I’m going to chalk this one up to “mom brain”. You know the term for those momentary lapses in judgement, or just flat out flakiness, that they told you would come and go with pregnancy (except mine never left me). I decided to give the whip cream egg dying a second attempt with Lil’ Man. We tried it when he was two years old only to discover that he didn’t like messes that weren’t of his own making. I think he hated every minute of it. Now that he is almost five, I asked him if he would like to give it a try and he was actually intrigued by the idea.
To make his eggs extra special, I made him some Pokemon vinyl stencils with my Cricut only to have them be a complete pain to try and apply to the curved surface of the egg. I’ll just say that two out of the four stencils didn’t make it. (Sorry Pikachu and Squirtle!)
In trying to recall how exactly we dyed the eggs two years ago (they turned out really well), I quickly entered a search in Pinterest and pulled up the first few articles I could find. I found it funny that none of them mentioned using white vinegar as I could have sworn I had used it the last time and that it was necessary to the chemical process responsible for allowing the dye to bond to the eggshell. (If you want to know all the science behind why we use white vinegar, check out this article from Wired. This is a great opportunity to sneak in a chemistry lesson with older children who can grasp the concepts of pH, ions and molecules!) After reading a couple tutorials that didn’t mention vinegar, I thought, “Okay, no stinky vinegar. I’m exhausted and I don’t really want to deal with that pungent odor anyway.” If only I had gotten a degree in chemistry, I could have avoided last night’s mishap.
Let’s just label this one a Pinterest fail. Maybe I wasn’t using the right type of food coloring. To be honest, I don’t add artificial dyes to my baking. The only reason we have food coloring in the house is so that I can make play dough for Lil’ Man’s preschool class. Anyway, I let the eggs sit all night in the goopy dye mess we had created and when I cleaned them off the next morning they had barely taken on any color. We spent the better part of the day remedying my mistake. Luckily, most of the eggs turned out pretty well in the end.
So if you are partaking in some last minute egg-dying this weekend, here is how to avoid my failure.
- Bowls or large baking dish
- Whip Cream (recommended for 3 and under) or Shaving Cream
- Food Coloring (gel or liquid)
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- White Vinegar
- Gloves (optional but recommended)
- In large bowls or a baking dish, put about an inch thick layer of whipping/shaving cream.
- Add multiple dye colors (for the gel dyes I added 1/4 teaspoon) and mix them in the cream with toothpicks to create a marble effect on the eggs.
- If possible, have the kids wear gloves to avoid staining their hands (I tried, but Lil’ Man is just too tiny). If this not possible, you can have them scrub for several minutes with toothpaste to have them remove the dye from their skin.
- Add white vinegar to a separate bowl. Roll each egg in white vinegar (completely cover the surface) prior to placing them in the dye.
- Gently place the egg in the dyed cream and have children roll them around in each color.
- Place the eggs on a plate (still covered in the dyed cream) and put them in the fridge. Let the dye sit for at least an hour or overnight (the longer they sit, the darker the color).
- Rinse and gently pat dry each egg.