DIY cherry blossoms or other flowers. You could even tie dye a pair of tights or wooden clothespins. Here in Germany I happened to have a pile of white, fabric-covered buttons, known as Wäscheknöpfe (buttons usually used for linens). Some were really old and yellowed, but most were really white and looked new. I thought it would be fun to see how they did in the Easter egg dye, so I gave it a try and learned a few things along the way.
Confession: I geeked out a little and summed up my experiences in the figure below. When I edit scientific research articles I see a lot of weird tables and figures, so I decided to do a spoof of a microbiology figure to summarize my results. Cell analysis figures often have a LOT going on visually, so I figured I'd just do the same in showing what worked with the buttons and the dye. Check that out and then scroll down to see a little more explanation.
The key things to note are: Old, yellowed buttons can actually work really well (see A, above), and increased exposure to dye does not necessarily equal a better result, surprisingly (see B, above). I dyed more blue and red because I wasn't very impressed with the yellow, orange, or green dyes. The yellow and orange were too faint, and the green was just too neon for me.
A quick, 30 second dip in the dye lead to the same results as a 2 minute dip, meaning this could be a really quick DIY project. Four minutes seemed to deliver the most saturation and even coloring, but anything longer than 4 minutes resulted in uneven saturation and even some discoloring, unless it was the 7 minute old, yellowed buttons. This was especially disappointing as I did this to the majority of my red and blue buttons thinking that 7+ minutes would bring an even deeper saturation. Oh well.
All in all, a pretty successful little adventure. I think I'll dye a few clothespins and then toss the dye. What about you? Have you ever dyed something other than eggs with Easter egg dye?