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Old 03-08-2005, 08:42 PM
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Dyed Eggs & Easter Egg Tree

When leaves sprout on trees, you know it's spring. And when colorful eggs grow on miniature trees, you know it's Easter! This delicate Easter decoration is fashioned from painted tree branches that are adorned with dyed, paint-spattered eggs. It's very easy to make, even if you've never attempted a craft project.

You will need

For Eggs

Egg carton
Commercial egg-dyeing kit or vinegar, vegetable oil & food coloring in desired colors, or try this natural egg dyeing method
White acrylic artist's paint
Light pink cotton floss or pink satin ribbon

For Tree

Tree branch (size proportionate to pot)
Decorative pot
White acrylic spray point
Two 5-1 b bags of white or multicolored decorative pebbles (available at plant stores and pet shops)

You will also need large sewing needle; small bowl; paper towels; rubber gloves; glass bowl; toothbrush or stencil brush; glue gun; newspaper; masking tape (optional)


Preparing the Eggs

Holding an egg firmly in one hand, use the sewing needle to poke a hole in the pointed end of the egg, and then make a larger hole at the other end of the egg.

Holding the egg over the small bowl, blow hard into the small hole so that the contents of the egg empty out through the bigger hole into the bowl.

Rinse the egg inside and out under running water. Dry the shell carefully with a paper towel, then place the egg in the egg carton with the pointed end up. Let egg drain until it is completely dry. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 for the desired number of eggs.

Dyeing the Eggs

If you use a commercial egg-dyeing kit, dye the eggs following the directions on the package. If you choose not to use a commercial egg-dyeing kit, follow the directions in steps 5 and 6; wear rubber gloves when using our method.

Mix 1 cup tap water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in the glass bowl. Hold an egg over the bowl, dribble a few drops of food coloring directly onto the egg, and then immediately dip the egg into the acidic water. Repeat this process until the egg is completely colored. Mix and match as many colors on each egg as you desire; the more colors you use, the darker the egg will be. Stand the egg upright in the egg carton to dry. Repeat to dye the remaining eggs, replacing the acidic water after every three or four eggs.

To speckle an egg, use a small amount of watered-down white acrylic artist's paint. Dip the toothbrush into the diluted paint, and then pull your thumb across the bristles to splatter the egg on all sides. Return the egg to the egg carton to dry.

Finishing the Eggs

Cut the pink cotton floss into 9"-Iong pieces (one piece for each egg you want to hang on the tree). Fold each piece of floss in half and knot the loose ends to make a loop. Be sure each egg in the egg carton is pointed end up. Place a dab of glue over the pinhole on one egg. Place the knot of one loop into the glue so that the knot sits in the pinhole; let the glue dry. Repeat for each egg.

Making the Egg Tree

Cut a branch from a tree or shrub to fit your pot. (You may need to use two branches.) Place the branch on newspaper; spray two or three coats of white acrylic spray paint on the branch, covering it completely. Let dry. 9. Cover the hole in the bottom of the pot with masking tape or stuff newspaper into the hole. Fill the pot halfway with decorative pebbles. Insert the painted branch in the center of the pot so that it touches the bottom of the pot. Then, holding the branch upright with one hand, fill the rest of the pot with gravel. To finish, hang the dyed eggs on the tree.

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