Waited till the last minute to color Easter eggs, did you? Need to pull a rabbit out of a hat (pun intended) and come up with your own Easter egg decorating stuff? Take it from this parent of four–been there, done that. Never fear–last-minute Louise is also super DIY mom! Here are for Easter eggs recipes and homemade egg dyes. These Easter egg decorations use recycled and on-hand materials. And best of all–homemade egg coloring is cheaper and safer than store-bought Easter egg decorating kits!
Easter eggs recipes
Do you need to do Easter egg coloring on a time crunch? Then skip blowing eggs out and do Easter egg coloring on hard-boiled eggs. Blowing eggs is a tedious, messy, unsanitary exercise in frustration. Easter egg coloring on hard-boiled eggs is less wasteful, plus these Easter eggs recipes may be eaten. Cook eggs in boiling water for 15 minutes (about six eggs per child). No matter how you prepare Easter eggs recipes, follow USDA Food Safety Guidelines for tips on handling, storage and expiration of eggs.
Homemade egg dyes
If you have no egg coloring pellets for Easter eggs recipes, don’t worry. They don’t work very well anyway. Here are safer homemade egg dyes. Food coloring and vinegar make great homemade egg dyes. Write on Easter eggs using food markers and cake decorator pens. Dip eggs in Kool-Aid or colored soda like orange or red pop, Baja Blast Mountain Dew for blue, Mountain Dew for green. Make homemade egg dyes with colored gelatin or dissolved colored candies. Use natural food coloring for homemade egg dyes. Soak an onion skin for yellow, blueberries or purple cabbage for purple, strawberries or raspberries for red, use juice from spinach for green.
Easter egg decorating supplies
Unless you’re blowing eggs out, skip egg glitter or swirl coloring kits. They’re sticky, messy and contain chemicals that render Easter eggs unfit to eat. Instead, use non-toxic markers or crayons and watercolor paint, but check ACMI (Arts and Crafts Materials Institute) guidelines for craft product safety. Write messages and draw designs with white crayon or food-grade parafin wax. Then dip Easter eggs in egg dye. Wax will resist food coloring and show design.
Recycled decorations for Easter eggs
Make your own shrinky-dink egg wraps. Draw pictures on plastic food wrap or recycled food-grade clear plastic (from produce). Cut strips the width of the egg. Wrap around egg and dip in boiling water. This shrinks plastic wrap to fit Easter eggs, just like store-bought Easter egg decorating kits. Plastic can be removed and eggs eaten using shrink wrap. Use free printable egg decorations printed on recycled paper. Here are free printable Easter egg decorating patterns, stencils, templates, and stand-up egg holders. Ukrainian psanky egg patterns are included.
No Easter grass? No problem–it’s not good for kids or pets. Shredd construction or colored paper. Make crepe paper egg nests. Use gree colored shredded coconut. Snip recycled green paper and cardboard scraps. Use cloth scraps or make a “bed” with a reusable towel or washcloth. Use leaves from safe non-toxic plants or trees. Have children trace and cut handprints from green construction paper and arrange to resemble grass.
Repurposed Easter baskets:
There’s no need to buy Easter baskets, if you haven’t already. Here are free printable Easter baskets kids can make. Or make homemade Easter baskets from a sand pail, tote bag, craft basket, jewelry box, gardening bucket. Or make Easter baskets from a recycled plastic milk jugs and decorate.
Don’t leave Easter eggs unrefrigerated for more than two hours if you’re going to eat them. Don’t eat eggs you’ve hidden outside. Before coloring eggs, check the FDA website for recalled egg dye kits or products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists safety warnings and recalled Easter decorations, too. But the best practice is to use homemade egg dyes and egg decorating supplies and household products listed. Your kids won’t ever go back to bought decorations, promise!