In Malawi we can only buy eggs with brown shells and that is never a problem except at this time of year when I want to decorate eggs for Easter. I loved dyeing eggs when I was growing up and I want to continue the tradition with my children. There was something exciting about turning food into art and it was satisfying to watch the white canvas of an egg be transformed into brilliantly colored designs and patterns.
I attempted to recreate this for Boo’s first Easter with a traditional vinegar and food color dye. I was dismally disappointed. The colors came out really murky on the brown shell, the eggs were colored but there was nothing brilliant about them.
Last year was Boo’s second Easter and Kooks’s first so we tried again. I added some stickers to brighten up (cover up) the murky colors. They didn’t look great and the stickers didn’t stick well. Kooks ended up eating a few, stickers that is – not eggs.
This year I was going to just give them some markers to decorate with but coloring with markers didn’t seem like much of an event so I was really excited to see the Sunshine and Eggs post on Mama Smiles about decorating eggs with crayon shavings. I thought the brown shells would be a great background for the crayon colors and it looked like a lot of fun.
So today we rolled our hot eggs in our crayon shavings.
I think we might have gone a little overboard with our crayon shavings because instead of the pretty speckles I saw on Mama Smiles we got a more marbled look, but still lovely. When I left them to dry the wax pooled a bit and left a clump on the side they were sitting on. I should have just left well enough alone but I picked it off and so now a few of our eggs have bald spots! Oops! We’ll get there eventually and this year we are so much closer.
Overall I think they turned out beautifully and my girls love them. Next year we’ll try with fewer shavings, I think the bright colors look stunning against the brown shell background. Thanks so much to Mama Smiles for giving me a new way to decorate eggs and recycle crayon bits!
Do you know why we decorate and hide eggs at this time of year? I recently came across one story about the Pagan origins of this tradition. Esotre, Goddess of Fertility and New Beginnings, found an injured bird in the winter. To help the bird survive she changed it in to a hare, but the transformation was not complete and so the hare continued to lay eggs. To honor the Goddess, the hare decorated the eggs and left them for Eostre. To read more about this and other spring celebrations and traditions see History of Ostara – The Spring Equinox at About.com.