Decorating Easter Eggs in Victorian Style

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Eleanor Rose

Forum Host
Nov 26, 2016
central NC

Victorian Easter egg gift basket.​

Household Elegancies, by Mrs. C. S. Jones and Henry T. Williams was published in 1877 and is full of amazing illustrations and advice on home decorating. I thought you might enjoy reading some of their advice for decorating Easter eggs. The following is an excerpt from their book:

With many it is a curious fancy, to dress Easter-eggs in elegant forms and keep as toilet elegancies, and we introduce several designs showing how this may be beautifully carried out, and result in charming effects.


Example of an Etched Victorian Easter egg.
Boiled Easter Egg, with Etching

A very pretty Easter gift is a boiled colored egg, on which, as on colored porcelain, the most various designs, monograms, pictures and the like, may be etched with a fine penknife. As hard-boiled eggs do not decompose, this forms a durable mark of remembrance. The brown color on our model, is produced by boiling the egg in water filled with onion peels.


Victorian Easter egg hanging basket.
Easter Egg as Hanging Basket, with Flowers

Open a hen, duck, or goose egg at the pointed end; let all the contents run out, and cut the upper, smaller half away with small sharp scissors; fill it almost up with earth, and plant a sedum, which, despite the small space, thrives splendidly and spreads out its little twigs on every side. As outer decoration for this improvised flower-pot, a net-work of crochet suspended by cord made of chain-stitches, and trimmed with tassels, will do nicely. In the model, the net is crocheted of scarlet silk; Fringe is knotted in at the top, and a string drawn through to make the net fit firmly to the egg. Draw the net together at the bottom, and finish off with a tassel.

Easter Egg as Bonbonniere

This sweet little toy is made of a bonafide egg, cut through very carefully in the middle; the edges are furnished with a narrow binding of soft-colored paper, beneath which, for the sake of strength, a narrow strip of card-board is pasted. A strip of card-board, one-fifth of an inch wide, covered with the same colored paper, is pasted within one of the halves, partly projecting, and serves to close the two parts, as plainly seen in the illustration. The rest of the decoration consists of narrow gold braid pasted inside and out, at the edges of the paper binding. A skillful hand may easily execute a monogram, or wreath of flowers on the outside of the egg. Decalcomania may also very suitably be employed.

Easter Egg as Housewife

Materials: Tulle, zephyr worsted, white sewing-silk and crape, colored silk and watered ribbon three-fifths of an inch wide, narrow blond lace. As may be seen in the illustration, our model is provided with the necessary sewing-materials for embroidery. The outer decoration consists of tulle drawn through with zephyr worsted and sewing-silk, beneath which, the tulle is almost hidden, leaving a peculiar sort of net-work. The pattern of this pretty design is worked of worsted and cross-stitches of white sewing silk. We would here mention that this work is very suitable for children’s hats. For each of the two oval halves of the necessaire, work a piece of tulle seven and one-fifth inches long, and five and one-fifth inches wide; round it at the corners; line it with blue or pink silk, and baste it to a piece of card-board. The outer rim is then marked at even distances, into twelve parts; between these cut out points one-fifth of an inch wide, one and one-fifth inches deep. Bind the incisions with silk ribbon; by drawing them together the arched form is produced; tack in the silk lining; wire it on the edge, and finish off with a binding of ribbon. Ornamental stitches of colored silk decorate the outer side; the inner margin is finished off by a narrow blond lace. The piece that covers the rims is to be fastened to one of the perfectly equal parts, and consists of a strip of card-board two-fifths of an inch wide; it is covered on the inside with silk, on the outside with white crape taken four-fold; it is edged on either side with button hole stitches, and decorated along the center with herring-bone stitches. Two pretty bows, one within and one without, conceal the spot where the parts are connected, and ribbon serves to tie the halves together.

Okay friends. Go fetch some bombazine fabric and some horse glue because it's time to "get cracking!" :giggle: Happy Easter everyone!
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Sergeant Major
Oct 26, 2016
Do delicate! So fancy!
We just used plain ol water with a splash of vinegar and then added the food coloring. The vinegar stank and the food coloring dyed our fingers but a great time was had by all!
Sometimes we'd draw on the eggs with a white crayon for added effects!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!