Two years ago, we used flowers and leaves to silhouette our dyed eggs. They came out beautifully and I was so excited to do it again this year. All of our eggs were fresh from our ladies (a few from our friend’s gals over at Boatyard Farm). I’ve always had some trouble hard-boiling fresh eggs, but with a little help from Pinterest I’ve figured it out. You boil water first, then slowly add your eggs and allow the water to come back up to a boil. Keep the eggs in the boiling water for 15 minutes, then transfer to ice water just like you would with store bought eggs. Let them sit in the ice water until they’re cool, usually 5-10 minutes. Easy peasy!
For our dyes we used yellow onion skins, red cabbage, turmeric, and hibiscus powder. The turmeric and hibiscus powder were simple as I just needed to add a few teaspoons. We used about a half a red cabbage and the skins from one entire bag of onions. Little hands had so much fun peeling the outer skins from the onions and tearing up the cabbage. I love having Odin help with projects and usually shy away from projects that are too difficult for him. It’s so much more fun if he wants to play too! We had our friends over to dye eggs with us which just added to the excitement.
To prepare the dyes we put each food into it’s own container with a decent amount of water and a few tablespoons of white vinegar. I brought each one up to a boil and then lowered the heat to let it simmer for about a half hour each.
While all the dyes were preparing, we helped the babes pick out favorite flowers or leaves. I used pressed flowers from last Spring, but fresh plants work just as well. The kids went outside with a basket and collected things they liked from the yard while we set up this next phase. To create the flower silhouettes, you need flowers or leaves, sheer pantyhose, some string or twine, and of course the hardboiled eggs. We cut the hose to squares that were big enough to stretch and wrap around the eggs.
With the help of the little designers, leaves and flowers were chosen and placed on each egg while we wrapped the pantyhose snugly around the plant, attaching it to the egg. This was another part the children loved and my friend Mae was the best at pleasing them! She made a set of eggs to spell out her daughter’s name and created a single egg for Odin’s name which is now Odin’s favorite.
Once the pantyhose is wrapped snugly around the egg and flower or leaf, you can cut a piece of string long enough to tie and knot around the hose. This will hold the plant in place and also allow the egg to absorb the colors of the dye.
This might be my favorite part. Perhaps second favorite. Or maybe this and the finished product are tied for favorite? No idea, but the eggs in their natural colors with the plants adhered to them this way is so lovely. I want to make Odin hardboiled eggs to pack in a lunch box and wrap them all individually this way (which is totally something I would waste my time doing, just because the sight of it would make me so content).
After each dye was finished heating for it’s half hour, I let it sit on the stove until it cooled quite a bit. Then I strained each one into its own large mason jar. After letting it cool for just a bit longer, we asked the little ones which eggs should go into which jars. At that point, they were pretty preoccupied with playing so we decided most of them. Ha! In the photo above starting at the top and going clockwise, the colors are: hibiscus, red cabbage, turmeric, and yellow onion. After all of the eggs found a little resting spot in each jar, we set all the jars on the counter to sit overnight. This was definitely the hardest part for Odin because he wanted to see the magic happen immediately. Ah, lessons in patience.
After sitting overnight, Odin was excited to fish each of the eggs out of the jars with a spoon. One at a time, we cut the string to remove the pantyhose, then very gently dabbed each egg with a towel to dry it. Don’t rub because sometimes it can remove the egg’s outer membrane (the one that protects it from going bad! Store bought eggs don’t have these which is why they need to be refrigerated. Most of mine were fine because I added a bit of vinegar to the water while I hardboiled them.), which will remove some of the color!
The darkest black/blue is from the hibiscus, the blues are all from the red cabbage (always my favorite hue), the orangey red is from the yellow onions, and the yellow is from the magical turmeric. The flower silhouettes came out so nicely and I am so excited about all of them. The names worked well and the colors are all so beautiful! Odin is very excited for Easter morning to go and hunt for the eggs he helped make. <3
I hope this inspires you to make some flower silhouette eggs! I can’t wait to see, so make sure you tag me!