Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Living

April 1, 2013

EGG Alternatives

Make use of other clever ideas for dying eggs

JACKSONVILLE — Easter is a time when Christian families gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Religious customs abound on Easter, but a number of secular traditions have emerged as well. Perhaps the most popular secular tradition associated with Easter is the coloring of Easter eggs.

Easter egg dyeing kits emerge in early spring. Consumers have a variety of alternatives to these kits at their disposal. There are some people who desire more environmentally friendly Easter eggs, so here are some creative and greener ideas for coloring eggs this year.

* Wooden eggs: Visit a craft store and purchase wooden eggs that can be painted and decorated however you desire. The wooden eggs will be durable and can be stored away for use each and every year. Because they are made of wood, a naturally recyclable material, they are easy on the environment.

* Consider natural dyes. Use different food items to create all-natural dyes for the eggs. Tea, fruit and vegetable juices – even packaged drink mixes – can be used to tint Easter eggs in various colors. Because you're controlling the materials you use, you can ensure they are safe to use.

* Experiment with papier mache. This ancient paper crafting technique uses recycled paper and a paste to create a hardened mold. Turn excess scraps of paper into delightful eggs put on display for the holiday.

* Purchase corn starch eggs. Cornstarch is used in everything from packing materials to children's craft products. Cornstarch can be molded into solid forms or foam-type consistencies. Egg kits are sold with this green material. When Easter is over, the cornstarch eggs can be put out for composting. Foam-type eggs may be dissolved with water.

* Make edible eggs. Traditional Easter eggs can be wasteful if the eggs are boiled and used entirely for display. Rather, make eggs that will be enjoyed and are not at risk of spoiling too soon after being on display. Gelatin-dessert eggs is one way to use the eggs after Easter, and creative people can try crafting eggs out of meringue as well.

* Dough eggs: Have the children get out their favorite modeling dough and craft multi-colored eggs as a fun, rainy-day project. Those who want the eggs to last can purchase actual clay from the craft store or whip up their own medium at home. After drying, the eggs should be ready to paint.

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