By Diana Yen. Photos by: Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Diana Yen.
A few months back, I met up for coffee with a friend, and discovered her in a trancelike state, hunched over one of those trendy adult coloring book with a handful of markers. I laughed at her at first, thinking she was way past the age of coloring with markers. She responded by handing over the book and telling me to try it out myself. Over the course of our coffee date, I found myself on autopilot, diligently coloring within the lines as we chatted. There was something about the solitary act that felt good to do with others, like being part of a knitting circle.
This year, I’m giving a twist to my Easter egg decorating party by bringing inspiration from the whimsical pages of those coloring books. An afternoon of stress-free coloring is exactly what a bunch of overworked friends need, and they get to take home jewel-like, colorful Easter eggs as souvenirs in the bargain. Instead of filling in rule-bound lines of existing drawings, you can even play the creator and make the line work for guests to color in.
Use Coloring Books for Inspiration
First, pick up a few coloring books to use as reference. I found a spring-themed one full of lovely flowers and bookmarked my favorite pages. Then sketch out simplified versions of a few floral motifs onto a piece of paper to use as a guide. Think of it as a pre-party Zen moment for yourself.
More: How to Dye Easter Eggs
Prep your coloring-book canvas
A smooth drawing surface is essential, so pick up 1-2 dozen jumbo white eggs, and hard-boil them carefully, dropping them into the water with a slotted spoon, and removing them from the water with the slotted spoon, too. You don't want to mar that smooth surface with any cracks.
Draw outlines in pencil, then ink
Lightly pencil in a few large loose flowers over my egg, and fill in any gaps with leaves and vines. No fear if things get messy—that’s what erasers are for. Once you're feeling pretty good about the pattern, it’s time to trace ink over the pencil marks on these babies with a permanent fine-tip black marker. Let the ink dry, then use a large eraser to gently remove any pencil marks.
Invite guests over for the coloring fun!
The eggs are now covered in fanciful bold line drawings, ready for your guests to color in with washable color markers. Line your table with a big roll of craft paper, scatter it with colored markers, and now you and your friends are ready to party. Each stroke of color applied with marker comes with a feeling of satisfaction and you’ll see why people use this a way to practice mindfulness. The best part? The eggs dry instantly and there aren’t any messy dyes to clean up afterwards, so there's nothing to stop you or your guests from getting lost in Easter-egg decorating euphoria.
This story originally appeared on Epicurious.
More from Epicurious: