Folk Art Easter Eggs
By Connie Goldin, LMFT
This adventure in egg dyeing corresponds to the Mom to Madre post, “Roosters, Eggs, and Art.” My first introduction to Pennsylvania Dutch Easter Egg Hunts comes from the charming book, The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous, 1950.
While researching Amish-style Easter Eggs I decided to try making a few. Here’s how it goes:
Hard Boiled Eggs
Beeswax or Regular White Crayon (Not Oil Pastels)
Black Food Coloring
Skins from 2-3 Brown Onions
Thin Paint Brushes
A Cake Rack for Drying Eggs
Prepare light color dye by peeling onion skins and then covering the skins with a small amount of water in a pan. Simmer for several minutes, until you can see the color of the liquid. It looks a nice, golden brown when it is ready. Strain the liquid in the pan into a container.
This is dye number one.
For dye number two, mix 1 teaspoon of black food coloring with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar in a container and add an egg. Add water to cover the egg completely. Swirl a bit to mix the liquids. Gloves keep hands dye-free!
Use your white crayon to make a decoration on either a white or lightly dyed dry egg. I discovered that by using a white crayon on the peach-colored egg, I could see the pattern. Then I re-dyed it in black. The crayon resists the dye and when it is dry, you can see the design.
For the light colored eggs, I painted with undiluted food coloring. This photographed nicely, but was sticky. I suggest you do what the Amish do–use watercolors–especially with kids!
Amish Egg Gallery
Have fun trying these interesting looking Easter Eggs with your children.
Another technique I read about, is to dye an egg black, then when it is dry scratch off the dye to make a design. I used an oil pastel crayon on this one and learned that didn’t work. I scratched it off with an dull knife and then gave it a little scrub with a fiber sponge. Maybe that’s not Amish, but it looks interesting!