Easter Egg Decorating - The Authentic Way!

Submitted by Tully/Sorkness

Decorating Easter eggs is a long-standing tradition at this time of the year. Before the days of colored wax crayons and cute little store-bought "bunny" decals, the American colonists had developed their own methods for decorating Easter eggs:

"At Easter holidays the young people have a custom, in this province, of boiling eggs in logwood, which dyes the shell crimson, and though this color will not rub off, you may, with a pin, scratch on them any figure or device you think proper. This is practiced by the young men and maidens, who present them to each other as love tokens. As these eggs are boiled a considerable time to take the dye, the shell acquires great strength, and the little children divert themselves by striking the eggs against each other, and that which breaks becomes the property of him whose egg remains whole."

We have not tried this with logwood, in fact we don't even know if it is still commercially available, but this decorating technique should work just as well with your standard, grocery store variety red food-coloring dye. Dye your eggs as you would normally, then scratch your design into the shell with a needle or pin.

Try it with your kids and let us know how it turns out!


Anburey, Thomas, Travels Through the Interior Parts of America in a Series of Letters by an Officer, New York Times and Arno Press, 1969, Vol II, p. 500-501, (Colonel Beattie's Plantation near Frederick Town, in Maryland, 11 July, 1781).