How To Make Natural Easter Egg Dyes
Give the Easter bunny a run for his money by dyeing Easter eggs the natural way, using common foods and flowers.
- 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 need to be at least three (3) days old to peel well. Learn how to cook Perfect Boiled (hard-cooked) Eggs.
- The longer you soak the eggs in the following dye liquids (of your choice), 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.
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.
You need to use your own judgment about exactly how much of each dye stuff to use. Except for spices, place a handful (or two or three handfuls) of a dyestuff in a saucepan.
Add tap water to come at least one inch above the dye stuff. NOTE: This will be about 1 cup of water for each handful of dyestuff.
Bring the water just to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer about 15 minutes or up to an hour until you like the color obtained. Keep in mind that dyed eggs will not get as dark as the color in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
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.
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 tea for several hours or overnight. The longer the egg soaks, the deeper the final color will be. If you plan to eat the eggs be sure to do this step in the refrigerator.
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 easily be rubbed off before the egg has dried.
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.
Natural Color Dye Chart:
|Color||Items to Dye with|
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
|Brown or Beige||Strong Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
|Brown or Gold||Dill Seeds|
|Brown Orange||Chili Powder|
|Green||Spinach Leaves (Boiled)
|Greenish Yellow||Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)|
|Grey||Purple or red grape juice or beet juice|
|Lavender||Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
|Orange||Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
Canned Cherries (with syrup)
Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
|Violet or Purple||Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
|Yellow||Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled) or Saffron