These colorful decorative eggs are a really simple and inexpensive way to create some beautiful patterns and colors using only onion skins and rice or pasta.

Children will love helping to make these eggs, especially when they get to open up the cloth at the end and see the results!

These eggs are for decoration only, and should not be eaten – boiling eggs for 30 minutes makes them inedible.

Things You'll Need:

Cloth, old in 20cm/8″ squares, as many as are needed. (I used old dishtowels cut up)

Bits of leaves, dried pasta or rice (to make interesting effects)

Onion skins, brown or red

Eggs, as many as you need

Rubber bands

Large saucepan or pot

Water for boiling

Slotted spoon



Assemble the things you need, and cut up the cloth if you haven’t done so.

Step 2

Lay the cloth out on the work surface, and remove the onion skins. (Chop and freeze the onions themselves to avoid wasting them)

Step 3

Place around six layers of onion skins on top of the cloth.

Step 4

Arrange the leaves, pasta or rice grains on top of the onion skins. These will form interesting patterns on the eggshell. Place one egg on the top of these layers. Wrap the cloth around the egg and onion skins firmly.

Step 6

Wrap several rubber bands around the cloth to keep it firmly in place. This also serves to press the onion skins against the egg surface.

Step 7

Repeat with as many eggs as you're making.

Step 8

Place each wrapped egg into a saucepan of boiling water. Boil for around 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Don't overcrowd with too many eggs––it is better to boil in separate pans or batches if you have a lot of eggs.

Step 9

Remove each boiled egg from the water with the slotted spoon. Allow to cool completely, then unwrap the egg and reveal its design.

Step 10

Allow to dry. Once dry, the egg can be rubbed over with a small amount of cooking oil. This will make it shinier.


Red onion skins will give you a range of purple, magenta and pinkish hues, while brown onion skins will give you a range of brown, yellow and golden hues. The final colors also depend on the color of the eggshells you’re using to start with.