Easter Egg Decorating 101

By: Liz Gray
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Other than the Easter feast, decorating eggs with my sister each year is one of my favorite things about this springtime holiday. Sure, some might say we're "too old," but I say we're just perfecting our craft.  If you're new to it, here are the basics, plus some ways to get creative.

Hard-Boiled Eggs, The Easy Way

We've all had bad hard-boiled eggs -- the green ring around the yolk, the rubbery white. Make yours crack-free and perfect for next-day deviled eggs with this simple method from Food Network's Melissa d'Arabian: Place eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan and cover with with cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let eggs sit for 15 minutes.  Voila, perfect eggs!

How to Color Your Eggs

If you go with traditional food-safe dyes, mix a teaspoon of vinegar into each 1/2 cup of hot water.  Then drip in a few drops of your favorite colors, depending on how bold you want the egg color to be.

You can also dye eggs with natural hues. Experiment with different foods, or try the following combinations with hot water and a little vinegar:

  • Orange – yellow onion skins
  • Yellow – turmeric, orange or lemon peel, carrot tops, celery seed or ground cumin
  • Pale Green – spinach leaves
  • Blue – red cabbage leaves, canned blueberries or yellow delicious apple peels
  • Brown – strong brewed coffee
  • Gray – beet or red grape juice
  • Food2's Chinese tea eggs

Get more natural egg coloring tips and dye ideas from Foodspiration.com.

Go Minimal

For those of you who want to spend more time eating holiday ham and less time slaving over hot vinegar, try these simple-yet-showstopping decorating ideas.

Start Drawing

Grab a sharpie and channel your inner graffiti artist to create a one-of-a-kind egg, no dyes required. Get the full how-to from Alisa Burke.

Drip-Dyed Eggs

The lazy person's version of tie-dying, this is a favorite with my sister and I. Make the basic color mix above in a light shade and soak your egg for a few minutes. Then, drip in a contrasting color and let it settle. You'll get high-impact color and a unique design every time. Photo courtesy nuttnbunny/flickr.

Or, skip decorating the shell altogether and dress up the yolks before you chow down like Spearmint Baby does. Get more slacker Easter tips from Food2.

Go Big

If you want to win the crafter of the year award, or just have some great-looking eggs, try these for this Sunday's celebration.

Painted Eggs (pictured above)

For an Easter treasure to keep for years to come, consider painting eggs (you drain the egg out first) like Sense and Simplicity does.  Make traditional designs or create your own pattern -- the sky's the limit.

Plaid Easter Eggs

To get this effect, Jen at Indie Fixx covers part of each egg with strips of electrical tape, then dips it, lets it dry and moves the tape to another part of the egg. The finished product is a show-stopping, technicolor egg.

Chocolate-Filled Eggs

What could make egg decorating more fun? A little chocolate, perhaps? Meghan at Not Martha filled real, hollowed-out egg shells with a dark and white chocolate, then stuffed them with candy.  If you dare, you can break them open to reveal sweet Easter treats.

Get more Easter entertaining ideas with our best recipes for brunch, lunch and springtime sweets.

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