Tissue Paper and Parsley Eggs

Some people hate Easter.

It’s as though the holiday wasn’t trendy enough for them. They don’t like all the fluffy little chickens. They don’t like floral bonnets. They don’t like little girls in white patent leather shoes. They don’t like pastels.

Wow. It must suck to be them.

Let’s grind it in a little further, shall we?

I’m skittish about the whole subject of dyeing eggs. My Mom despised food coloring and never kept it in the house. I think it was because of that whole “red dye causes cancer blah blah blah” crap from back in the day, but the sentiment lingered. To this day I try to avoid using the stuff whenever possible. It stains and seems, well, unnatural. Am I the only one who feels like that?

To tell you the truth, I would be happy to avoid egg dyeing in general. One time, at work, I sent an email blast to about 9,000 people, inviting them to a Easter Themed Dying Party, as opposed to an Easter Themed Dyeing Party.

Small typo. Big difference.

The boss was thrilled with me that day.

It did not help matters that this was years ago, when The Passion of the Christ was playing in theaters. People were all aflutter thinking it was some trendy new controversial event.

Holy crap I hated that job.

These days I’ll happily stick to dyeing eggs with tissue paper instead of food coloring. It’s cheap and easy too. Plus, they come out all mottled and unpredictable. I like my eggs unpredictable.


  • Eggs. Duh.
  • Torn up tissue paper (Note: NEW tissue paper works best. Don’t use that old scruff you recycled from your Christmas gifts. You can make sure the dye will bleed by touching the paper with a wet finger.)
  • Coffee Filters
  • Thread
  • Italian Parsley (Optional)
  • Hot water with a spoonful of vinegar

Tear your tissue into scraps (roughly the size of small child’s hand) and layer them around the egg.

  • Tip: Tuck parsley leaves in between the tissue and the egg. It won’t leave an exact imprint, but it will effect the egg shell’s rate of absorption and help give softly marbled look.
  • Tip: Certain color tissue will lose dye faster, so don’t go in expecting a rainbow on a single egg. Choosing colors similar in tone (red and orange, blue and green, blue and purple) will always yield lovely two-toned results.

Over the tissue, wrap the egg in a coffee filter and wind some thread around to keep it in place. Set them in a bowl of warm water with a splash of vinegar.

Take a load off. Let the eggs rest there in the water for an hour or so. The orangy-pinkish egg above stayed in the water for 30 minutes, whereas the hot pink tomato colored ones in the rear stayed in overnight. Same tissue papers, different results.  Like I said, I like my eggs unpredictable.

Once they are dry, blow their guts out and go to town; sequins, gold leaf, glitter, you name it!

Happy Easter 🙂
WARNING: These eggs are not for eating! As John said: Are we eating these eggs? Mel Gibson-themed workplace traumas aside, I have to scratch my head a little at the idea that food grade Easter egg dye freaks you out more than whatever toxic-ass sh*t is in random tissue paper. As someone who works tangentially in the food safety industry (enough to throw around fancy phrases like “vermin harborage” and “tangentially”), I must warn against eating these gorgeous, kaleidoscopic parcels of death.


  1. says

    These are amazing! Never heard of this before – did you make it up? Glorious eggs! Love the dripping-with-gold ones. The parsley tip is fascinating!

  2. says

    Are we eating these eggs? Mel Gibson-themed workplace traumas aside, I have to scratch my head a little at the idea that food grade Easter egg dye freaks you out more than whatever toxic-ass sh*t is in random tissue paper. As someone who works tangentially in the food safety industry (enough to throw around fancy phrases like “vermin harborage” and “tangentially”), I must warn against eating these gorgeous, kaleidoscopic parcels of death.

  3. says

    John, excellent point! These are intended to be hollowed out and hung up but someone might still try to eat them…so I’m just going to paste your comment in the post –your wording would be better than mine, and let’s be honest, the new possibility that someone might come to my blog after googling the term “vermin harborage” = Epic Winning.

    Michelle, I didn’t come up with it. Im not sure who invented it but it’s in this craft/story/song book we had in the house as a kid. Half the contents of the blog are a variation on something out of that book. Hmmm….now I type this, I should probably write a post on it. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Susan says

    I find the sickly sweetness of Easter rather appalling and the thought of decorated eggs as parcels of death is very refreshing.

  5. says

    Awesome idea! The kids are going to love this! Thanks!

  6. says

    These are amazing!!! Peaches, as I was reading your post and got to the bottom, you started sound just like my friend John. Lo and behold! It was my friend John.

    Love it.

  7. says

    Honestly that gold leafed tissue dyed egg might be the prettiest easter egg I’ve ever seen. And who doesn’t want to go to an ‘Easter dying’ party! Hilarious!

    xo Mary Jo

  8. says

    Oh my, Peaches, these are gorgeous! I now HAVE to try this sometime! Thanks for the idea!

  9. says

    Well I’m Jewish and roasting that lone egg in the oven for the Passover sedar is booooring. dang it. Can I come to your dyeing party please? Maybe I’ll try to figure out a cute way to make vermin and boils! (The Plagues People!)

  10. says

    I am all about cancer-causing food dye, but I think your eggs are MUCH more lovely than any dyed ones I’ve ever seen!

    Also, I hope that someday I can attain a level of blog-comment badassery that John Hartzell has.

  11. says

    Peaches: Thanks for taking my obtuse comments seriously. As a kid, I always used hard-boiled eggs for coloring. I grew up in Missouri, where food is scarce. If it came out of a chicken’s cha-cha, my family eventually ate it.

    I’m actually taking a crack at dyeing some eggs as I type. My wife is out of town so when she returns she will either be thrilled or think I’ve lost my mind (or both).

    I’m a dude, so instead of holding the packages together with string I’m using plastic cable ties. I don’t have any coffee filters so I’m using paper towels. All I have in the house is apple cider vinegar and I forgot to get parsley at the store, so I’m using some rainbow sprinkles. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that this is going to be a f*cking mess.

    Ashley: Hey Ashley!

    Katie: Thanks! My blog comments have improved significantly thanks to the invention of blogs.

    • Nancy says

      More John bad-ass comments, please.

  12. Kelly says

    i stumbled across this idea on pinterest and made them yesterday with my residents. I came to work this morning so excited to see what they looked like and NONE OF THE TISSUE COLOR WAS ABSORBED TO THE EGG!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!

  13. PeachesFreund says

    Oh dear, I am so sorry! Only thing I can think is that the tissue paper was waxed –like for florists — so it did not release any dye. You can test it just by dipping the tissue in water and seeing if the colors run. I have used lots of tissue from various sources and never had a problem, but I suppose it could happen. Sorry, Kelly!

  14. Kelly says

    we had some success with the darker colored tissue paper, but the pinks and yellows didnt turn out at all 🙁 i bought the tissue paper new at walgreens…i dont know what happened! oh well, the residents still enjoyed decorating the hollowed out eggs with glitter and jewels and overall, it was a successful project! thanks peaches!

  15. PeachesFreund says

    Hmmm…..well Im glad to hear it went well in the end. Thanks for letting me know!

  16. says

    Who just dyed their Corian countertops too? ME!! Actually its given me a great idea, I’m gonna consider dyeing it on purpose cause the beige is just too boring.

  17. Anonymous says

    After sitting 30 minutes to over night , can you still blow the insides out?

  18. says

    Why can’t you dye the eggs after blowing them out? That way, you can use the insides and not fear any poisoning

    • says

      Hollow eggs will float on top of the water. You need the egg to sit in the water for the dye to work…the egg needs some heft. I have tried to weigh down hollow eggs underwater, it’s temperamental and half mine break, but you are welcome to try it.

  19. Crystal says

    Mine didn’t work. I used boiled eggs would that make a difference?

  20. Sue says

    You want to use art tissue paper, for best results, not gift wrapping tissue paper. Gift wrapping tissue paper is colorfast and made not to bleed. Art tissue paper can be used for many projects, see the tissue collages of famous children’s author Eric Carle.

  21. Dana says

    Ur amazing as always–definitely trying this!


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