9 Easter egg decoration ideas
The secret behind these botanical beauties? Temporary tattoo paper ($19.95 for five 8 1/2"W x 11"L sheets; decalpaper.com).
Step 1: Begin by downloading free images from graphicsfairy.blogspot.com and thevintagemoth.blogspot.com
Step 2: Arrange them in a Microsoft Word document, resizing each to fit on an egg.
Step 3: Print the images on tattoo paper, cut them out, and adhere to blown-out eggs, following package instructions.
The best source for colorful, pre-blown eggs: Brackenridgeranch.com (from 85 cents).
Video: How to hard boil an egg
The secret to these mini masterpieces? Foliage and flowers gathered from the garden. Blogger Sonia Bauer (bigsislilsis.com) of Oceanside, California, simply positioned a blossom or a leaf facedown against each egg, then wrapped the egg in a four-inch square of panty hose and secured it with a twist tie.
To achieve these earthy hues, Bauer whipped up her own dyes using purple cabbage, yellow onions, and cranberries.
Step 1: Select produce based on your color choice: 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries; 1 head purple cabbage, sliced; skins from 3 yellow onions.
Step 2: In a covered, 8-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, bring 10 cups water and produce to a boil; let boil for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then strain and discard produce.
Step 3: Bring water back to a gentle boil, then stir in 3 tablespoons vinegar (1/4 cup for cabbage). Gently lower eggs into pot and boil for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 2 to 3 hours, or until desired color is achieved. Remove eggs and transfer to carton; let cool.
They look elaborate, but all of these designs were made with plain old masking tape.
Step 1: Simply cut the tape into strips to create stripes and plaids, use paper punches for letters or plant and animal shapes ($9.99 each; eksuccess.com), and try craft scissors for the wavy bands at far right.
Step 2: Then apply the tape carefully to the shells of raw eggs, smoothing out any air bubbles, and tint according to the dye package’s instructions (we used Paas).
Step 3: Once the shells dry, blow out the yolks and remove the tape to reveal your motifs.
Make these pastel beauties last for years by first blowing out the egg's whites and yolks.
Step 1: Insert a long needle into the bottom of each egg; make a small hole, then make a slightly larger one in the top.
Step 2: Move the needle around inside the shell to break the yolk.
Step 3: Blow over the smaller hole -- feel free to use a straw if you don't want to touch the egg directly -- until the liquid drips out of the larger hole.
Step 4: Run the egg under water. Blow the water out, and let the shell dry overnight.
Step 5: After coloring the egg, attach fabric scrapbooking flowers ($7/150; memoryvilla.com) with tiny dots of glue. Lightly press each flower with your finger, then release.
Practically porcelain eggs
Set a table with eggs inspired by transferware.
Step 1: Boil eggs until almost hard in water tinted with dye.
Step 2: Remove eggs; tap them with a spoon.
Step 3: Drop additional dye over the cracks to stain them further.
Step 4: Boil eggs again until hard.
A traditional Easter egg tree
As is the custom in Austria, Germany, and the Ukraine, Easter eggs can be hung from branches.
For hanging, secure satin and grosgrain ribbon loops to the wide ends of the eggs with a glue gun. You can also suspend smaller candy eggs from the branches. We wrapped ours with fine-gauge wire around their "equators" and hung them horizontally. Tucking miniature imitation birds' nests in the upper branches adds whimsy.
Feather your nest with papier-mache
Take a page from the grade-school activity book with these delicate candy dishes, made using shredded brown lunch bags and sheets from an old dictionary. You can also use these nests to corral your decorated Easter eggs.
Step 1: Tightly cover a small bowl with plastic wrap, then flip the bowl upside down on wax paper. In another container, mix equal parts water and clear glue.
Step 2: Dip handfuls of shredded paper into the glue mixture, then immediately lay them on the bowl until it's covered.
Step 3: Lightly press dry paper strips along the outside to create a "nesty" look.
Step 4: Let dry for 12 hours; carefully pull the wrap off the bowl and away from the nest.
Egg-shaped Jordan almonds make an especially sweet spring decoration.
Step 1: Take a 12-inch Styrofoam wreath ($3.50; joann.com), and beginning with the inside circumference, hot-glue the almonds in place, overlapping a few of them to add dimension.
Step 2: Continue in a circular pattern until the entire front and inner and outer edges of the wreath are covered.
Step 3: Hang with a sturdy piece of cotton ribbon, or oversize rickrack trim as shown.
An egg display to last
Keep your eggs all year by filling specimen jars with nature's treasures. Beach pebbles, made smooth by the ocean, appear blue when presented beside a collection of peaches-and-cream-colored chicken eggs — perfect for Easter. Blown eggs can be left out for display well past the holiday. They last indefinitely.