3. Painting. Use watercolour or acrylic paints; the former is best with small children, who might miss the egg in their enthusiasm. Use thick brushes for overall decoration and thin brushes to paint on patterns. You can also try stencils. It’s best to place the egg in a cup, decorate one half, then leave to dry. When’s the paint has set, reverse the egg in the egg and paint the other half.

4. Collage. Adorn your eggs with craft supplies, such as sequins, buttons, glitter, ribbons or beads. Glue the items on and leave to dry.

5. Easter bunny egg. To make your egg particularly festive, dye or paint it. Then, cut two oval-shaped ears from coloured paper and glue them to the top of the egg. Add plastic goggle eyes and use a marker or paint to add a nose and whiskers, or try wire for whiskers. Glue on a cotton ball for a tail.

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