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Dye Easter Eggs With Silk Ties

25 March 2009 44,053 views 52 Comments

by heather

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Use thrifted silk ties wrapped around eggs to dye them with beautiful and stunning patterns! Project from Martha.

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Project Materials:

  • Raw eggs, on hand
  • Silk ties, blouses, or boxers, on hand or thrifted
  • Cheesecloth, old nylon stockings, or old cloth to cover silk-wrapped eggs, on hand or $1
  • Yarn, string, or another method for closing the wrap around the eggs, on hand
  • 3 Tablespoons of vinegar, on hand

Total cost: $1 and up

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Finding the Ties:

I went to my local Goodwill Outlet (aka "The Bins" where stuff is sold by the pound) and scored ten silk ties (total cost: about $2). Be sure ties are 100% silk. You will usually find a tag near one end or the other of the tie that tells you if it is made of silk. If you can't find a tag, silk ties have a soft and fine feel to them.

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What to look for: bright, dark, and small-patterned ties work best! Larger-patterned ties are more abstract, but still pretty. Maroons tend to bleed throughout the entire batch (if you want to avoid this, keep all the maroons together in a separate pot). Lighter ties will make a lighter (or nearly invisible) pattern.

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Cutting the Ties:

I started the first tie by ripping the whole thing apart by the seams, and quickly decided that I'd rather just cut a piece of tie off, rip it open, and wrap. Whatever you decide to do, you will want to open the tie up, remove any lining, tags, and interfacing, and just use the single piece of silk.

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Wrapping the Egg:

Wrap the piece of silk GOOD SIDE toward the egg. If your silk has an image you want to imprint on the egg (as in the deer picture in the silk shown here), be sure the image is flush against the egg.

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After the silk is wrapped around the egg, secure it by wrapping another layer of fabric around the egg. I used cheesecloth because I had it on hand, but it would be super easy to use old nylons or tights, or any old stash fabric or old (ruined) clothing you have. Secure with a piece of yarn, a rubber band, or each end with a twisty tie.

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Boiling the Eggs:

When you are done wrapping your eggs (I used a big pot and put enough eggs in to cover the bottom of the pot in one layer), put water in your pot, enough to cover eggs. Add 3 Tablespoons of vinegar. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

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Drain the eggs, allow to cool, and unwrap! You can re-use the silk to make more eggs, if you like.

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52 Comments »

  • lois said:

    I have done Ukranian eggs that you boil with the yolks in them. I have had them for years and the inside of the eggs just continue to dry up. I have had an occasional one rot and you will know when you follow the smell and locate it. This process takes many, many hours so you certainly do not want to destroy your art. I can’t wait to try the silk tie project. sounds wonderful..thanks for the idea.