Dyeing Easter eggs is fun, and although kits can be purchased for the project, dyes can be made at home, using water, vinegar and food coloring.

METHOD NO.1For each color prepared, mix 1/2 cup hot water, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 20 drops of food coloring in a coffee cup or a deep custard cup. Dip hot, hard-cooked eggs in color bath. For deeper colors, leave egg in color longer, turning frequently, until desired shade is obtained.

METHOD NO.2

For each color prepared, mix 3/4 cup boiling water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon food coloring in a small bowl. Place a soup spoon in each bowl of dye. Gently place hard-cooked eggs in bowl of dye - turn with the spoon to color eggs evenly. Let eggs dry on a cake cooling rack over paper towels (to catch any drips). To make marbled eggs, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to each bowl of dye before dipping eggs.

If your boiled eggs never seem to come out right for dyeing, keep these suggestions in mind:

- Use a saucepan big enough to hold all the eggs you want to cook in a single layer on the bottom of the pan.

- Fill the pan with just enough cold water to come up 1 inch above the eggs. Cover; quickly bring just to boiling. Turn off heat. If necessary, remove pan from burner to prevent further boiling. Let eggs stand, covered in hot water, 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately run cold water over eggs until they are completely cooled.

When using commercial kits, it's generally recommended that eggs be hard-cooked in an enamel, stainless steel or glass pan.

If you forget whether a stored egg is hard-cooked, spin it on the counter, large end down. Cooked eggs spin smoothly; uncooked eggs wobble.

Hard-cooked eggs gathered on the Easter egg hunt can be used in stuffed eggs, with a variety of fillings including shrimp, ham, curry, asparagus and dill.