How to Color Easter Eggs: Our Best Dyeing Tips and Design Ideas for Kids

From watercolor to polka dots, these clever Easter egg dyeing techniques are perfect for kids of all ages.

basic egg dyeing
Photo: Tara Donne

Every spring, kids (and parents!) express their creativity by dyeing Easter eggs. Need some inspiration? Read our basic instructions for how to dye Easter eggs with food coloring, then check out our round-up of five unique Easter egg coloring ideas for children of all ages.

Dyeing Easter Eggs with Food Coloring

Our basic egg-dye recipe will get you winning Easter eggs every time. Add 1 cup hot water, 1 tsp white vinegar, and 18 drops of food dye (we used McCormick brand) to a 2-cup-size glass measuring cup, such as Pyrex. Then dip eggs for two to three minutes if you're going for bright colors, and one minute for pastels.

Here are a few more pro egg-dyeing tips:

  • Hard-boil your eggs right before dyeing: warm boiled eggs absorb color the best.
  • For evenly dried dyed eggs, place on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with layers of paper towels, which will absorb any excess dye that pools at the bottom.
  • Scissor-style tongs are the best tool for retrieving eggs from their dye.
  • To guarantee consistent hues, stir dyeing cups often.

Easter Egg Coloring Ideas

Try out these five clever dyeing ideas, and your Easter eggs will be sure to impress friends and family!

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1. Watercolor Easter Eggs

watercolor eggs
Tara Donne

Dampen a boiled egg under water, then have your child apply washable watercolor paint to the wet shell using a small brush; you want the colors to bleed slightly on the damp surface. If you'd like the design to spread out more, lightly brush on more water.

Pro Tip: Set your egg's color by using a hair dryer on the lowest setting; move the dryer in small circles and hold it at least 6 inches from the egg for about 10 seconds.

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2. Marble Easter Eggs

Marble Easter Eggs
Tara Donne

Dye eggs a light base color; let dry. Mix up a batch of very dark dye and place it in a wide, shallow bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp of a light-colored oil, such as canola, to form swirls on the surface of the dye. Roll egg in dye mixture and pull out carefully with tongs after three seconds; pat gently with paper towels, then let dry.

Pro Tip: Room-temperature eggs and dye work best for this technique. If your materials are too warm the oil can slip off; too cold and the dye won't absorb.

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3. Color Blocking Easter Eggs

color blocking easter eggs
Tara Donne

Have your child submerge a portion of each egg in a fairly concentrated dye of their choice and hold it very still for a few seconds. Let dry, then repeat using a different portion of the egg and a new color of dye. Experiment with different color combinations, overlapping portions of the egg and leaving parts of the shell free from dye. Let dry after adding each new layer of color.

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4. Taping Easter Eggs

taping easter eggs
Tara Donne

Help your child snip rectangles, squares, and triangles from strips of electrical tape and apply the tape to shells. Dye the eggs; let dry. When eggs are fully dry, remove the tape to reveal geometric designs.

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5. Stamping Easter Eggs

Stamping Easter Eggs
Tara Donne

Dye eggs a pale base color. Have your child press their fingertip into a nontoxic ink pad (such as VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad), then lightly press and roll their finger on the eggshell to create dots. Allow ink to dry.

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