When I was a child my mom had some hollowed out terracotta colored eggs with plant silhouettes on them. I thought they were very pretty. Every Easter when my family decorated eggs I wanted my eggs to look like those. They never did. Given that I am still thinking about those eggs (20+ years later?), I finally decided to get serious about trying my hand at creating my own version. These eggs are not simple, but I am pretty pleased with the results and they look like my original egg-spiration (sorry, last corny egg joke, I promise). The originals have long since perished so no side by side comparison photos are possible. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
Later this week, I’ll post a simplified version of these eggs (using hard boiled eggs, an easy dye and edible plants).
I start my description of how I made these with clean hollowed out eggs because my experience blowing out the eggs was not so great. Let’s just say it left me with a splitting headache and a very bad taste in my mouth. If anyone has any suggestions regarding easy and sanitary methods of removing the whites and yolks from eggs I would love to hear them!
1. I gathered interesting plant leaves from the planters on my apartment’s roof top and our houseplants. I secured the leaves to my hollowed out egg shells by placing the leaves against the egg shells and slipping the shell into a piece of an old pair of nylons. I twisted the nylon into a bunch on the side opposite the leaf and secured it with a rubber band.
2. In a large pot (one that I just use for crafting and not cooking), I combined about 1 cup of white vinegar, the skins from about 10 yellow onions, and enough water to fill the pot with some room left over for the eggs. I covered the pot and boiled the mixture for about 45 minutes.
We bought the onions in bulk (~10 lbs), so Jaime and I were eating onions in what seemed like just about everything for awhile. Next time I make these, I’ll probably just save onion skins for a couple of months in advance.
3. I carefully added the wrapped egg shells to the mixture (in batches) and simmered the mixture until the shells reached a color I liked. I added more water to the pot as necessary. I ended up simmering my shells for a couple of hours rotating them in the liquid every so often so that they colored fairly uniformly.
4. When the shells reached the desired color, I removed them from the liquid and let them dry on skewers stuck in their original (cardboard) carton.
5. When the eggs were dry I spray painted them with a coat of clear acrylic gloss.
This photo shows two eggs, one with the gloss (left) and one without (right).
- Clean, hollowed out egg shells
- Skins from about 10 yellow onions
- About 1 cup white vinegar
- Old nylons
- Rubber bands
- Interesting leaves
- A craft pot
- Clear acrylic gloss
- Kabob skewers