artsy fartsy,  Tis the Season

Tie-dyed eggs two ways!

my pretties

We made tie-dyed eggs yesterday. It was SO fun! I definitely recommend following this beautiful tutorial from I found the link via goodyblog. Those parenting websites are great for finding fun things to fill up dull afternoons.

I have to share here because it’s super-fun and super-easy and it would be tragic if you didn’t rush out and try this yourself. (I mean if you’re into silly crafting like I am of course.) It wasn’t very messy, so don’t let that scare you away. I think the only offensive thing might be the stinky ties that I bought at a local thrift store. They were cheap and stained but boiling water kills germs so no worries there.

silk ties from the thrift store

First you get some ties and deconstruct them so that you can use the silk (they have to be 100% silk ties, no poly-blends). The directions are much better in the linked tutorial above so I’m just going to gloss over the steps quickly and add my two cents. You pretty much can only use the bottom portion of the tie because that’s the only spot big enough to wrap up an egg completely.

I also had some silk pajama pants that someone had given me ages ago to make lumpy cats out of so I used those too and they worked marvelously. Anything silk will work. I really wanted to cut up one of my Chinese silk shirts but I love my shirts too much so they stayed in the closet. Maybe someday I’ll buy some kimono silk just for egg dying. That would be really really pretty for eggs with Asian flair.

wrapping up the eggs

Next we wrapped up the eggs in the silk and tied them with a piece of string.

Actually I left out a funny detail. Earlier in the day I had boiled a whole dozen eggs, thinking I would get a jump start on the process. Then later when Bug was taking her nap, I finally sat down and read the directions. That’s when I noticed that the recipe called for RAW eggs. Doh. I always do this. It pays to read ahead.

I hemmed and hawed over what to do and finally sent off an email to the site asking them what I should do. I never expected a response because I’m a blogger and I hardly ever get to my emails in a timely manner. I figured I was screwed.

What do you know, a few moments later an email popped into my inbox saying not to worry about re-boiling the eggs because the only concern would be that they would be inedible which they are anyway because the dyes from the ties could be toxic. Good to know! So I’ve learned three things: it’s okay to re-boil eggs if you don’t intend to eat them, clothing dye can be toxic to eat and it’s really nice to answer your emails right away. I’ll have to work on that last one.

boiling the tied up eggs

After the eggs were tied up in their silk squares, we wrapped them again with scraps of an old t-shirt that I also bought at the same thrift store. Thrift stores are so handy! I need to shop them more often. This whole craft (plus a bunny rabbit that Bug refused to put down) cost me about six bucks. I’m sure you could spend way less but for some reason my thrift store sells ties for two dollars instead of fifty cents. I guess it’s a high end thrift store. Ha ha.

hugging "Katchew"

adding the dye

While we waited for the silk-tied eggs to boil for 25 minutes, we made the other kind of tie-dyed eggs—the scary kind with real food coloring that gets all over your hands and turns you into a swamp monster for 24 hours. I’ve never had much luck with putting drops of dye in water and then dunking eggs. I’ve never bought one of those kits either. When I read about this method of just squeezing drops of food coloring directly onto the eggs and then swirling them around in a colander, I was sold. It worked great and the color was very vivid, which I love.

whirled eggs

As you can see, we used some neon green dye liberally. Like Bethany twittered, it is pretty ironic that the bright green toxic-looking eggs are totally harmless to eat, while the soft pretty-looking tie-dyed eggs are probably not a good idea to eat. I don’t think they will kill you or make you sick but I also don’t think they would be FDA-approved. I know it’s a waste of eggs but I think it’s worth it for the pretty centerpiece they will be later.


arranging the eggs

Twenty-five minutes is a long time in Toddlerland so we also made some cookies while we waited for the eggs to cook and then cool.

she's so much more sophisticated with her cookie making

Besides, I like to go big when I make messes. And like I said, the silk dyeing wasn’t all that messy.

the suspence is killing us

Finally, the eggs were cool enough to touch and then the unwrapping process began. This is by far the best part of the whole project. You just never know what the eggs are going to turn out like. Some were bright and pretty, others were soft and muted. In some places the patterns took perfectly while in other places (where the fabric was likely folded) the colors swirled.

muted stripes

This was from a dark colored purply-blue striped tie.


This was from an M.C. Escher tie. I sort of felt bad about cutting this tie up but it was stained, probably from somebody dripping gravy on it during a Sunday dinner so I got over that.

this one turned out!

The pink tie turned out the most exciting, I think.

egg art

all done!

All in all they were super fun. I’m going to be collecting silk ties from now on. If you have any neat ones, save them for me!


  • Katie

    If you save the tie-dyed eggs in an egg container (because it isn’t sealed) in a place that isn’t very humid the egg inside with dry out and you can keep them forever.

  • bethany actually

    The tie-dyed eggs are pretty in a muted kind of way, and I bet they were fun to make and unwrap but I dunno…I guess when it comes to Easter eggs I’m a traditionalist! Give me the day-glo colors! ;-)

  • pinky

    both kinds of eggs are beautiful – but I am really impressed at the silk tie eggs! So creative and lovely.

  • Ninabi

    SAJ, your sweet, clever, happy posts are exactly what is needed to counter difficult days for your readers.

    Those eggs are incredibly pretty. And I’m so happy that you have a little girl who enjoys creating just as much as you do!

  • Mary

    When I was a kid, my mom and I took raw eggs and used a needle to poke small wholes at the top and bottom of the egg and she let me blow the yolk out. We decorated them and now 20+ years later she and my grandma both still have a basket of eggs that I decorated to put out for easter.

  • MookieDesigns

    Haha These are great. I was going to mention blowing the insides out of the eggs, too! It’s a good way to make your ears pop (!), but as a better idea, we would always make a big omelet with the insides for the whole family, while the wee ones searched for eggs of the chocolate variety!

  • Anonymous

    They turned out fantastic. I love the tall glass vase you put them in. Looks so pretty! Mine are on the stove as I type this. ::fingers crossed::: I planned on doing food coloring too by dipping but I love your method. Hmmm…decisions, decisions…what to do.

  • margalit

    Another way to do a “tie dye” egg is to follow the instructions for Italian Paper Marbling, which you can find in many places on the net. They make the most gorgeous old fashioned Venitian looking eggs. Of course you have to blow the egg out first, but once you destroy a few of them, you’ll get the hang of it. And you can save them forever if you use polyurathane over the egg once it’s dyed.

  • Anna-b-bonkers

    I checked out that link when you twittered it, those are such amazing eggs!
    Soooooooo pretty! And no I won’t let you at the stash of ties i will be collecting for next year, tee-hee, unless I happen to end up in your kitchen with them;-)

  • Beth

    Thats awesome. when i first saw i thought they were the Ukrainian eggs. which i love. these are pretty cool too and easy to do for little kids.

  • Gramma

    A very pretty rosy pink dye is the juice you drain from a can of red beets. Also, boiling onion skins makes a rich rusty amber color. To further add to your rainbow use the water from cooked spinach. This, however, is not quite so pretty. A few threads of saffron will make a wonderful yellow.


  • BeachMama

    I love your eggs. They are all so beautiful. I wonder if you can do them with empty eggs that have already been blown out. Because I have some ready to go and I hate throwing away artwork ;).

  • jenB

    I LOVE YOU! I just called my dad for emergency tie donations and I might just be “taking” some of my husband, because 1) he never wears ties and 2) they are likely dated and ugly. I am WAY too excited about this!

  • Anonymous

    So cute all those brights green and pink eggs in the little basket! and the tie-dyed eggs are so beautifull! I love that little Bug was so hapy doing all this stuff with her mommy! just a Great Easter activity!

  • Kate

    See, I never knew, or even thought about the possibility that there might be, other ways of coloring eggs than that Paz kits. You’re so stinking cool.

  • Angela

    Wow! I found your blog as I was looking for more info on the silk tie-dying project I’m doing later today. I LOVE the idea of doing the messy coloring right on the eggs in a collander! We’re also doing some regular coloring, so I’m totally trying that today.

  • Ashley

    Those are FABULOUS!! Absolutely love them and am definitely going to have to try this some time! Just came across your site through recommendation, will be back for sure! :)

  • nik

    I wish I had a time machine… i just stumbled across your site, approximately six hours too late. On the bright side, I will totally do this for next year. Your eggs turned out gorgeous- and I can’t believe how easy it looks.

    Also: I fell in love with your blog instantly. Now I’m off to go catch up on what I’ve been missing over here!

  • Michelle

    These turned out wonderful for me.

    I did mine slightly different…i took longer but the results were wonderful.

    First i tapped holes in the eggs and blew out the yolk & whites, next I followed the same steps and when it came time to boil them..alas, my eggs were floating!

    So I have a fairly deep pot (and I used a METAL pot by the way, and it turned out fine) and I placed the eggs inside, then I used a glass pyrex medium mixing blow and filled it with water. It helped keep the eggs submerged and I had enough room to put the lid over the pot.

    When I was done the eggs were beautiful except for a the large white parts that were left bare. So I got creative..

    I dyed the eggs with matching colors of the ties, I didnt submerge the eggs in the dye for very long, just a couple of dips in the bath and rinsed clean. The color was enough to add some flare but didnt over power the cute tie design..

  • Ruthann

    I wonder if it might not be cool to blow out some eggs THEN tie dye them in this way.
    THAT way you could keep them forever..or until one of the children sits on it – you KNOW it will happen!

    how fun!

  • redhead.kate

    My aunt has done the silk dyed eggs for the last few years. She now looks for silk dresses at Goodwill – more fabric and sometimes prettier patterns.

  • ioi

    The best way to ‘blow’ out an egg doesn’t use blowing at all. Make a small hole in only ONE end of an egg, squirt some WD40 into the egg, shake it up, and pour it out.

  • Anita

    Have you tried to make a small hole on the top of the egg another one on the bottom with a tapestry needle, then you blow through one hole and the egg comes out the other this way you are left with a whole shell, which can last forever.