Naturally Dyeing Eggs
Well, it’s official. We’ll never buy artificial store-bought dye packs again. We naturally dyed our flock’s eggs this year and are blown away by the gorgeous variations of rich, vibrant colors and textures.
When I first began researching the process, I was a bit overwhelmed. There were so many precise measurements and different methods and I immediately thought it wouldn't be fun for me or the kids. But instead of ditching the idea all together, I decided to simplify the process significantly and just see what happens. It worked perfectly! Here’s what I did, using a simplified cold method:
- Gather ingredients. I chose turmeric powder, dandelions (whole, just the heads), outer yellow and sweet onion skins, beet root (grated), blueberries (whole), and red cabbage (chopped).
- Boil each ingredient individually with water in a 1:1 ratio (I did 2 cups water and 2 cups of the ingredient except for turmeric. For turmeric, I did 1 tbspn per cup of water). Let each ingredient boil in the water for a few minutes until the water is a dark color. Strain it into a mason jar and refrigerate.
- While they’re cooling, boil the eggs for 9 minutes. Drain and let cool so the kids can safely handle them.
- When dye has reached room temperature or is cold, stir in a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water used.
- Lower the eggs carefully into the jars, ensuring they’re completely covered. Check them every hour until they reach the desired color. Pastel colors will only take about an hour. (We worked on this in the evening and left them to soak overnight for the vibrancy you see here.)
- When you are ready to remove them from the dye, set them on a pan or plate to dry. Be careful not to handle them too much or rub them dry with a towel. The dye can easily be scratched off while it’s still wet but will set into the shell as it dries.
If you're using farm fresh eggs as we did, each ingredient will have a slightly different hue depending on the base color of your egg. From top to bottom:
top: light brown egg dyed in turmeric
right: dark brown egg dyed in turmeric
bottom: blue egg dyed in turmeric
left: dark brown egg dyed in dandelion
right: green egg dyed in dandelion
left: blue egg dyed in onion skin
top right: green egg dyed in onion skin
bottom right: light brown egg dyed in onion skin
top left: blue egg dyed in diluted beet
top right: light brown egg dyed in beet
bottom right: green egg dyed in beet
bottom left: dark brown egg dyed in beet
(note: beet juice erodes the egg shell overnight so only keep in the dye for 1-2 hours if you don’t want the blotchy look)
top left: green egg dyed in blueberry
bottom left: dark brown egg dyed in blueberry
top right: blue egg dyed in blueberry
bottom right: light brown egg dyed in blueberry
top right: green egg dyed in red cabbage
top left: blue egg dyed in red cabbage
bottom: dark brown egg dyed in red cabbage
I hope this craft finds its way into your home and traditions, as it has ours. Happy Easter!