How to dye eggs for Easter decorations

The påskris is a classic Easter decoration in Sweden; brightly coloured feathers are tied to birch tree branches, bringing a bit of spring indoors. These naturally dyed and hand painted eggs are the perfect thing to hang on them – simply put the decorated branches in a vase for a festive addition to your home.

Ingredients & equipment:

  • 1 head red cabbage, chopped
  • White eggs (you can use duck eggs or white chicken eggs)
  • 4 tbsp white vinegar
  • Approx. 1.5 litres water
  • White paint and fine brush
  • Ribbons/thread
  • A long needle

Method:

  1. Put the chopped cabbage in a saucepan with the water and vinegar and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely.
  2. Once cool, strain the cabbage over a bowl and keep the dye. The liquid will look purple but don’t worry – the eggs will turn out beautifully blue. Put the eggs in the dye and leave for between 1-4 hours. The longer you leave them, the darker the colour becomes, but don’t leave them for too long or you risk damaging the outside of the egg. Turn them occasionally so any bits above the water or touching the bottom of the bowl are dyed equally.
  3. Carefully remove the eggs from the dye and gently dab them with a paper towel to dry. To blow your eggs, pierce them at either end with the long needle. Try to break the yolk as you do so, as this way it will come out more easily. Blow the egg through the hole at the more pointed end (you can use a straw to help) so that the inside of it starts to come out the other end. This bit can take a while so patience is key!
  4. Once empty, use white paint to further decorate your eggs. Use the needle to thread ribbons through the holes at the top and bottom so the eggs can be hung on branches in the traditional Swedish style.

Top tips:

  • When you blow your eggs, make sure to keep the insides for use in cooking and baking. If you decide to use duck eggs, they are excellent for baking as they make fluffier cakes.
  • Be creative – try other techniques such as putting the egg inside a small porous bag and filling it with rice before you submerge it to make different patterns on the surface of the egg.
  • Add some colour – as well as red cabbage, you can use turmeric for yellow eggs or beetroot for purple eggs.

 

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