Do Not Try This Egg Dyeing Technique

I like to try different techniques for egg dyeing. Over the years, we've had some big successes. Last year's rice dyeing was awesome. We've tried contact paper masks, spray mists, stamping and hand-painting... all with great success. This year's experiment? Fail.

It started out promising. I've always wanted to try the classic rubber cement resist technique, but I didn't have rubber cement. I did, however, have clear Elmer's glue that makes an awesome resist on fabric. Simply draw on your design, dye it, then wash the glue out. Brilliant! No reason it wouldn't work just as well on eggs! And bonus that it is non-toxic! I decided to dedicate six eggs to my experiment.

I actually thought through the most obvious pitfall- drying time. The glue would take quite some time to dry, so I did the glueing the day before the dyeing. Of course, I couldn't just stick gluey eggs into their slots in the carton. So I carefully propped the eggs, drizzled on my glue designs and let them dry in place. So far, so good.

After a few hours, the glue was completely dry, so I put the eggs back into their carton and put the carton in the fridge. The next day, I pulled the carton out while Trevor prepped the dye. The eggs looked cool. I lifted each one out to admire how the glue had dried. They had fun glue designs on them and surely would turn out beautifully!

Steve and Trevor started dyeing the rest of the eggs while I took photos and supervised Trouble. After about 10 minutes, I was ready to start dyeing my special eggs. Uh oh. I hadn't accounted for what happens to eggs when they come out of a chilly refrigerator and sit for awhile. The condensation made the previously-dry glue sticky. I was able to ease five of the eggs out of the carton, but the sixth left a chunk of eggshell behind. Aargh!

I put my five now-sticky eggs into the dyes. If the glue had been dry, the few minutes in the dye might not have done much to the glue, but the sticky glue just got stickier in the dye. Sigh. I pulled out my eggs and propped them up to let them dry.

The final step was washing off the glue. At least it washed off easily. And it did function somewhat as a resist, though the designs were far less awesome than they'd been when I applied the glue. I suppose it wasn't a total fail.

If you're interested in making some glue-resist eggs, I'd strongly recommend going with the rubber cement. Or, make sure to avoid the condensation pitfall that did me in. Better yet, try contact paper, rubber bands, crayons or any of a number of other items to do the resist.

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