In the spirit of Cosplay, dressing up is one of the most important aspects, and so is dressing up well. So for this Easter, why not dress your eggs up really well too? If you’re looking for a creative and fun new way to decorate your Easter eggs, try a typical Serbian Orthodox Easter egg decoration tradition. It’s loads of fun and a completely dye-free natural way to impress the Easter Bunny.
Materials you will need:
1) 4 sets of large nylon pantyhose (preferably in a beige color)
2) 30 eggs of any size, natural and cage-free eggs work best (usually are beige as well)
3) 1 spool of crochet thread
5) 1.5 lbs. of red onion shells (dried onion skins- outer layer only)
6) Small green leaves or flowers of your choosing, must be small enough to cover an egg and should be freshly-picked (you can go to a park and pick out various leaves or flowers- nothing poisonous though!)
7) 1 large and tall metal pot
First you want to gather all your leaves and other materials on the table you will be working on. You can begin preparing the leaves that you will use for the eggs or you can pick them as you go. Make sure that before you begin making the eggs you cut the leggings of your pantyhoses into 3 by 3 inch squares that have a top and bottom flap. This is how the leaf will be fastened. It would also help to cut the crochet thread into 6-inch pieces at this point. Follow the example in the pictures below if you are unsure about the measurements.
After all the pre-prep is done, you can begin dressing up your egg. Begin with taking a leaf and placing it face down onto the egg so the back stem of the leaf faces you (this will help the shell absorb the water from the leaf better). Then wrap one section of the nylon stocking around the egg on the side with the leaf. You can add another leaf to the opposite side of the egg at this point or just leave it with one leaf. Pull the nylon tightly around the egg so that the leaf cannot move apart from the egg; make sure the nylon covers the whole egg. When you have done so, tie the excess nylon, tightly like you would a ponytail, with the crochet thread. Tie it a few times until you are sure it won’t budge. The egg should look like the following picture at this stage:
If you’ve successfully completed the first egg, the process for the other 29 is the same! Continue to pick out new leaves until you’ve dressed up all your eggs. When you are ready, get a large and equally as tall pot out to boil your eggs.
Place the 1.5 lbs. of onion shells into the pot and fill it halfway up with water. Begin gently placing your eggs on top of the shells, letting them slowly sink to the bottom. Make sure they are submerged or the color will not stick. You can add a pinch of vinegar to the pot if you’d like. Boil the eggs at the temperature you normally would. Make sure the water doesn’t run out during the process; this is where the magic happens. Allow the eggs to boil till finished for at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
When you believe the eggs have been thoroughly cooked, leave them to cool in the pot for 20 minutes. Start taking them out one by one after they have cooled and gently remove their nylon stockings and leaves by cutting through the nylon. Wipe them off with a paper towel or rag that has been dipped in vegetable oil. Place the eggs into a basket or a final resting place of your choice and enjoy! They should be a crimson or burgundy red color except for where the leaves were; those spots should be imprinted onto the egg like a fossil into a rock. The leaf prints should be yellow. If any of the eggs are cracked, fear not! They are still edible and completely harmless because they’ve been died using only natural ingredients, unlike harmful commercial Easter dyes.
If you really want to make the dressed up Easter eggs fun, try egg tapping. As par tradition in Serbia, people will hit each other’s eggs using the tops and bottoms of the eggs to see which is stronger. The owner of the egg that doesn’t break is said to receive happiness and good fortune throughout the year!