egg tree hungary easter
Kéthely, 2018. március 25. Közel 7000 darab színes tojással díszített tojásfa a Somogy megyei Kéthelyen 2018. március 25-én. MTI Fotó: Varga György collected a variety of Hungarian egg decorating techniques. These are the most commonly (and traditionally) used Hungarian techniques for dying and decorating the eggs for Easter. You can decorate hard-boiled eggs (which you can eat later), or you can blow the egg out and decorate the shell only (which you can keep for a long time). 

Blowing the egg out of its shell

If you aim to keep your decorated egg for a long time, it is advised to blow the egg out and use only the shell. The egg should be washed, then holes need to be poked on each side with a strong needle. The last part is quite self-explanatory, you blow on one side and the egg comes out on the other side. Once the shell is empty, it needs to be washed carefully inside and out.

Dye your eggs with natural ingredients

Luckily, artificial dye and paint are not the only options to colour our eggs. You can find many things in your fridge or pantry which you can use to dye your eggs different colours. Let’s see what these are.

The most popular Easter egg colours are red, blue, green, yellow, orange and purple.

For the iconic red colour, infuse some water with red onion peels and then soak the boiled eggs or eggshells in the mix. For a purple colour, boil ½ litre beetroot juice and 1 tbs of vinegar. Pay attention because if you boil it too long, your eggs will have a deep red colour. Boil it for 15 minutes to get a purple colour and then soak your boiled eggs or eggshells in it. Rinse curcuma, carrots, lemon or orange peel and then soak the already boiled eggs in the mix to achieve a nice yellow colour.  Use spinach to get a nice green colour, and use red cabbage for blue. Add red paprika to some water and soak your eggs in that to get an orange colour.

Egg decorating techniques

These are the most commonly used techniques to decorate Easter eggs. These techniques are relatively easy and do not require too many special tools.

Dying your eggs is often the first step, after which you can use different techniques to create patterns on the already coloured shell. There are dyes you can purchase at stores, you usually have to pour it into the water and then soak your boiled eggs or egg shells in the mixture for a couple of hours. If you want to go for natural ingredients, see above.

Painting on the eggs is the easiest and simplest way to decorate your eggs, and this is also the technique that kids tend to enjoy the most. You just grab a paintbrush and let your creative freedom fly. Use tempera or a permanent marker to draw whatever you would like on your eggs.

The following techniques are a little bit more complex:

  • Use tin foil: Get a square-shaped tin foil, crumple it, then smooth it out. Cover the sheet with the same or with different colours of acryl paint. Put your egg in the middle of the tin foil and cover it up. Press the foil gently then open it and let the paint dry, leaving interesting patterns on your egg.
  • Berzselés: This technique is called berzselés. Get a few parsley leaves and water them. Press the leaves gently to the egg, then cover the egg up with a piece of nylon pantyhose. Boil a few red onion peels in water, then put the nylon covered eggs in the water and let it soak. When you take the eggs out, the parsley leaves will leave nice patterns on the egg shells.
Photo: by Dirk Ingo Franke
  • Decoupage technique: You can buy pre-made pictures to put on your eggs. You need to blow the egg out of its shell, clean it with water, cover it with glue, then gently press the paper cut-out on the egg.
  • Marble eggs: Pour boiling hot water into a glass bowl and put grated crayons in it. When the crayon starts to melt, put the already boiled or blown out the egg in the mix and whirl the egg carefully in the water with a spoon. This technique will leave a nice marble-like pattern on your eggs.
  • Dotted eggs: Dye your egg a colour of your choice, then put dots or stripes of glue on it then dip it into the coloured sand.
  • Scratching: Once you have already dyed your eggs a certain colour, a knife can be used to carefully scratch the shell and create different patterns on it.
  • Use wax: You can write or draw on the egg with wax, then soak it in vinegar for a couple of hours. The vinegar will remove the egg shell’s natural colour except for the wax-covered parts. The darker your egg’s natural colour, the nicer the result.
  • Pantyhose: You can cut holes in a pantyhose, dye it and wrap it around your eggs to create strange patterns.
hungary easter
Photo: MTI


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