Spring is a fabulous time of the year to try new things. It’s also time for spring cleaning, whether you like it or not, including cleaning out your closet. It’s time to transform those silk ties collecting dust into charming eggs with unique patterns. I’ll show you how to combine a lot of my favorite things–repurposing, hollow eggs, making home decor, and happy surprises into some amazing art!
For this project, gather up any unused, gaudy, and dated silk ties that you can find in your home. It is very important that they are 100% silk, as polyester and other man-made materials will not work since the dye will not transfer to the egg.
You can also use silk scarves, shirts, and any other garments you may own. You can pick these up very cheaply at thrift stores and yard sales. I get the best prices on these are yard sales, and honestly find thrift store prices of $3.00 for a tie to be a bit much since I will be cutting these up!
The silk dyed eggs CANNOT be eaten after decorating. The dyes are toxic and will leach into the hardboiled egg. Because I hate wasting food and have an innate desire to preserve everything that is beautiful, I choose to use hollowed out eggs. Blowing out eggs can be very simple and fun for the whole family with the right tools. I have had great success with the Blas-Fix and hollow out a dozen eggs in 10 minutes. My toddler, a lover of all things messy, enjoys helping to squeeze the little air pump. Since my motto is “waste not,” I usually make some scrambled eggs or a delicious quiche. Hollow eggs eliminate the dangers of eggs “blowing up” and stinking the house up when you try to keep them too long. I have had this happen with some gorgeous Pysanky eggs, and the smell lingers for days!
So now that I have convinced you to hollow out your eggs for longevity and to allow for more diverse projects to use them in, I recommend that you purchase a Blas-Fix. Drill a tiny hole in ONE end of the egg. Working over a bowl, insert the Blas-Fix needle into the hole and slowly squeeze the pump. Viola! Like magic the contents of the egg drain from the hole with just a few squirts. Now that the egg is empty, fill the pump with warm water and squirt into the egg. Give the egg a little shake and pump the water out. Then you can place the eggs, hole side down, into your egg carton to drain completely. In the spring, when I make lots of egg crafts, I always hollow out my eggs this way when cooking various dishes. When I need them for a craft, I already have a bunch handy!
Making Home Decor
The best reason to hollow out your eggs is that they can be used as spring home decor for years to come. You can turn these silk dyed beauties into wreaths, centerpieces, or simply put them in a decorative bowl. You can also use them to decorate a beautiful Easter tree. Since these are hollow, they are delicate. Even with a few coats of varnish, silk dyed eggs will still break, so you may want to keep you most beautiful creations out of reach of the kids. I put mine in a “do not touch jar,” like the one below.
Each time I teach this art project or do it on my own at home, I learn something new. My biggest tip for achieving better dye transfer is to wet the silk before wrapping it to the egg. I like to note the right side of the fabric and then dip in water, wring, and immediately wrap an egg in the wet silk. The silk will cling more smoothly to the egg on at least one side. The pattern and colors of the ties or scarves leave such unpredictable and unique designs on the eggs. I have used ties that were absolutely hideous, and the end result was truly a gem. Likely, I have hunted down the most gorgeous ties at thrift shops and almost regretted cutting them up, since the egg was less than impressive. However, it’s these happy surprises that really bring out the art scientist in all of us.
Now, are you ready to start the experiment?
Silk Tie Dyed Egg Tutorial
- Blas-Fix egg blower
- 100% Silk Ties, Scarves, or other garments with great patterns
- Scrap cloth-white or very light colored
- Twine or String
- Distilled Vinegar
- Old pot
- Heavy Colander
1. Hollow out your eggs using a Blas-Fix.
2. Cut the ties into pieces large enough to wrap completely around an egg (about 6 inches in diameter).
3. Cut scrap cloth into pieces large enough to wrap completely around an egg.
4. Cut string into pieces about 6 inches long. I like to pre-tie mine into a slip knot to make the tying easier.
5. Make note of the RIGHT SIDE of the fabric. Wet fabric and wring out the excess. Wrap tightly around the egg, RIGHT SIDE facing the egg. Wrap the scrap cloth around the egg. Using your twine or string, tie a knot to secure both pieces of fabric tightly around the egg.
6. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 /2 cup of vinegar per gallon.
7. Carefully drop all your silk-wrapped eggs into the water. Use a heavy colander to weigh them down to keep the hollow eggs submerged.
8. Boil for 20 minutes to transfer the colors and patterns of the silk onto the eggs. Remove colander, place eggs in the colander and allow to cool. You can run cold water over them if you want to speed up the cooling process.
9. Magic time! Carefully cut the ties and unwrap your eggs.
8. You can simply rub these with a bit of oil (coconut works great!) or varnish these if you want them shiny. I like to insert a toothpick into the hole and stick them on top of a styrofoam egg carton. Then I just take them outside and spray with varnish. You can also leave them plain.
NOTE: The silk pieces can be reused, but will result in lighter dyed eggs. The scrap fabric can be used over and over.
Have you tried dying eggs with silk before? Please share your experiences!