Creating a fantastic ‘marbled’ effect on your eggs is easy, and this is a great pre-Easter activity to do with kids.
To display your marbled eggs during the Easter season and beyond, check out our method for ’emptying’ out the eggs first. You’ll even be able to save the contents of the eggs for cooking later!
To make ‘marbled’ eggs, you will need:
- Empty eggs (any number, but between 6 and 12 is a good amount for an effective display (allows for some breakages during the process too)
- Food colouring (we used red, blue and yellow)
- White vinegar
- Olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
- Deep bowls (one bowl per colour)
- Paper toweling
- Stickers (optional)
Note: For a fun effect, place stickers on the dry egg shell before dying with the base colour. Once dyed, marbled and dried, carefully peel away the stickers to reveal their shape. No need to purchase special stickers, just use whatever you have on hand. We used circle and star shaped stickers which worked great.
What to do:
Dye eggs with a base colour
- You’ll need to cover your eggs in a base colour first.
- In each bowl combine enough warm water to completely cover an egg; approximately one tablespoon of white vinegar; and 10 to 20 drops of food colouring. The more food colouring, the more intense the colour will be. Use primary colours, or mix your own (eg mix red and blue to make purple, blue and yellow to make green and so on).
- Place an empty egg in the bowl of base coloured water. Empty eggs float, so use a spoon to keep the egg in the water for a few minutes to soak up the colour. Don’t be tempted to hold the egg in the water with your hand as your hands will be dyed!
- Over a bowl or kitchen sink, shake or blow out any liquid that has gone inside the empty egg.
- Place dyed egg on paper towel to dry while you prepare marbling mixture.
- Repeat for each egg, dividing the number of eggs between the different base colours.
- Rinse out the bowls to re-use them for the marbling mixture.
Create marbling mixture
- Use a darker shade of the base colour, or a contrasting colour for marbling. We used a different combination for each egg (e.g. if the base colour was red, we used blue for marbling. If the base was yellow, we used red for marbling and so on.) Have fun trying different colour combinations!
- Pour warm water into each bowl (2-3 centimetres deep (1 inch) is plenty).
- Add food colouring of your choice.
- Add one tablespoon olive oil (the oil creates the swirly marbled pattern!)
- Use a fork to stir the oil and water mixture to create swirls on the surface.
- Working quickly, place a dyed egg in the oily mixture with your hand and roll the whole surface of the egg around once to pick up the oil streaks. Use paper towel to gently dab off the excess liquid, then allow to dry. Leave the marbled eggs to dry on paper towels for a few hours. The colours will intensify as they dry.
- Repeat for each egg.
Once completely dry, place marbled eggs in a bowl or on a tray to display for Easter!
- Get organised and set up everything you’ll need before inviting little kids to join you.
- Place a towel, plastic tablecloth or similar under your work area in case of spillage.
- When submerging the egg in the base colour, use a spoon rather than your hands as your skin will soak up the colouring. Miss 5 insisted on using her hands in blue dye and ended up looking like Smurfette for a couple of days at school until it wore off!
- When creating the marbled effect, work quickly to roll the egg on the surface of the oily mixture, then remove. Don’t be tempted to submerge the egg in the mix or you’ll lose the marbled effect.
- Have fun!
Instructions adapted from Delish