How to Make Shibori-Inspired Dyed Easter Eggs

Get inspired by the traditional Japanese dyeing technique to create gorgeous dyed Easter eggs. 

Forget the pastels—this Easter, we're using bold colors to dye our eggs. We're taking inspiration from Shibori (a centuries-old Japanese dyeing technique) to create dyed Easter eggs that really stand out.

The classic technique uses indigo dye to create a blue and white pattern that's similar to modern tie-dye. While Shibori is typically used as a method of dyeing fabric, the look is easy to recreate on hard-boiled eggs. This spring, take a cue from the colors and patterns of this traditional art form to decorate eggs that will make a bold statement at your Easter brunch.

If you use a food-safe dye, the finished eggs are totally safe to eat. Keep in mind that if you plan to consume the hard-boiled eggs after decorating, they should never be out of the fridge for longer than two hours.

Shibori blue eggs in a bowl
Courtesy of Sarah Martens

How to Make Shibori Easter Eggs

Supplies Needed

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Glass bowl
  • Blue and black gel food coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Rubber bands
  • Coffee filters
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow these simple how-to instructions to make a set of dyed Easter eggs. You should be able to make a dozen in under an hour.

Step 1: Wrap Hard-Boiled Eggs

Start by hard-boiling a dozen eggs (if you've never done it before, here's how). When the eggs have been boiled and chilled, begin by wrapping each one in a few thin rubber bands ($6, Walmart); wherever the rubber band touches the egg, you'll be left with a white line on the finished egg. Be sure not to wrap the eggs so tightly that the shell cracks.

Step 2: Wrap Eggs with Coffee Filters

Next, wrap each egg in a ($2,). You'll need one filter per egg. You can also use tissue paper for this step, but using coffee filters ensures that the finished eggs are totally safe to eat. Place the egg in the center of the filter and gather the excess material at the top, securing it with a rubber band. Add more rubber bands to the outside of the wrapped egg.

Step 3: Prepare Dye Mixture

We made two versions of our shibori-inspired eggs, a bright blue and a darker, more muted batch. To prepare the dye, fill a medium-size glass bowl with a few cups of warm water. For bright blue eggs, add 10-20 drops of ($2,). For darker blue eggs, add 10-20 drops of blue food gel and 5-10 drops of black food gel. You'll want to use gel rather than liquid food dye because it will give your dye bath a much more concentrated color. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar and stir until completely combined. You may want to wear protective gloves for this step, as the gel will easily stain your fingers.

Step 4: Soak Eggs in Dye

Once the dye is ready, use kitchen tongs to gently place the wrapped eggs into the dye bath. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes (the longer you leave them in, the stronger the color will be). When you're ready to remove the eggs, place paper towels down to protect your surface, then place the eggs on paper towels to absorb the excess dye liquid. Carefully remove the rubber bands and coffee filters to reveal the Shibori design on the eggs. Pat the eggs dry with a paper towel and then let them dry completely. Remember that hard-boiled eggs should not be out of the fridge for longer than two hours if you intend to eat them.

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