Easter 2012 has arrived, and while the tradition of boiling and decorating eggs may seem self-explanatory there are plenty of tips and tricks to help make the perfect egg.

How to make the perfect hard-boiled egg: (Courtesy of Elise from Simply Recipes)
1 Put the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan, covered by at least an inch or two of cold water. Starting with cold water and gently bringing the eggs to a boil will help keep them from cracking. Adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the water will help keep the egg whites from running out of any eggs that happen to crack while cooking, but some people find that the vinegar affects the taste. I don't have a problem with it and I usually add a little vinegar. Adding a half teaspoon of salt is thought to help both with the preventing of cracking and making the eggs easier to peel. Put the burner on high and bring the eggs to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds.

2 Reduce the heat to low, return the pan to the burner. Let simmer for one minute. (Note I usually skip this step because I don't notice the eggs boiling until they've been boiling for at least a minute! Also, if you are using an electric stove with a coil element, you can just turn off the heat. There is enough residual heat in the coil to keep the eggs simmering for a minute.)

3 After a minute, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 12 minutes.

This is all you need to hard-boil your Easter eggs for the decoration stage, but the full recipe is here.

Tips to Decorate the Egg

Once you have the perfect hard-boiled egg you can use the following materials to decorate your egg:

  • Acrylic
  • Paint
  • Sequins
  • Food Dyes
  • Felt Tip Pens
  • Ribbons
  • Glitter
  • Colored Foil

Solid Color: To paint your egg smoothly into a solid color all you need to do is place the egg in a cup of food dye and let it wait for between 10-15 mins.

Stencils: You can mask off parts of the egg with stickers and rubber band shapes before dipping the egg into the food dye to create patterns on the egg.

Wax Patterns: if you drip patterns on the egg with wax and then dip it into dye, you can peel off the wax once the egg is dry to get strong patterns on the egg.

Hand Painting: Another option is to mix a bit of vegetable oil into the dye and paint the patterns onto the eggs yourself.

Let us know your decoration suggestions in the comments box below.