Dye With a Tie

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Posted in CraftArt

Introduction: Dye With a Tie

This is one of my favorite craft projects, because the end result is always a surprise.

Three years ago I was getting ready to put together Easter baskets for 8 of my grandchildren, so I decided to check out Pinterest. I found these really cute Easter eggs dyed with silk ties and decided to give it a try. My first few attempts were ok and I still got a WOW from the grandchildren, but I am a little OCD so I wanted to get a bigger WOW from everybody. I have tried several different ways to dye both fresh and blown eggs. I am going to share with you the steps I have compiled, that have been the most successful and created the biggest WOWs.

I have made these for Easter baskets, Easter trees, and just for fun to give away.

The eggs in the pic are dyed blown eggs. The result is about the same for fresh eggs.

Some say you should not eat eggs that are dyed with silk, but my grandchildren have eaten lots of them and are all still alive and doing well.

Step 1: Get Some Ties

There are many sources for silk ties. Thrift stores, donation based stores, your closets, friends & family... You get the idea.

**IMPORTANT** The tie must be 100% silk. Polyester ties will not transfer color to the egg. If there is not a tag that says 100% or all silk, pass it up.

Use any silk tie that you think is pretty , colorful, or interesting. The best part of this craft is the surprise when you unwrap the egg after it has been dyed.

Now that you have your ties you will need to take them apart. the easiest way to do that is with a seam ripper and/or scissors.

You will need pieces that are about 4" x 6" so start by cutting off both ends of the tie as shown in the picture. Next you need to open the seam on the back of the tie and remove any lining and cut off any part that is less than 4" wide, then press out the wrinkles. I usually end up with about 25 to 30 inches of usable silk.

Step 2: Cut Pieces Silk for the Eggs

You will need a piece of silk about 4" x 6" for each egg.

I use a rotary cutter and a ruler (OCD), but you can cut a template from cardboard or just eyeball it.

Step 3: Collect Your Supplies

You need the following for each egg:

  • a piece of silk 4" x 6"
  • 1" x 36" strip of white fabric. I ripped up an old sheet.
  • knee high or anklet stocking
  • a pipe cleaner

You will also need a glass or ceramic cooking vessel. I use a crock pot.

You can dye your eggs using your regular stovetop cookware but you will get much brighter color transfer with a crock pot. If you decide to use the stove to dye your fresh eggs cook them like you would cook hard boiled eggs except add about a quarter cup of vinegar to the water.

Step 4: Wet the Silk

Lay a piece of silk on a shallow plate and spray with water until wet all the way through, but not dripping.

Step 5: Wrap the Egg

Place your egg on the silk, centered about a third of the way down the strip. Bring the shorter end up and snuggly wrap the silk around the egg, keeping it as smooth as you can. Eggs are pretty sturdy, but they will break easily if you squeeze the middle.

Step 6: Wrap & Pleat

It is virtually impossible to explain in words how to pleat the ends. I hope this short video will help. The egg in the video is a blown egg but the process is the same for a fresh egg.

Step 7: Fabric Strip & Stocking

Starting at the narrow end of the egg Wrap the fabric snuggly around the egg, vertically. When you reach the starting point begin to wrap the strip around at an angle, keeping the strip snug and the egg vertical, until all the silk is covered.

Put your wrapped egg in the stocking and twist the stocking until it is tight around the egg. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the twist, close to the egg, to keep everything in place.

Now you are ready to make that tie dye your egg!

Step 8: Make the Tie Dye

Place your egg or eggs in your crock pot and add enough hot water to just cover the eggs. Add about ⅓ cup of vinegar. Cover, plug in and set to high. Cook for 2 hours...NO PEEKING you want to keep all the heat in the pot.

Step 9: Unwrap the Surprise

After 2 hours carefully remove the eggs and place them in an ice bath for about 10 minutes.

After the ice bath the eggs should be cool enough to handle.

NOW... Unwrap your surprise.

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    Interesting. I am going to have to try this technique when Easter gets a little closer.