March 22, 2016

silk tie dyed easter eggs

My friends! I'm still coughing away. My doctor told me that some cold symptoms can last for 6 weeks, did you know that? I'm not sure I really knew that. But now I have industrial cough medication, and I am indeed getting better.

I think you've heard me talk many many times about my clever mom-in-law. She's the BEST. And knows how to do pretty much anything. She came over to visit us this past weekend and showed us this fabulous way of dying Easter eggs! We did it with NECKTIES. Have you ever heard of of this? I had never ever heard of this ever in my life. I am very ignorant.

She had a whole heap of old neckties down in her basement, that she had no use for, so she brought them over for us to cut up and use. My darling neighbor showed up to say hi, and when she saw what we were doing, she sat down to join in the egg preparation.

I should let you know right now that this was kind of an adult activity. A kid 8 years and up could totally do it, but the process was a bit fiddly, and the kids had no interest anyway. They were running around the house, playing with our dog Nomi, while my husband, my mom-in-law, me, and my neighbor all sat at the table making these eggs.

Actually you know what? It wasn't really that fiddly, it was pretty easy. The thing is, we made 2 dozen eggs! THAT took awhile. But the process itself wasn't that big of a deal.

The technique was very interesting. A lot of string was involved. Looooooots of string. My mother in law wonders very much if so much string was really needed. We're not sure. We started not using quite so much string by the time we got down to the last few eggs. Are you wondering when I'm going to describe the technique?

What do you think of the way they look, before we get to that part? I think they look so antique and somewhat Byzantine-ish, don't you think?

Ok so here's what we did. You take an UNBOILED egg. You take some neck ties. They are supposed to be SILK. We're not sure if all of ours were silk - some ties worked really well and some didn't work well at all. Anyway, you cut up the ties and take off any backing or inserts, and you cut enough fabric from a tie to wrap an egg completely. You wrap the egg with the outside of the fabric facing IN, against the egg.

(Don't worry, I'm going to direct you to a link that will explain it all better than what I'm doing now.)

Then, you tie the neck tie fabric wrapping around the egg very very tightly with string. My neighbor actually whipped out some thread and SEWED her fabric around her egg but she's amazing that way. Then you take more string and wrap it around and around the egg and its wrapping in several places, like the egg is a small little prisoner, all tied up. The key thing is that the tie fabric is supposed to be nice and tight against the egg.
THEN you take some plain cotton fabric (I had an old sheet with holes, and we just cut it up) and you wrap THAT around your fabric wrapped egg - making a little pouch sort of affair. Tie the top of it with string. String string string, like I said, lots of string was involved.

Once your eggs are wrapped and strung - you fill a large pot with enough water to cover the eggs and start lining up the eggs in the pan. You can get a lot of eggs in and it's ok if they are crowded together. You add 1/4 cup of vinegar to every 4 cups of water used. Then you boil the eggs for 30 minutes. After that, you unwrap your eggs from all of their wrapping and string and by MAGIC - the pattern that was on the tie becomes superimposed onto your egg! Doesn't this sound so crazy and confusing??

Here. Martha has a video and really easy to follow instructions. Much easier than whatever the heck I just rambled about up above. And here's another tutorial that has photos for every step of the process.

So what do you think? Isn't it cool? Have you done this before? Even though a lot of our patterns didn't go on perfectly, I still was very impressed with how it looked!


  1. Wait, what? You made these? With neck ties? You just amaze me. This is the coolest most beautiful thing I've seen in a long while. Nice job, mama.

    1. Thank you darling!! 100% of the credit goes to my mom in law! I was blown away. It really seems like magic. HOW DOES THE PATTERN GET ON THE EGG??? Crazy. Next year I'm going to go to some thrift stores looking for 100% silk ties. And I want to find ties in crazy colors like pink and yellow.

  2. So cool! I'm gonna pin this for next year, because I don't have time to go out and find ties (and my husband already has very limited selection.....) for this year. I think this year I am going to try the tissue paper method.

    1. I love tissue paper eggs! I just saw some vintage bunny tissue paper at World Market the other day and didn't get it. Now I'm kicking myself because it would have looked so cute on eggs! Oh well. :)

  3. Replies
    1. I was so knocked out by these and they didn't even fully come out right with the pattern! I can't wait to try again!

  4. These are truly incredible. I may keep an eye out for ties at thrift stores. Mr. B doesn't own many, and he needs the few he has. ;)

    We might try natural dyes again this year. I don't think we'll dye any until Saturday, because everything's so stinkin' busy!

    1. Next year, I am DETERMINED. Red cabbage. Ombre blue eggs. I'm doing it!

  5. These are so beautiful-they look like something you would see in a museum!

    Hope you are on the mend!

    1. Wow thank you Maureen!!! Awesome compliment!

      And yes. Thank you. FINALLY. I am back in the land of the functional and non coughing. What a relief!


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