Easter egg decorating, for some, can be an art. I love the idea of doing something a bit beyond the run-of-the-mill dye kit but I don’t want to spend a fortune or hours to achieve my decorative eggs. In our family, egg dying is a tradition my kids, my mom and I do together on Easter. So it’s important that the techniques I choose are easy enough for the kids, simple enough that we can still prepare Easter dinner and cheap enough that they won’t break the bank.
Looking to put a twist on egg decorating this year? If so, check out these ideas I’ve gathered.
Start with a basic egg-dying recipe using food coloring instead of a kit. Use leftover butter or whipped-topping tubs to dye the eggs. Here’s a handy chart that shows how to create certain colors. Check out this list for even more color ideas.
Rubber bands plus the instructions above are all you need to create these wavy striped eggs. And if you swap out the rubber bands for skinny electrical tape you’ll end up with these multi-color designs.
These tie-dye eggs are done right in the sink — talk about ease of clean up. All you need are the eggs and a couple of simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
A few crayons and some creativity are the key to these one-of-a-kind creations.
Using craft glue or decoupage techniques, paper napkins or fabric scraps can make beautiful designs on eggs. If using two-ply napkins, separate the top layer with the design from the bottom white layer.
Use scraps of silk fabric (from old ties, scarves, etc.) to create these masterpieces.
Hit up your office supply stash to create these circle-design eggs.
Who doesn’t have a box full of old, broken crayons laying around? They’re perfect for these marbled eggs.
To keep things all natural, try some of these everyday kitchen ingredients instead of artificial dyes.
What to do with the cartons:
With all those eggs, you’re bound to have some leftover egg cartons. My recycling center doesn’t take egg cartons, so it’s great when I can find ways to re-purpose them. Here are a few of my favorites:
Think of your garden. If you plan to start any seedlings in the house before planting outside you can make a perfect seedling starter out of both an egg carton AND leftover egg shells — just be careful when you peel off those beautiful shells so that you can keep them as intact as possible.
Christmas may not be on your mind now, but if you’re sick of pulling out broken ornaments each year when you decorate the tree, consider saving egg cartons to use as protective ornament holders. If they protect delicate eggs, they will probably work pretty well on your decorations, too. Start saving them now, and you will have plenty of them by the time the holidays roll around again.
If you’re a baker, you’ll love this idea for holding cake pops. It’s much easier to store and less messy than the big blocks of Styrofoam in my basement now.
If you have budding artists in the house, egg cartons can make great artist palettes.
You’ve dyed the eggs, repurposed the containers —now what do you do with all of those eggs, besides making LOTS of egg salad? Eggs and Easter go hand in hand, but there’s more to these tiny bundles of protein-packed goodness than you might think.
According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, “The incredible edible egg packs a lot of nutrition in a small package. One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and antioxidants, all for about 70 calories.” And since you can get them for anywhere from $2 to $5 a dozen (depending on whether you want extra-large, organic, free-range, etc.), they cost about 20 to 40 cents each. The price goes down in the spring, so it’s a good time to try out new recipes.
If you like eggs, they make an inexpensive breakfast that will get you through the morning. If you don’t like them plain – fried, scrambled, boiled or poached – there are many other ways to employ and enjoy these cheap eats.
For 50 ways to eat eggs, from breakfast sandwiches to omelets to egg salad sandwiches, and just about any method of cooking you can imagine, try these Food Network recipes. Here are a few more ideas:
While they sound old-fashioned, Scotch Eggs are basically egg and sausage all rolled into one yummy breakfast.
While I was growing up, my mom would often make egg gravy, a recipe her mom made. These Creole Creamed Eggs are the closest I could find to that recipe. We just skipped the hot sauce and served it over mashed potatoes alongside a fish dish at dinner.
Add a surprise to dinner with this meatloaf recipe.
These sandwiches look like a delicious way to use both leftover eggs and Easter ham. Of course, you can use store-bought rolls if you prefer.
This warm spinach salad makes a delicious lunch or a nice starter before dinner.
Quiches and frittatas
A brunch standard and a lunch favorite, quiches are an incredibly versatile way to enjoy eggs. Same with frittatas. Quiches and frittatas are excellent ways to use leftovers – such as veggies or bits of cheese. You can go vegetarian or pack them with more protein – ham, sausage, chicken, shrimp, crab, you name it. Quiche is usually baked like a pie, in a crust; frittatas are usually fried without a crust. Try this classic quiche Lorraine recipe with bacon and cheese from chef Emeril Lagasse.
Another cousin of the quiche is the Spanish tortilla. No, not the Mexican flatbread, but an egg dish that usually contains potatoes. Try this recipe that pairs well with a sofrito spread.
Crepes and cousins
Don’t like that “eggy” taste? Think crepes or Dutch babies (a puffy baked version of a pancake). Both are egg based but taste more like pastries. A basic crepe recipe is your entrée to breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. Add ham and Swiss or spinach and cheddar cheese for breakfast or brunch. Add creamed chicken and mushrooms for a lunch or dinner crepe. How about a chocolate-filled crepe or crepes Suzette for dessert? Dutch babies are simply crepes baked in the oven till they are puffed and golden. Fill with sautéed fruit like peaches or apples, or fresh fruit like berries and top with whipped cream for a fancy breakfast or brunch dish.
Souffles can be main dishes, side dishes or dessert treats. And they use a lot of eggs. Try a cheese souffle (maybe with mushrooms or spinach add-ins) – it’s not as hard as you think. Or get crazy and prepare a chocolate souffle for a special dessert.
What to do with the eggshells?
Eggshells have several uses. If you plan on using the shells, either wash them thoroughly or bake them at 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes to get rid of any possible bacteria.
Eggshells make great fertilizer for your garden or potted plants. Here are some tips for how to get them ready to mix in the dirt. Their sharp edges can also help keep slugs out of your plants, so be sure to sprinkle some on top of the soil, too.
There are so many uses for eggshells I can’t list them all. Fortunately this blog lists dozens of options.
Don’t let all of those beautiful eggs go to waste. There are so many options, you may have a hard time deciding which you’ll try.