Sunday, April 17, 2011

Finally, a use for ugly ties...

So I got an email this week that had a really fun craft idea. It involved destroying ugly ties. How is that not something I would have fun doing? I went to DI and picked out my 6 favorites. I was just going to pick up 2 or 3, but they were only $1 each, and there were so many to choose from so I ended up with 6.

It's important that the ties are 100% silk. You'll have to check the labels, either the bit on the large half of the tie, or a little label tucked into the back of the small part of the tie. It will either say 100% silk, or All Silk. Either way.

Once you have your ties in hand, you want to cut them up the back and remove the material inside that keeps them in tie-shape. Also, cut out the lining that you see on the either end. You'll end up with long, skinny pieces of silk.

You can color hard-boiled eggs, but if you want to keep the eggs around longer, you can blow the shells empty and color them like that. If you do use hard-boiled, its important to not plan on eating the eggs. Tie-dying dye is different from food-dying dye. I wouldn't risk it.

To blow eggs, you poke a tiny hole in one end (I used a safety pin)

Then you poke a larger hole in the other end. Put your lips over the side with the small hole and blow into the egg. It takes quite a bit of pressure, but the guts will come out the other end. You can read here for how to do it with a baby snot-sucker thingy.

Once the eggs are have been hollow-ified, you cut a piece of the silk that will cover the egg completely. You also need another piece of material (preferably light-colored) that will fit around the egg as well. This will keep the color from the tie bleeding over from egg to egg. I used some quilting fabric that I didn't really like all that much. You want the right side of the silk (the part of the tie that was seen) to face the egg.

Wrap the material around the egg and secure with a twisty tie. You could use string here, but I think twisty ties make things a bit easier. Also, I would tie the silk bit first, and make sure that as much material as possible was in direct contact with the egg shell. I just tied both pieces of material at once. I wasn't able to make sure that the silk contact was at a maximum, so I ended up with more white swirly bits on my eggs than some of the pictures you see at other blogs.

Here are my little egg bundles. I started out with an even dozen, but had three casualties in the egg-blowing process.

After you're all wrapped up, put the eggs in a pot of boiling water with 1/4 C. vinegar added. I didn't measure the vinegar, just slopped some in. My pot probably had closer to 1/2 C. in there. It worked just fine.

You need to weigh down the eggs. Being hollow, they are pretty floaty otherwise. I used a vegetable steamer and put a glass of water on top. You don't want it heavy enough to crush the eggs, but you do want it heavy enough to keep them down.

Let them boil for 20 minutes or so. My kitchen pretty much reeked of vinegar both during and after this step. Also, the water turned pinkish from the tie dye.

Pull the eggs from the water, and let them cool completely before you unwrap them. I just let them sit overnight.

This is what I found when I did the opening upping. Here's the flowery one. I really didn't get enough of this tie in contact with the egg. Would have been even purdier if I had.

The red stripeys transferred really well, I think...

This tie was really ugly, but the egg turned out pretty fun.

The red paisley one was my favorite. Once again, it would have been even cooler if I had tightened the silk more. D'oh!

The yellow tie didn't transfer as well. Still kind of fun.

This one was fun too.

Here's the other paisley one. Very cool.

Well, I thought I'd share my Easter festivity. Seeing as I didn't really decorate for Christmas. Or Valentines day. I did eat corned beef on St. Paddy's day. That was festive, I guess...

Happy Easter week to you all!


  1. Love the eggs! What a fun idea to decorate for Easter. Much better than just dipping eggs in dye from a egg decoration kit. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is awesome! I totally expected to see a wreath made of ties but eggs!? I too love the red paisley one. Thanks for sharing!

  3. My favorite part of this freakin-stinkin-awesome-idea post: "baby snot-sucker thingy"....HA!

  4. I have been seeing this idea on many craft blogs and I have been wanting to try it out! Yours turned out cute.

  5. Wow! All I can say is WOW! I wonder how much fun this would be with Connie's six kids prancing around helping you? Super cool Easter egg dying idea!