pacman inkee

egg tree

egg tree by hep
egg tree, a photo by hep on Flickr.

this year, instead of just doing our normal elaborately decorated eggs, we decided to do a blown egg tree since i had to make a ton of cupcakes in late march for some reason (zane's bday). it was about a weeklong process that left my kitchen covered in glitter and puffy paint for awhile, but it was totally worth it as we have a gorgeous centerpiece for this evenings family ham dinner.

step one was dying eggs. i wanted to do flower-based all natural dying, but i had a ton of vinegar dyes left over from years past, so we did some marbled eggs using oil and waxes instead. most of the eggs went through a two part dye layering process and we then rolled about half of them in glitter before they dried. we ended up with a full batch of 24 eggs (i even had to OMG BUY EGGS because our chickens all lay pre-colored eggs (in various shades of pink, purple, blue, and green) except for Huevo who only ever lays like 2x per week) which we then tapped holes in at both ends and blew the egg contents into a bowl. 24 eggs lead to 2 batches of cupcakes, a normal cake, and a frittata for breakfast for two mornings.

after letting the eggs dry over night we hot glued beads to the top to lace with string for hanging later. then the girls got to decorate with puffy paint, sequins, feathers, beads, etc etc. i keep a couple craftboxes on hand year round to collect odds and ends for projects like these. we used low-heat hot glue so little hands did not end up burned (it is fine for the couple of weeks the tree needs to last, and won't distort the plastic of the sequins when you attach them with the hot glue. high-heat (or normal) hot glue will make the plastic of the sequins ripple up or otherwise mar their shapes.) the puffy painting and decoration step usually takes 2 days. first have the children do the egg tops, then the egg bottoms on the second day, otherwise you cannot lay them in the egg crates to dry.

zane shows off a completely finished egg ready to be laced to go on the tree.

here are shots of the eggs in various stages of drying. don't forget to gently (and carefully to not unset the dye) flush the eggs with water after you blow them!! you can get water holding containers that allow you to squeeze a small, carefully aimed jet of water out to do this part. i usually get mine at the japanese housewares store, but i assume they have similar things at places like target or craft stores. these are all shots of eggs in various drying stages. we set up a serious egg staging station on one of the kitchen counters for the week this project took to do.

puffy paint will dry well to the touch in 24hrs, which allows it to be handled enough to do the bottoms. also don't forget to add glitter to the paint before it dries if you desire an extra glittery look. this project took (and did not finish) just four tubes of puffy paint and one of the glitter multicontainers (the round salt shaker kind), along with 2 small reams of embroidery floss (for hanging), one pack of glow in the dark ponybeads, and a reel of silver beading ribbon. and of course, hot glue, assorted dyes, and 24eggs.

after the eggs were totally finished drying in their last stage, we threaded them with embroidery floss and hung them on the tree. i picked up this egg tree from target for like a dollar back in february, but you can also make your own adorable tree using sand, a coffee can, a beautiful branch from outdoors, and some paint to brighten everything up. i used to love to paint the branch silver because it would really shine with all the eggs hung from it.

you will have to work with your string lengths to find an arrangement that works for the tree you are using. as you can see, i had to tie a lot of mine shorter because they were hanging so low they rested on lower branches. also beware because egg trees are IRRESISTIBLE to cats. they all think that you made a special toy just for them, and don't be surprised to walk into your kitchen in the morning to see your egg tree knocked on its side and the cats having a fine old time playing egg hockey on the floor.

hope all your easters are wonderful and that the easter bunny brings you loads of candy. personally i can't wait for tomorrow to hit up all the after easter candy sales to stock up a year's supply of cadbury minieggs (and for those of you who think i am kidding, you obviously have not seen me consume candy irl, which is often at the rate of several bags per evening)

Lol you are so fancy. I have never heard of not hard boiling the eggs, but instead emptying them and threading onto a tree!
i got into it because, despite this family's love of hard boiled eggs and deviled eggs, i always ended up with some leftover that went to waste in the back of the fridge. this way i just sort the eggs into specific tupperwares by number (like, this small one has 4 eggs for a cake, this large one has 6 eggs for a frittata) when they are being blown out, and they are all used up within a week with no stragglers to hang around.
thanks you! that art school degree should come in handy for SOMETHING right?
that studded egg is the best! this sounds so much more awesome than hardboiling eggs
That is so cool! I'm saving this to my memories so we can do this next Easter! :)
Those are so beautiful! (And thank you for giving directions. I know what we're doing next year.)
Can I just say once again:

1) Your girls are so lovely. Green hair and all.

2) You are SUCH a cool mom.

3) Your pics are stellar.

4) I wanna be just like you, re: mom stuff.

5) <3
hehe the green was leftovers from her st. patty's day dye job. she OWNED the school "wear green" contest!

buy a mom's organizer now. learn how to use it REALLY good. this is the best advice i give every mom. because once school rolls around shit gets real REALLY fast as far as scheduling and random stuff you have to do. my organizer is my savior because its my offboard brain.