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Easter Egg Decorating Tips

An eggshell is like a blank piece of paper. With any PAAS® decorating kit, a little help from a parent or responsible adult, and their imagination, kids can create Easter eggs as fun, interesting, and unique as they are! These tips can help.

Download PAAS® Decorating Dye Kit Directions (PDF)

You can decorate hard-cooked or empty eggs.

Use these guidelines to help you decide which kind will work best for your family:

  • Egg Decorating Tips Hard-cooked eggs are best when you want a sturdy egg for hiding and when you want to eat them when you’re done. They are also easier for younger children to handle. Here’s how to prepare the perfect hard cooked egg.
    Hard Boiled Egg Directions PDF

    You can also cook them convienently in the oven.
    Hard Cooked Egg in the Oven Directions PDF
  • Egg Decorating Tips Empty your eggs if you want to keep them for a long time and bring them out to display year-after-year. If you want to keep your decorated eggs for a long time, you can strengthen them by covering them with layers of paper towels or similar paper stuck on with white glue or homemade flour-and-water paste. Here’s how to empty eggs.
    Empty Egg Directions PDF

Before Decorating Your Eggs

  • Everyone should wash their hands in hot, soapy water before and after handling eggs (even if they’ve already been cooked or decorated)! This protects everyone from any bacteria on the egg, and protects the eggshell from any oils on hands that may make the dye not adhere. Make sure an adult supervises all projects to ensure common sense food safety precautions are observed.
  • Kids don’t have to be highly creative to create an eggceptional egg. Help kids use their imagination to create cool looking eggs by gluing on fun materials found at craft stores, like fake gems, sequins, trims and ribbons. They can also use paint, including gold or silver metallic paints, to make their eggs “eggstra” special!
  • To create an egg with a face, create a light flesh color by dipping your egg in a dye that’s made of a little bit of red and yellow coloring; for a darker flesh color, use a little red, yellow, and green. Then let kids “eggspress” themselves – with a smile or other look they paint on (or use the method below to create a “Pysanky” face). PAAS® Egg Heads™ and Stencil kits are a fun and easy option to create egg faces.
  • To make eggs with several different colors (sometimes called a “Pysanky,” or Ukranian egg), have kids draw on their egg with the clear wax “magic crayon” found in many PAAS® decorating kits. Each time they use the crayon, they protect that color from dye. For example, keep an area white by drawing on the egg before they dip your egg in any color. Then dip the egg in the lighter colored dye first and then move to darker colored dyes. Just be sure to let the first dye color dry before dipping it into next color “bath.” Cover up more areas to keep the color, and peel the wax off of other areas to add color. When they’ve finished dying your “Pysanky,” peel off all the wax layers to reveal an interesting multi-color design. Polish the egg by rubbing in any remaining wax (heat egg slightly in hot water).

How to prepare the perfect hard cooked egg

Our friends at the American Egg Board have offered their expertise so you can prepare the perfect hard cooked egg.

  1. Hard Cooked Egg Step 1PLACE eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. ADD cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. HEAT over high heat just to boiling.
  2. Hard Cooked Egg Step 2REMOVE from burner. COVER pan. LET EGGS STAND in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra large).
  3. Hard Cooked Egg Step 3DRAIN immediately and serve warm. OR, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then REFRIGERATE.

Tips for preparing hard cooked eggs:

  • Hard-cooked, not hard-boiled. Although the cooking water must come to a full boil in this method, the pan is immediately removed from the heat so that the eggs cook gently in the hot water. This produces tender, not rubbery, eggs and minimizes cracking.
  • Banish the greenish ring. This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-cooked yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. Our method – cooking eggs in hot, not boiling, water, then cooling immediately – minimizes this.
  • Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This brief "breather" allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.
  • Hard-cooked eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.
  • To peel a hard-cooked egg: Gently tap egg on countertop until shell is finely crackled all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell. Starting peeling at large end, holding egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off.
  • Storage time: In the shell, hard-cooked eggs can be refrigerated safely up to one week. Refrigerate in their original carton to prevent odor absorption. Once peeled, eggs should be eaten that day.
  • Food safety precaution: Piercing shells before cooking is not recommended. If not sterile, the piercer or needle can introduce bacteria into the egg. Also, piercing creates hairline cracks in the shell, through which bacteria can enter after cooking.
  • Never microwave eggs in shells. Steam builds up too quickly inside and eggs are likely to explode.
  • High altitude cooking: It's almost impossible to hard-cook eggs above 10,000 feet.

To “empty” eggs for decorating

  1. Use a pin or needle to make a hole in the fat end of a raw egg. Wiggle the needle around or use a nail to create a slightly larger hole. The hole should be about ¼ ” across, or about the size of a pencil eraser.
  2. Make a hole in the opposite end of the egg. This hole can be much smaller. Insert the needle into the egg to break the yolk (this makes it easier to remove the egg). Use a baby’s nose aspirator, or simply your mouth, to blow into the small hole to remove the egg yolk and egg white into a large bowl. When the egg has been removed from the shell, run water into the eggshell, shake it to rinse the insides well, and pour it out.

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