Welcome to my blog!My name is Melody M. Nuñez, and I’m an artist and a writer. Please look around my website and make yourself at home. I post new blog entries weekly, and hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and come back often! To learn more about me, please view the “About” page…
Tag Archives: Easter eggs
By Melody | Published April 3, 2012
It’s that time of year again, when chocolate bunnies and brightly colored eggs abound. Not into dyeing eggs? You might consider buying some discounted egg dye kits after Easter Sunday nonetheless. Don’t own a coffee machine? You may want to pick up some coffee filters anyway. Why? Egg dye kits and coffee filters constitute the base materials for a variety of spring-hued projects that can be enjoyed year-round! From paper flowers to festive banners, these versatile dyed circles can be used in projects that are both frugal and versatile.
Egg Dye on the Cheap
Last year I purchased a kit to dye some Easter eggs for a photo shoot with one of my rabbits, Cypress. After Easter had passed I noticed the same egg dye kits were marked down to something ridiculously low – I think it was ten cents per kit, if I’m remembering correctly. I decided to buy five kits on the cheap since I knew I could come up with a fun way to use the lovely dyes the kits make. Well, it took me almost a year to get around to it, but here are some of the ways I used last year’s clearance dye.
My primary idea was to use the dyes to create paper flowers. And though I don’t drink coffee, or own a coffee machine, I kept seeing a stack of coffee filters in the break room at work. I wanted to find a way to use both the dye and coffee filters, and my mind finally connected the dots. I purchased a package of coffee filters as soon as I hit upon the idea.
I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out, but I decided to give it a whirl, and was thrilled with how many beautifully-colored paper circles I was left with. I made nearly 200 colored paper circles in dozens of shades! Nine colors of dye came in the egg dyeing kit, but by using the dye in full strength followed by increasingly diluted dye (pour out some dye, add water, repeat) you can create many shades of just one color. It just depends on how much time and patience you have – and how many coffee filters!
The samples I created include two flowers with embroidered centers – including one with a vintage lace hanger – and a flower with a vintage button center. (Please don’t laugh at my embroidery “skills” – I’m a total beginner!) I also created a simple light green flower with a stamped center that’s been embellished with a single large, black button. I attached this stamped flower to a gift bag, and love the way it dressed up what started out as a bland basic!
Another project I whipped up is a banner. In addition to the dyed circles, I used a small paint brush, black India ink (you could use craft paint instead), a ¼” hole punch, and brass brads. With a pile of dyed circles on hand it’s quick and easy to make banners for any occasion quickly and easily by using different pictures, symbols, and letters. It would also be super easy to make a Very Hungry Caterpillar from paper using this same technique!
Our bunny, Pinto, loves these colorful, dyed coffee filters!
My Dyeing & Drying Tips
- Cover your work space with plastic and work carefully to avoid dyeing your work space. Consider wearing a water-proof apron or old clothes.
- Wear gloves if you don’t want colorful fingers and hands. I passed on the gloves because I happen to love colorful hands!
- Decide how many coffee filters you’ll dye at once. I dyed around 6 at a time, but you may choose to separate them and dye them one by one.
- Squeeze out excess dye after you’ve dunked your filter(s) into the dye. You can either squeeze the filters out over your cup, or into a sink.
- Allow for plenty of drying time. I ended up using a blow dryer with a diffuser attached on my dyed filters because I was trying to finish the projects for this post in one day and it happened to be raining outside on the day in question.
*Please note: The cups of dye in the photo near the top contain two batches of dye per color.
Who Knew? Apparently Egg Dye Tablets Have a Shelf Life
Quick note on the egg dye tablets: it’s best to use them sooner than later. I waited nearly a year before using the clearance packs I purchased last year, and though they dissolved enough for me to make plenty of dyed circles, the tablets didn’t effervesce the way “fresh ones” do and didn’t dissolve completely.
Hmm, what else can I make?
I’m sure I’ll think of some more goodies to make with these dyed circles, and am looking forward to more brainstorming and creating. In the meantime, I’m simply taking pleasure in looking at the delicious colors. Yum!
Your turn: What would you make? Have you dyed something aside from eggs with egg dye? Have you used the tie dye technique with egg dyes? Please leave a comment if you’d like to weigh in on the subject of egg dyes, creating with coffee filters, or if you have any questions about the projects I created.
Happy Spring, and Happy Easter!