Every year I like to color a few Easter eggs, especially if I can find a new creative and frugal method. Last year I tried all sorts of ideas including onion skins, blueberries and turmeric in my post on Homemade Natural Easter Egg Dyes. This year I decided to try another method I’d heard about – using a silk necktie.
If you were to go to the store and buy some brand new silk neckties, this would not be a very cost saving way to color your Easter eggs. However just about any thrift store will have some mens ties at very cheap prices. I was able to find three silk neckties for 25 cents each on a recent thrift store shopping trip. Just be sure to check the labels to see if they are 100% silk.
I was hoping to find some ties in pastel colors or flowery prints but had no such luck and so I just took what I could get. It turns out that didn’t really matter because my eggs were still rather pastel – and cute! However if I were to do this again I think I would leave them set a little longer to see if I could get more vibrantly colored eggs.
HOW TO COLOR EASTER EGGS WITH SILK TIES
(Adapted from Country Woman Magazine)
Silk Neckties (be sure to check the label)
1. Cut open the necktie. You will see a piece of lining fabric (like interfacing).
2. Remove some of the lining and cut it into strips. My lining strips were probably about the length of half of the necktie. I didn’t bother removing any more lining once I got down to the really skinny end of the necktie.
3. Cut a piece of the silk tie large enough to wrap around the egg and entirely cover it.
4. Wet the silk with cold water and wrap it tightly around the egg with the right side of the fabric against the egg. Twist the ends tightly so the fabric is touching the entire surface of the egg. Tie a piece of thread around each end to hold the fabric in place. Trim off the excess fabric at each end.
5. Wrap the lining strips around the entire egg. I used a few stitches to hold it in place.
6. Place the wrapped eggs in a single layer in a pan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
7. Once the water is boiling, remove the pan from the heat (with the eggs still in the pan) and cover. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. (Note: You can boil the eggs longer for deeper colors).
8. Next, transfer the wrapped eggs to a bowl of ice water and let them cool down the rest of the way.
9. Remove the lining and the silk fabric to reveal that the colors and the patterns from the ties have transferred onto the eggs.
The trickiest part of this method is getting the silk fabric tied tightly around the eggs. The ends of my eggs were not quite as colorful because the fabric was not as tight against the eggs. It’s probably a good idea to have a helper so you have an extra set of hands to hold the twisted ends while the other person tightly ties it with the thread.
I’m also not sure what the purpose of the lining strips is around the eggs but I think it helps to keep the colors from the other eggs in the pot from absorbing into each other. You will find that the water you boil the eggs in does turn colorful from the soaking tie-wrapped eggs.