Easter

How to Dye Marbleized Easter Eggs

Dyeing Easter eggs is a favorite holiday tradition for kids and grownups alike. Give your plain dyed eggs a kicky, multicolored twist this year: Add olive oil to the dye solution to create a swirling, mottled effect.

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Marbleized dyed Easter Eggs Photography by H. Camille Smith

Materials Needed:

  • eggs
  • liquid food colors (red, yellow, blue and green)
  • olive oil
  • distilled white vinegar
  • mugs or small bowls (one for each color)
  • paper towels
  • fork (one for each color)
  • teaspoon
  • tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup measuring cup
  • large pot with lid
  • tongs or a slotted spoon

Hard-Boil Eggs

Place eggs in a single layer in a deep pot. Fill the pot with cold water — the eggs should be completely covered by one to two inches of water (Image 1). Bring the pot, uncovered, to a rolling boil then remove the pot from heat and add the lid. Allow the eggs to continue to cook for another 12 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, carefully remove the eggs from the pot and place on a towel to cool (Image 2).

Mix Oil, Water and Dye Solutions

Add 1/2 cup water to mugs or small bowls (one for each color), then microwave until water boils. Remove from microwave. To each mug add 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil and at least 20 drops of food coloring. Stir to mix. Because oil and water don't mix, the olive oil will float on the surface.

Roll Eggs in Oil

Use a fork to break up the floating olive oil then carefully roll an egg in the oil before submerging it (Images 1 and 2). Tip: The olive oil will form globules on the surface of the egg which prevent the dye from penetrating the shell. This creates a mottled effect.

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