Decorating Easter eggs is a big tradition in Norway. They are used to beautify the home and are especially featured on the påskeris – a birch twig decoration. Making them is a fun activity for the whole family.
How to make Norwegian Easter Eggs
With a raw egg, first make a small whole at one end to extract the white and yolk.
We used a special pin which is like a small Phillips-head screwdriver that burrows into the shell so it doesn’t crack. The plastic handle acts like a stopper so you don’t go in too far and break the egg.
Note: Growing up, I always painted eggs that were hard-boiled as our Easter eggs sat in baskets on the table. In Norway, painted eggs used to be for eating and therefore were kept with contents inside for later use. Nowadays they are used as hanging decorations and so need to be light and hollow to put in hangers and feathers.
The next step is to extract the white and yolk.
We used a special, yet simple, device to do this. It was a needle-type instrument with a miniature plastic pump. The needle end went into the egg and the pump pushed air into the egg therefore pushing out the contents. We washed the inside of the egg by filling the pump with water and squeezing it into the egg. We shook the egg and then pumped more air into it get out the water. The egg white and yolks certainly don’t go to waste. Norwegians use the eggs to make eggy-Easter foods, especially breakfast and cakes. Though, if you do want to use the eggy leftovers, make sure to put the egg contents in one bowl and the wash water in another.
Note: If you don’t have a hole puncher and a pump then you can make a hole at either end of the egg and blow out the contents. The bigger the hole the easier it is to blow the eggs out but it also weakens the egg shell.
Water colour is best to use to paint the eggs, especially for a base coat as it is easy to paint on and dries quickly. (It is easy to wash off too.)
We used an egg rotating device. It simply moves the egg around so you don’t have to get paint on your fingers. It’s great for young children who don’t know their own strength.
Note: If you don’t have an egg painting device you can use an egg cup or a cup from the egg carton. Or, you can put the egg on a wooden skewer. Paint one end, let it dry then paint the other. When the base coat is on then it is easy to hold the egg between your fingers to decorate.
Let the base coat dry thoroughly before decorating. To decorate use paints, marker pens, stickers, feathers, glue, glitter, colour tape etc.
We find that water-colours make a great tie-dye effect and doesn’t need any extra painting. We use gold or silver thin sticker strips around the eggs for some sparkle, as in the first picture above. To make little dots we use flat pinheads – dip them in paint and dot on the spots. Markers are great for highlighting or doing detailed work.
Here in Norway you can buy special egg hangers that pierce into the egg, like the one below, but it is easy to make your own. Just make about a 10mm clipping from a wooden toothpick and tie a ribbon loop to the centre. Insert the stick into the egg hole, keeping the loop as a handle. When holding up the egg from the loop handle, the stick should act like a crossbar inside the egg. We also like to put a feather in the top hole of these eggs, like in the first picture.
It’s fun to get creative with the eggs – below: Eve from Wall-E, R2D2 from Star Wars and a little chick.
When the eggs are finished hang them on a vase of twigs.
We collected a bunch of birch tree twigs and popped them into a vase to hang our decorations.