FARGO - A dip in the dye is all hard-cooked eggs really need to get ready for Easter. But decorating kits on the shelves this spring offer all sorts of ways to bling out your eggs, like egg "tats," glitter or face stickers to make your own "eggheads."
PAAS, a company synonymous with Easter eggs, sent samples of four decorating kits new in 2013. Three of the four included the classic dye tablets as well as a crafty twist, like rhinestones, velvet and coloring pens. The fourth, Volcano Eggsplosion, offered a new way to color eggs.
We tried out all four to see just how festive and fun they'd make our eggs.
While none of the kits was all it was cracked up to be, overall they created some cool-looking eggs and made decorating a little egg-stra special.
The Oh So Chic kit ($3.97 at Wal-Mart) included 12 sequin designs and would glam up any Easter egg hunt. Clear and pink rhinestones formed patterns like cupcakes, butterflies, swirls and crowns.
All you need to do is peel the rhinestones from the plastic backing and press onto the eggshell.
While this was easy to do with whole shapes, some of the patterns had individual gems, which were tricky to pull off, hold on to, or attach. The rhinestones also didn't seem to stick as well to cold eggs fresh from the refrigerator.
The Touch of Velvet kit ($5 at Target) also added a little luxe to colored eggs. The box even had a touch-and-feel example of the effect.
The kit included three packets of velvet powder and 50 adhesive shapes. You peel and press the stickers onto to the egg, sprinkle the powder on top and press to adhere it to the sticker.
The most difficult part for me was peeling off the double-sided stickers and attaching them to the egg without crumpling the designs. I'd imagine that part would be even trickier for kids or adults without long fingernails.
I was worried this technique would be messy, and to some extent I was right, but applying the velvet powder wasn't as much of a hassle as I'd imagined thanks to a newspaper underneath. I found it easier to pour a pile of powder onto the paper and press the egg into the fluff, rather than sprinkle it on top.
In the end, the eggs were covered with soft, fuzzy shapes and the velvet powder stayed in place.
Far messier in our test were the Deggorating Doodles coloring pens ($4.97 at Wal-Mart). The four markers, in red, yellow, green and blue, had soft tips, almost like a paintbrush.
But the yellow didn't show up very well on red or orange eggs. The green was so dark it looked nearly black. And all the colors smeared all over our fingers.
The kit also comes with 10 stencil shapes, but the stencils don't stick to the eggs, so the designs were smudged around the edges.
The pens did produce cool swirls, and my preschool daughter liked doodling on her eggs. I found it less messy to keep the eggs in the egg carton, coloring one end at a time.
The Volcano Eggsplosion kit ($2.99 at CVS Pharmacy) was messy in its own way. It didn't include dye tablets like the others. In fact, I was a little incredulous when I opened the box: inside were only five stubby crayons and a sharpener.
The idea is to take hot eggs (don't rinse them in cold water after boiling) and sprinkle crayon shavings over them to create "instant color."
It was pretty cool how the shavings melted on the eggs, creating a tie-dye effect, but it was also quite messy. A lot of wax ended up on the newspaper under the eggs instead of staying on them.
It was also difficult to be precise, especially when working with multiple colors in a small space. The directions advised keeping the crayon shavings in separate piles, which I tried to do, but still some red stuck to the blue-and-green globe-inspired egg I was trying to design.
To see if the product was anything special, I sharpened one of our spare crayons and dropped the shavings on an egg. To PAAS' credit, their crayon shavings did melt more smoothly. But I'm pretty sure you could approximate its results with your own supplies.
Bottom line: If you're looking to amp up your eggs this Easter, these new decorating kits do the job. Just don't expect little ones to tackle them on their own, and prepare for some egg-stra mess.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556.