Mark your calendar for the day after Easter, and snag some discounted Easter Egg Dye.
But don't wait too long. If enough folks find out what great colors are hidden in the tiny tablets the shelves will empty fast.
Below are photos so you can compare a Big Box nine tablet kit with a Dollar Store set of six tablets.
This is the basic Dudley's Easter Egg decorating kit. No swirling colors, tattoos, or glitter in the kit.
If I didn't enjoy surprises, I might have been really irked that the brown, purple, and teal tablets weren't anything like the drawing on the box.
And the strawberry is very weak.
The next photo shows what each of the colors looks like when mixed with one of the other colors. More information about what you're seeing is below the photo.
Each tablet was dissolved in 8 ounces of water.
I mixed 1 teaspoon of each color together.
The mini-hank is 1 yard of Lion Brand Fishermen's wool.
The chart is read like a multiplication table.
Flavors used with abbreviations:
Feast your eyes on the jewel-tones on the right side of the photo. Especially the row with brown. Once upon a time Kool-Aid came in root beer flavor. Too bad it has gone extinct. Brown food dye is terrific for toning down mixtures.
The next photo shows samples made with an Easter Unlimited Kit from Family Dollar.
The set of 6 hanks on the left shows the unmixed colors.
The yellow is weak (a common problem in food color).
Orange and blue makes a dark pine. Green and orange is a cool brown.
The PAAS box instructs you to add either vinegar or lemon juice to all of the tablets, including the reds.
After dissolving each tablet in 8 ounces of water, we added 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the yellow, orange, red, pink and purple. Three tablespoons of vinegar were added to the denim, blue, teal and green.
The colors bonded well, but the blues need to be heated longer.
The purple was a bit fussy. After heating, and cooling, a bit of blue remained. Another teaspoon of vinegar and reheating turned the dyebath clear.
General Easter Egg Dyeing Notes and Hints
Easter Egg Dye is easy to store in unopened packages.
The colors are quite bright when used to dye small amounts of yarn of less than an ounce.
By increasing the amount of yarn, the color becomes more pastel.
Easter Egg food dye comes in small tablets. The food color tablets will dissolve just fine in warm water. So if you are hand painting, you don't need to pour boiling water on the tablets and wait until the dye stock cools.
Follow the directions on the box about which colors need white vinegar and which don't. Sometimes the manufacture recommends not adding vinegar to red, pink, purple - just water. The red, pink and purple should have citric acid in the tablet and so bind to wool, just like Kool-Aid drink mix.
The second time dyeing with Easter Egg dye containing citric acid, I forgot and added a tablespoon of vinegar with the red tablet. Instead of dissolving, the tablet turned white and hard. Yuck.
Occasionally there isn't quite enough citric acid to set the red shades. Add a teaspoon of vinegar and continue heating.
Blue, teal, green, yellow, orange and brown tablets need vinegar to bond to wool yarn. For .2 oz of yarn, begin with 1 tablespoon of vinegar per tablet for these colors. Heat to 180 degrees and let the yarn cool to room temperature. The blues and greens may need a second tablespoon of vinegar and a second heating.
Purple can be a tricky color.
When the red bonds and the blue is left behind, allow the yarn to sit for an hour in the dye bath. Sometimes, a bit of vinegar and more heat is necessary to force the blue to bond completely. But don't add too much or the red will crock.
Dyeing an entire hank of wool a single color would require many boxes, but a few tablets will make a bright multi-colored ball.
Photos of our readers' projects and hanks.
Go from Easter Egg Dye to Dye Your Yarn Home Page