Decorating Eggs

Here are some Easter Egg decorating ideas from Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Egg Council.

Easy Hard-Cooked Eggs

  1. Put eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough tap water to come at least one inch above the eggs.
  2. Cover.
  3. Put on high heat until water boils.
  4. Turn off heat. If necessary, remove pan from burner to prevent further boiling.
  5. Let stand in the hot water 15 minutes for large eggs. Adjust the time up or down by approximately three minutes for each size larger or smaller.
  6. Cool immediately and thoroughly in cold water.
  7. Decorate and refrigerate until ready for use.

Eggs to be decorated may be either hard-cooked or blown out of their shells. The hard-cooked variety is a bit more sturdy for children to work with, while the blown shells are the best if you are making an egg tree or want to keep the eggs on display for a considerable time.

If eggs are to be dyed, wash in a mild detergent solution to restore the oil coating so that the color adheres more evenly.

Here's an easy way to empty an eggshell.

Use a long needle to make a small hole in the small end of the egg and a larger hole in the large end. Carefully chip away bits of shell around the large hole until it's the size of a penny. Stick the needle into the yolk to break it. Shake the egg large-end down over a bowl until the contents come out. Rinse the shell under cool running water and let it dry.

 Or, make a slightly smaller hole in the large end of the egg only. Press the bulb of a kitchen baster to expel the air and insert it into the egg. Release the bulb to siphon out the shell contents. Rinse and let dry.

Ever See a Plaid Egg?

How about a plaid or striped egg this year? Just wrap eggs with rubber bands or strips of narrow masking tape before placing them in the dye. Be sure the egg is completely dry before removing the bands.

Rainbow Nest Eggs are easy to make.

All you need are eggs, a 6-inch square of thin cotton cloth or cheesecloth for each egg, twist ties, string or rubber bands, food coloring, and plenty of newspapers to protect your work area.

Use hard-cooked eggs. Wet a piece of cotton cloth with water and wring it out so it remains slightly damp. Wrap the cloth around the egg, either twisting loosely and fastening it at both ends, or bundling the edges together and fastening them at the top.

Place undiluted food coloring drops onto the cloth-wrapped egg in circles, stripes, or any other pattern you can imagine. Repeat with as many, or as few, other colors as you like.

Twist the dye-spotted cloth more tightly around the egg, so the colors run together to produce a rainbow's swirl of color. Now for the best part - unwrap the egg to see what's happened! You're likely to be surprised each time. As you finish each egg, set it back in a clean and sanitized container to dry.

Rainbow Nest Eggs make an especially attractive display when placed on a wreath of fresh greenery! 


  • Article History
    • Revision Date: 6/22/2010

Food Safety Tip of the Day

Handwashing is essential

Int'l Food Safety Icons - handwashing

The most commonly used utensil in food production is the preparer's hands, which is why proper and timely handwashing is essential to preventing foodborne illness. Hands should be washed before preparing food; after taking a break; after using the restroom; after sneezing, coughing or using a tissue; after touching any part of the body; and before putting on single-use gloves.

Source: Iowa State University Extension

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