Make a gorgeous set of patterned Easter eggs with the help of a few old ties. Learn how to dye eggs with silk ties in just three steps.

By Sarah Martens
Updated February 17, 2021
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These intricate Easter eggs give new meaning to the term "tie-dye." You won't believe how easy it is to transfer patterns from fabric onto plain white eggs. Wrap eggs with 100% silk ties (or any other 100% silk material), then boil them in vinegar to set the design. It's that easy! Use this technique to create a set of dyed Easter eggs from ties that have sentimental value, or have fun thrift shopping for inexpensive silk material. When choosing your fabric, look for bold patterns in a variety of colors. Darker shades of purple, red, blue, and green transfer best while pastels and light colors will give you a more subtle design. Add the finished eggs to your Easter basket or use them as part of your annual egg hunt—these brightly colored decorations are sure to stand out.

patterned eggs on striped plate
Credit: Jacob Fox

How to Make Silk Tie Easter Eggs

Supplies Needed

  • Uncooked white eggs
  • 100% silk ties or material
  • White cotton fabric
  • Plain white string or rubber bands
  • Low stockpot
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Baking sheet
  • Paper towels

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow our simple how-to instructions to make your own silk tie Easter eggs in under an hour. Keep in mind the hard-cooked eggs will not be edible after you've transferred the silk design.

wrapping egg in handkerchief
Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 1: Prep the Eggs

Cut your silk ties into large pieces to cover eggs. You'll need approximately one tie for every three eggs. We found the bottom third of the tie was large enough to cover one egg. Cut the tie down the middle and remove the inner fabric or foam from the tie and trim piece to cover the egg. Wrap the tie tightly around the egg, being careful not to crack the eggshell. Try to smooth any wrinkles or creases. The tighter you wrap it, the clearer the pattern will be. Cut a slightly larger square of white cotton fabric and wrap it around the tie-covered egg. This will help keep the dye from transferring to the other eggs as you boil them. Secure with plain white string ($3, The Home Depot) or a rubber band.

tying string around egg and fabric
Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 2: Cook Eggs

Gently set your wrapped eggs into a low stockpot ($28, Bed Bath & Beyond) and cover them with cold water. Be sure there's at least an inch of water covering the top of the eggs. Add 6 tablespoons of white vinegar. Over medium heat, slowly bring water to a boil and cook for a minimum of 20 minutes. Remove eggs and place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to cool.

patterned egg and fabric
Credit: Jacob Fox

Step 3: Remove Fabric

Once the eggs are cool, cut off the cotton and silk fabric from each egg. Don't reuse the silk fabric on another egg—the design has already been transferred. Gently wipe egg dry of any excess moisture. If you want to add shine to your silk tie eggs, rub them with a little vegetable oil. Store in the refrigerator until ready to add to your Easter centerpiece or basket. These eggs are for decorative uses only. We don't recommend eating the finished silk tie-dyed eggs.

Comments (2)

February 23, 2019
My husband's grandmother, Nana Fill, made these eggs more than 75 years ago. We've been continuing the tradition since the early 1970's. If you cut the ties into pieces you can also use several different ties on the same egg, which really creates a unique egg. Just overlap the pieces before wrapping in the sheet. Also, it does not need to be a white sheet, as long as it is clean and a light color. And It's not necessary to use "new" ties. My husband asked his friends at work if they would bring him their "old" ties. (The ones that they never wear anymore from the back of their closets.) Whatever pieces of ties are not used are packed away til next year, along with the other Easter decorations. The dye is only on the shell and does not appear on the hard boiled egg itself once it's been peeled. We've been eating them as long as I can remember.
February 23, 2019
Could this be done with blown egg shells, so they can be kept?