Easter soon will be here, with eggs of all colors and designs to brighten our homes. We like to try a variety of egg-decorating techniques, from the easy commercial dyes in a tablet to experimenting with natural dyes that we concoct with onion skins, tea and berries.
Many of the artistic memories live on in egg cartons stored away in the “Easter” box. They last because we blow out the contents of raw eggs and clean them before we decorate. Like ornaments on a Christmas tree, the kid-decorated eggs come out annually. Full of memories, they’re lovely hanging from blossoming spring branches.
This year’s decorating technique is inspired by enduring spongeware pottery, popular in our country for centuries. The speckled look is super-easy to create, and it’s fun for the whole family to do together. Color the eggs first in soft colors if you wish, or keep them natural, and then just dab, dab, dab a cheerful palette of non-toxic paints here and there with a sponge.
Here’s the stuff you’ll need:
— several eggs, blown (see below) or hard-boiled
— non-toxic acrylic paint in favorite colors
— recycled plastic lids or paper plates, one for each color
— pieces of sponge, one for each color
— spring-type clothespins or clips for sponge handles
— egg cups
Here’s the fun:
1. Working on a newspapercovered surface, place an egg in an egg cup. Clip a sponge piece to a clothespin, and squeeze a puddle of paint onto a lid or plate.
2. Dip the sponge lightly in paint. Dab onto a piece of newspaper a few times, then lightly dab all over the top half of the egg. Let dry. Turn egg over and repeat on bottom half. Repeat with additional colors and eggs.
3. Hang decorated hollowed eggs from branches, or display them in a pretty bowl. If using boiled eggs, keep refrigerated until served.
How to “blow out” an egg: Poke a small hole with a large safety pin at each end of a washed raw egg. Carefully wiggle the pin or a toothpick into one of the holes to break the yolk. Place a drinking straw over the hole on top, and blow through the straw, collecting the contents of the egg in a small dish. Rinse out the empty shell and let dry completely before decorating.
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide.