CraftSanity on TV: Dyeing Easter Eggs with Silk Ties

by jennifer

I’ve been wanting to try dyeing eggs with silk ties for a couple years now, so I thought it was time to cut up the ties I’ve been tripping over in my craft room and my daughter Amelia agreed. So we recruited Amelia’s sister, Abby, to help out, experimented at home and then headed to the WZZM Channel 13 studio to share our findings (and a bunch of other crafty stuff) with the folks at home.

And before we get too far down the road, I want you to know that this dyeing method has been done by many lovely people before I decided to finally give it a whirl. From the skilled crafters on the Martha Show to resourceful people upholding beautiful family traditions in kitchens across America, this project has been done several times before with beautiful results. I recommend that you try it, too –  especially if you have a pile of ties stashed away that you would be willing to sacrifice in the name of holiday craft.

While our silk dyeing experiment did not result in super vibrant eggs, it was very fun to see how the pattern of each tie transfered to the egg shells. And, yes, it is well worth the hassle of deconstructing a dozen ties to get to experience this fleeting excitement.

Read on for some general instructions to get you started.


* 100% silk ties, blouses, scarfs (Some people use silk boxers, but that totally creeps me out. For this reason I can’t bring myself to recommend the boxer option, but go for it if you don’t mind cooking Easter eggs wrapped in old underwear. This fact would make for a lively conversation starter at the family party as you pass a plate of beautiful eggs dyed with your hubby’s old undies to Auntie Myrtle who just so happens to be a germaphobe. Hmm… could I be warming up to this idea? No, but I am very amused but this scenario.)
* Glass pot to cook the eggs
* 1/4 cup of vinegar
* Scraps of white or off-white cotton fabric cut into roughly 7″ squares. (The pieces have to be large enough to wrap around an eggs and secure with a twist tie.)
* twist ties
* scissors and/or seam ripper
* vegetable oil

Step 1: Use scissors or a seam ripper to deconstruct the ties. Remove and discard the lining fabric. Cut the silk ties into pieces large enough to wrap around the eggs. (No need to measure your pieces or square them up. Just eyeball it.)

Step 2: Place an egg onto a damp piece of silk with the printed side of the fabric facing the egg. Wrap the silk around the egg, then wrap with a square of cotton. Secure the fabric with a twist tie. (Note: We noticed that if the silk is damp when you wrap it around the egg, you get a better pattern transfer.)

Step 3: Bring all the wrapped eggs to a boil in a glass pot of water with a quarter cup of vinegar mixed in. After the water boils, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool.

Step 4: When the eggs are cool enough to touch, unwrap and polish with vegetable oil for added shine.

If you’re looking for more Easter crafts check these out:

My egg cozy and felted egg tutorials

Not Matha’s papier-mache Easter eggs

*Oh, and before you dump out your egg dyes, consider using the extra to dye some wool.

As you prepare for Easter festivities, be sure to check out the new Spring Issue of CraftSanity Magazine. Issue 6 is full of fun projects including Maria Stout’s felted chick basket on p. 3. I really like how my chick basket (above) turned out and have plans to whip up a couple more before Easter. I interviewed Maria for the current issue and she also contributed a darling Flopsy bunny basket pattern, too. I’m a big fan of Maria’s work and admire the way she has applied her craft skills to creating handmade toys and learning aids for children with special needs. Check out her Etsy shop to see all her wonderful handmade products.

And if you’re looking for a great basket weave crocheted basket pattern, be sure to check out the one Maria wrote for CraftSanity Magazine Issue 2 (available in print here or as an instant download PDF on the left sidebar of this page.) The basket is unisex in design and remains one of my absolute favorite go-to Easter basket patterns. LOVE it!

Ok. I’m off to have some Spring Break Staycation Fun with my kids. Have a great weekend!

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