Stop messing about with paints and chemicals to brighten up your Easter eggs, give the Easter bunny a run for his money by dyeing Easter eggs the natural way, using common foods and flowers.
How to make natural egg dyes:
- You need to use your own judgment about exactly how much of each dye material to use. Except for spices, place a handful (or two or three handfuls) of a dye material in a pan.
- Add 1 cup (200ml.) of water for every handful of dye material.
- Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 15 minutes to an hour until you like the color obtained. Note: dyed eggs will not get as dark as the color in the pan.
- Pour mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of strained dye liquid. Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye.
|Color||Items To Dye With|
|Blue||Canned Blueberries,Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
|Brown or Beige||Strong Coffee, Instant Coffee, Black Walnut Shells (boiled), Black Tea|
|Brown Gold||Dill Seeds|
|Green||Spinach Leaves (boiled), Liquid Chlorophyll|
|Greenish/Yellow||Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)|
|Grey||Purple or red grape juice, beet juice|
|Lavender||Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice, Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice, Red Zinger Tea|
|Orange||Yellow Onion Skins (boiled), Carrots, Paprika|
|Pink||Beets, Cranberries or Juice, Raspberries, Red Grape Juice, Juice from Pickled Beets|
|Red||Pomegranate juice, Canned Cherries (with syrup)
Raspberries, Cranberries, Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
|Violet or Purple||Violet Blossoms, Hibiscus tea, Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled), Red Wine|
|Yellow||Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled), Carrot Tops (boiled), Chamomile Tea, Celery Seed (boiled), Green tea, Ground Cumin (boiled), Ground Turmeric (boiled) or Saffron|
How to dye your eggs.
- Start with hard-cooked (boiled) eggs and refrigerate until ready to use. Eggs that are too fresh are difficult to peel. The fresher the eggs, the harder it will be to peel them because the white membrane is just not mature enough. Hard boiling farm fresh eggs will invariably lead to eggs that are difficult to peel. Eggs preferably need to be at least three (3) days old to peel well.
- Wash hard-cooked (boiled) eggs in warm soapy water to remove any oily residue that may impede the color from adhering to the eggs. Let eggs cool before attempting to dye.
- Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Leave the eggs in the water until you like the color. Note: Allow the egg to sit in the dye for several hours or overnight. The longer the egg soaks, the deeper the final color will be. Note: If the eggs are for consumption be sure to refrigerate while soaking.
- When eggs are dyed to the color you desire, lift the eggs out with the slotted spoon. Let them dry on a rack or drainer. Note: An egg carton works nicely as a drying rack. Be careful to handle the eggs gently and minimally as some of the colors can be rubbed off before the egg has dried.
- The longer you soak the eggs in the dye liquid(s), the more intense the colors will be.
- If desired, before dyeing the eggs, draw shapes, pictures or inspiring words on them with crayons or a piece of wax. The wax won’t absorb the color so the designs will show through. Using a crayon, simply draw a design onto your eggs and then dye as you would any other Easter egg. Your crayon design will be accentuated by your choice of dye!
- Rubber bands are all you need to make tie-dyed eggs. Use a collection of different sized rubber bands. Wrap the rubber bands, one at a time, around the eggs. Make sure to leave some of the egg shell exposed so it can be dyed. Once the eggs are dyed to the color you like, remove them from the water and let them dry. Once dried completely, pull the rubber bands off to reveal your banded design.
- For a textured look, dab the still wet egg with a sponge.
- Eggs colored with natural dyes have a dull finish and are not glossy. After they are dry, you can rub the eggs with cooking oil or mineral oil to give them a soft sheen.