Happy Easter! Give me your tie!

Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

You may have heard of silk-dyed easter eggs, because it’s a two-year-old Martha Stewart craft. That is, it was published on her site two years ago. It’s not for two-year-olds. It’s easy to do, but it’s not that easy. It involves eggs. And scissors. If you have a two-year-old you’d probably better go ahead and lock him in the bathroom or whatever you do to secure a toddler. This stuff isn’t safe.

The project came to my attention for the first time a couple of weeks ago, in the form of a mysterious kit being sold on Etsy that included twelve scraps of silk and some twist ties. Once I figured out what the hell I was looking at, I was impressed. I checked it out on Our Best Bites, the Mom Blog Network, and a bunch of other blogs (did you know that everyone and their mother has blogged this project except me? and my mother? Mom, looks like you’re next). I read about it so many times, I started to feel like I had done it myself. A hundred times. I’m an old pro at this, I thought! Might as well give it a shot.

So I bought three ties at a thrift store and a dozen eggs from the grocer (the cheap kind, because I thought they might get ruined, and/or I’d forget to eat them and/or I’d be afraid to) and got to work.
Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

Cutting the ties was easy. Lots of stitches, yeah, but it turns out neckties are constructed very simply, so you only have to snip maybe three stitches per seam and you’re home free. Once I cut them into squares big enough to wrap an egg, I was able to get three per tie. So I should have bought one more.
Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

Wrapping the eggs (with the good side of the tie face in, touching the egg) was easy, too. If you don’t have any twist ties, I figured out you can some old beading wire, which works great although it isn’t as easy on the fingers. But whatever, because I got it done, and John gave me an old t-shirt to cut up and I wrapped the little eggs up in their little shirts and that was it, pretty much, project done.
Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

The eggs went into a pot with some water and vinegar, came to a boil, and simmered for 20 minutes while I wandered off to do something else. I turned the heat down a little too low, though, so at the end I turned it up again and gave them an extra five minutes. Since I pulled one egg out to test before the final five minutes, I found out for a fact that it made a difference for the better. So now we know. Looks like my impatience has paid off once again! You can thank me later, science.
Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

They turned out so beautifully! The brightest, most vibrant colors transfer the best, but it’s the surprises that are really fun. The tie I thought was the ugliest, in the mustardy-gold color with magenta spots, came out in a light springy green for no reason I can see at all. It must be an Easter miracle.
Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

The one I thought would be un-Eastery because it was a small, dark geometric print proved to be super cool looking. It’s kind of grey-blue with yellow, but it doesn’t look dark at all, and the geometric dots combined with the organic wrapping pattern is great.
Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

And the last tie—hideous tie—was printed in loud magentas and purples and golds with postage stamps and postmarks and not only did the colors transfer beautifully, but look! Is that a queen I spy on my egg?
Dye Easter eggs simply and beautifully using silk scarves and neckties.

I figure my eggs probably won’t get eaten. Come on, leave me alone. I feel bad enough already. But nowhere on any of my tie labels did it say, “Go ahead, eat this tie, you’ll be fine.” I checked twice. Martha and the Internet both seem pretty sure it’s safe, but I don’t know. You know?

Anyway. Happy Easter!

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.

  • t3h-w0lfy

    I've never seen this before, probably since I don't go frequenting Martha Stewart and mom blogs (StumbleUpon brought me here), but this looks really neat!
    Do you think it could be done with blown eggs (so you could keep them from year to year) or do they have to be raw and hard boil them?

  • Kristina

    @Sara — Thanks! I'm so glad you stopped by!

    @Wolfy — Absolutely it can. I haven't tried it, but like I said, I did read about a LOT of other people's experiences. So with blown eggs, it's exactly the same, except they'll want to float to the top, so you have to put say a metal colander over them in the pot to keep them submerged. No big deal. The bonus is that you can boil them as long as you want, which means you can get richer colors in the shells, so people have made some really gorgeous blown eggs.

    Oh, and I hear they fill up with water (makes sense) so you have to be really careful when you're unwrapping them, and pour the water out.

    I hope you try it and it turns out awesome!

  • BabyPop

    great idea I will have to try it next year

  • Throckmorton Jones

    I've never heard of doing this either but they look great! Really interesting outcomes. :)

  • Kristina

    Thanks! Yeah, you know, it's the weirdest thing — I had never, ever heard of anything like this, but once I started looking for it, it was everywhere. It makes me wonder what other awesome things are out there that are just as difficult to find.

  • Lois A. and Edward C.

    Actually, pysanki (beautiful Ukranian eggs) as I understand it is done on RAW eggs and they are kept from year to year. In fact, some of the ones you see may be many years old. As I understand it, the inside of the egg dries out after a while so it's really not important. To use the silk tie method, of course, it is necessary to boil the eggs, but eating them doesn't have to be the objective.


  • Emily

    OMG- I realize I am late to the party, but how gorgeous are these eggs? What else could this principle be used to decorate me wonders…there must be something- this is too cute to not be used on everything I own

  • Ashley Jackson

    I would think you should be able to eat them if you wanted the membrain that seperates the shell from the inner part (the white and yolk) should keep it safe. cool craft!

  • Thank you pertaining to sharing this kind of wonderful content material on your site. I noticed it on google. I am going to check to come back after you post much more aricles.

  • Rachel

    I just found you thru Stumbleupon, I know I’m way late to the party but the eggs look fab and I had never seen this done before either. I wonder if I could do this to rocks so I could jazz up the one I’ve apparently been living under :p

  • buzz

    This works better (they are reusable) if you drill two holes into the eggs and blow out the insides. we use goose eggs because they are bigger. We have eggs from ten years ago

    • That’s true! From what I understand, you can boil them much longer and get more vivid colors if you blow them out. For me, keeping them forever is not as good as eating them (I have a problem with accumulating too much stuff as it is, so the more ephemeral the art, the better), but if you don’t mind storing them until next year then blowing out the yolks is a fantastic option.

      Thanks for the comment, buzz!

  • These turned out great! I’m including them in my Friday Favorites feature tomorrow!

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  • Bird

    You made me laugh at the everyone and their mom blogged this but you and your mom…(mom looks like your next!) LOL! Looks like a cool technique!

  • Insomniartist

    I’ve seen these done with eggs that have been “blown” before. No worries if someone will eat them then! Very fun idea and I can’t wait to give it a try myself.. Thumbs up!

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