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The Best Way to Decorate Easter Eggs - Easter Egg Decorating Ideas

Updated on April 11, 2019
Dyed Easter eggs
Dyed Easter eggs | Source

Decorate Easter Eggs the Old-Fashioned Way

I can't help it. My favorite way to decorate Easter eggs is the old-fashioned way (at least, old-fashioned to me). When I was a kid, we would fill different cups with water, throw in some food coloring, write on the boiled egg with a crayon or birthday candle, and then drop the egg in the dye mixture. Since then, stickers, food coloring kits, and other fancy-schmancy ways of decorating eggs have come along.

If you really want to have fun with your family, though, pull out the food coloring and start making all kinds of cool colors. It's fun to experiment. To me, this is the old-fashioned way, but my mom shared with me the really old-fashioned way my grandmother dyed eggs. It's pretty interesting.

How my Grandmother decorated Easter Eggs

My grandmother, according to my mom, used crepe paper to color eggs. She tells me that the crepe paper came in packages somewhat like tissue paper (for gifts, etc .. . ) comes in now. She bought red and green crepe paper with which to make Christmas tree decorations, and what was left over she would save to use at Easter.

After Grandma boiled the eggs, she would cool them off in cold water, lift them out of the water one by one, wiping them with a dry piece of colored crepe paper. The dye in the crepe paper came off nicely onto the eggs. Neat, huh?

Funny Easter Fact from my mom's childhood

When my mom was a kid, the only time she ever got to drink soda pop was on Easter. That seems odd, huh? She tells me that her daddy would always bring home a 24-bottle crate of RC Cola and Nehi. His reason? They needed the pop to wash down all those boiled eggs!

FYI: Crepe paper for Christmas decorations

In case you are wondering, I'll let you in on my grandmother's secret of using crepe paper for Christmas ornaments. She would cut an inch off the ends of three papers and string them end to end. Then she would tape them all together and braid them loosely. to make a garland of sorts. My mom says that it made the prettiest old-fashioned "rope" to drape around the tree. The mice would usually find these homemade garlands in the decorations box before another year rolled around and shred them into pieces for their beds. So, according to my mom, my grandma had to buy the crepe paper every year. She suspects, though, knowing the frugality of her family, that it was pretty cheap!

Why add vinegar to dye for Easter eggs?

I have seen the recommendation in to add vinegar to the water and food coloring for egg dying. Why? To "set" the dye better. I couldn't tell you if this tip helps, as my mother never used vinegar. I asked her, just to make sure. We didn't use vinegar, and our eggs turned out just fine.

Dyeing Easter eggs with water and food coloring
Dyeing Easter eggs with water and food coloring | Source

My Mom's Way of Decorating Easter Eggs

My mom became more "modern" than her mother, opting to use food coloring instead of the old crepe paper. After boiling the eggs, she would drop them one by one into a cup of cold water colored with food coloring. It didn't take much red in the water to make a pink egg or green or blue to make light shades of these colors, but Mom says that it took a lot to make a yellow one. She experimented with different amounts of food coloring and water until she was satisfied.

We would usually just guess on the amount of dye to use, adding more to make the color darker. We would also experiment by mixing colors, such as blue and red to make purple or red and yellow to make orange.

The back of the box of food coloring with the basic green, yellow, red, and blue colors will generally give "recipes" for various colors. The box of food coloring in my cabinet has a chart telling the number of drops of each color required to make the basic colors or shades of others.

We would do more than just dye the eggs. The fun part was decorating them with sayings and pictures of our own creation. I remember drawing on the boiled eggs before soaking them in the dye. We used birthday candles or crayons. We couldn't see what we were writing, so it was always exciting to see how it all turned out once the rest of the egg was dyed around the wax. My brothers and I would try to surprise each other with our clever messages and designs.

When we thought the egg was dark enough, we would lift it out of the water with a spoon. If we wanted it darker, we would put the egg back in to soak longer, and we might add more food coloring.

Egg Decorating Kits on Amazon

What about Egg Coloring Kits?

Later on, my mom became even more modernized and did buy the egg-coloring kits to try. These nifty kits had their own dyes plus a wax pencil with which to write and draw designs on the eggs before they were dropped into the colored water. These kits operated from the same principle as our old-fashioned way, but they did cost more.

We eventually tried those stick-on things once but didn't really like that. It just wasn't creative enough. So back we went to dying our own Easter eggs.

What is your favorite way to decorate Easter eggs?

See results

My Favorite Way to Decorate Easter Eggs

One more easy and cheap way is to totally cool and dry the boiled eggs and draw on them with crayons and water colors. Still, my favorite way was the water and dye thing. It was a fun family activity.

I hope you enjoyed reading about some old-fashioned ways to decorate Easter eggs. What is your favorite way?

Egg Dying Tips


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    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      MG Singh--I'm sure that's true. I do thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      techygran--Easter Egg Lane! I love that! I also love your "elegant" compliment. Thanks!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      No Audrey, I haven't tried onion skins. That's a neat idea! Thanks for sharing that!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      NatashaHand--Decorative napkins? That's a neat idea!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're welcome, Rebecca. A lot of the tips, I got from my mom. I think they're cool, too!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      CraftytotheCore--In a kiddie pool! That sounds like GREAT fun--even for adults!!!

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 

      7 years ago from UAE

      Nice share. Not much known in the east though.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia Zirkwitz 

      7 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Thanks for the trip down Easter Egg Lane! Nice, simple, elegant hub! Sharing!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      7 years ago from California

      Hi Vicky! Have you ever tried onion skins? For Russian easter we use them and the eggs come out a beautiful golden color--and I love your Grandmother's crepe paper idea!

    • NatashaHand profile image


      7 years ago from Mississippi

      I love decorating eggs. This year I may try a new way to decorate by using craft glue and decorative napkins. I saw it on a talk show and the eggs were so beautiful and it looked so easy. I love doing it the old fashioned way with food coloring and vinegar.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Jeannie--That's good to know about Candy Apple! The old way works so well Thank for the input!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      7 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I loved reading about your family's egg-dying "habits". I'll bet the crepe paper really turned pretty colors. And I 'll forget the vinegar from now on. Thanks!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      7 years ago

      We still decorate eggs the old fashioned way too. When my children were babies, I would have a kiddie pool set up in the living room. They could sit in it and decorate eggs all they wanted without getting the dye all over the house. They had so much fun. Now that they are older, they still enjoy coloring eggs. Which reminds me, I better put extra eggs on my shopping list this week!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I just tried a Candy Apple egg dying kit... won't do that again! Basically, it came with 4 colors of egg "paint" and a brush. I also had a spare paint brush, so my friend and I were able to paint eggs at the same. It was quite a messy process and keep in mind, we are two grown adults. I can't even begin to imagine how bad the stains would be if we were small kids. Also, the stuff took FOREVER to dry. I tried to eat a boiled egg last night that was painted the day before... still a little damp! It was a fun experiment, but considering the yellow stain on my shirt, my friend's hand that is still a little blue from dye today, and the inability of this stuff to dry, I give it a big thumbs down! Anyone reading this now... just don't do it! Regular food coloring would have been much nicer.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      moonlake--Glad you enjoyed the hub! Happy Easter!

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      We still decorate the old fashioned way food dye and vingar. Enjoyed your hub. Voted up.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Martie--Yes, it's fun! The grandkids will have a blast. Thanks for commenting! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Sunshine, you have the fun role! How do you bake the eggs? I've never heard of that. Cool! Have fun with the little granddaughter!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      We will be coloring the old fashioned coloring. This year I'm going to bake the eggs in an oven instead of boiling them. Actually my daughter is going to do that...I'll watch and hide the eggs ;)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Dropping the eggs into a cup of cold water colored with food coloring would certainly be a fun activity with my grandchildren. Going to do this for sure.

      Thanks for the great ideas, Victoria :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      barbergirl--I guess the kits would be good to get the dippers. I've never even seen them! Funny story about the big Dad's egg! LOL!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      midget--Yep, it's about that time!! :-) Happy Easter!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      8 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I have bought the kits before, but honestly as a child we always did it the old fashioned way. I would prefer to do it the old fashioned way but I am really particular about putting the food coloring in all my glasses and I wanted the dipper things. So we bought the kits to collect those goods! I remember one time, we made an egg for each member of the family. We had Dads BIG egg... it was the only one that cracked! ha ha ha

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      It certainly is apt for the season...coming soon. Thanks for sharing this, Victoria, and we will certainly make some!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Kathryn, I'm glad you appreciated this hub. Christmas, Easter--it all works! LOL! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      pstraubie--Yes, those were the days! Angels right back at ya!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      8 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      That brings back memories! I loved coloring eggs with the dye on Easter (wow, I almost said Christmas. I am a little tired right now!). I can hardly wait until I have kids, so I can enjoy some of those traditions I used to love.

      Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      8 years ago from North Central Florida

      Who doesn't love to do this?? How much fun it is every time. And my Grandma actually was the first one to make colored eggs with me. Thanks for the memories.

      Sending Angels your way :) ps

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      LOL, Bill! You're absolutely right!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Carol! Glad you liked it!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      If it's good enough for your grandmother then it's good enough for me. :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      as always a well written and informative hub..Lots of egg painters need to see this. Voting up and pinning.


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