Egg-painting is a great thing to do with the children over Easter. They make fantastic table decorations for Sunday lunch and will keep the kids occupied for hours.
If you’ve decided to go down the ‘blowing’ route, the fun begins right away. Don’t forget to save the contents to use in a cake or pud!
Wash and dry a needle or pin. Carefully puncture a small hole in the small end of the egg. Make a larger hole at the other end and pop the egg yolk. Placing the egg over a bowl, blow through the small hole until all the egg is gone. Give it a rinse and then leave it to dry.
To make a natural paint combine an egg yolk with half a teaspoon of water then divide the mixture between several pots, adding a different food colouring to each. That’s it, you’re ready to go…
Painting the upper half one colour, then pop the egg into an egg box to dry for a few minutes before painting the bottom half.
For all-over colour use food dye, natural dye or water-based felt pens. Add colouring drop by drop until you reach the desired colour before submerging eggs for a few minutes then removing and drying them.
For extra embellishment try sticking on small pasta shapes, like minestrone, or dried lentils and beans. A little help from mum to glue them on will probably be necessary! Another approach is to cut out stencils or patterns on paper and use this to paint shapes on to the egg. When each ‘masterpiece’ is finished, apply a coating of clear nail varnish to protect it.
If you’re using hard-boiled eggs – which are often easier for children to handle as they are less fragile – they can later be added to a special Sunday salad.
Stick to natural dyes – things like beetroot, carrots or coffee – boiling them with water until you’ve got the desired colour. Once the ‘dye’ is cool immerse your eggs in it, shell on. Remove and polish them with a dry cloth and oil – or decorate with edible paints available from cooking shops.
To dye eggs various colours, cover up sections of the eggs with masking tape. After the first dip, remove some of the tape and repeat to get different coloured strips on your eggs.
If you’re really pushing the boat out, good cook shops sell edible transfers, powders and gold leaf – all of which would make fantastic additions.
The key thing is not to use any marker pens or anything toxic, as this will leach through the shell and make the eggs inedible.