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:: Making Easter Eggs ::


Last year I found some great web sites with tips on naturally dying eggs. The natural dyes come from
spices like paprika, turmeric and cumin; vegetables like spinach and red cabbage; fruit juices and even coffee. 
All of your dye ingredients can (and should) be composted after you are done.

There is a boil method (which produces darker results) and a cold-dip method, 
which is suggested for children or if you plan to eat the eggs.

The two methods are:
Method 1—Hot
Place eggs in a single layer in a large, non-aluminum pan. Add the dyeing ingredient of your choice—it’s best not to mix until you are comfortable with experimenting. Cover the eggs and other dyeing “agent(s)” with one inch of water. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per quart to help the color adhere to the egg, and bring to a boil. Next, simmer for 20–30 minutes or until the desired shade is achieved. If you cook the eggs longer than 15 minutes, they will become rather tough.
Method 2—Cold
The cold method is the same as the hot method with the following exception. Once ingredients have simmered 20–30 minutes (depending on desired shade), lift or strain the ingredients out of the water and allow the water to cool to room temperature though you may wish to try keeping the ingredients in the colored water to give the egg more texture as the dye will become concentrated in areas where the vegetable touches the egg. Submerge the eggs until the desired color is achieved. You may keep the eggs in the solution overnight as long as it is refrigerated.
The longer the egg stays in the dye, hot or cold, the deeper the hue will be. Using vinegar will also help the color deepen. But not too much vinegar. Too much and the egg becomes mushy.

To get started you will need:
  • Hard boiled eggs (preferably white eggs since they take on the dyes better than brown eggs)
  • Ingredients to make your dyes, – As a guideline, use up to 4 cups for vegetable solids and 
  • 3–4 tablespoons for spices per quart. Mash up fruits.
  • White vinegar (2 Tablespoons for every quart of water-and no more)
  • Several pots and bowls
  • Optional: stickers, rubber bands, and crayons for decorating the eggs and making interesting patterns
  • Egg cartons for drying the dyed eggs

Natural egg dyes can be made from a variety of ingredients. I experimented with all kinds of stuff.
That is half the fun you know is trying all sorts of things and just seeing what it produces.

Red onion skins

yellow onion skins

RED-3 cans of beets in cranberry juice (instead of water) – produced a very dark reddish hue
PINK-Frozen cherries – made a very light pink
RED-ORANGE-3 tablespoons of chili powder produced a nice reddish-orange color
YELLOW-3 Tablespoons of tumeric produced a great yellow
GREEN-A mix of spinach leaves, canned blueberries and their juice and a few tablespoons of tumeric produced a gorgeous earthy green color – I think it would work without the spinach leaves, but I happened to have some that were wilting so I threw them in.
BLUE-Blue – 1 pound crushed frozen blueberries boiled about 15 minutes (red cabbage leaves could be used for lavender shades)
GREY BLUE-2 cans of blueberries and their juice made a grey-blueish color
GREY-Frozen cherries mixed with blueberries yielded a grey color (not the purple I was going for).

Making Easter Eggs the natural way is a lovely way to get to know your colors and share the experience with children. No two eggs will ever be the same and the many different effects will bring out the artist in everyone.

Definitely feel free to experiment and try out other foods and spices. For me, that was a big part of what made it so much fun, trying out different things to see what colors would come from them. For example, the dye from the spinach, tumeric, blueberry mix looked orange or brown, but the eggs came out green! And the red cabbage dye was purple-y-pink, but the eggs came out blue. It was like a fun science experiment that the whole family could get involved in. Happy egg coloring! 

*all images from Pinterest

1 comment

  1. I'm going to try this! I'll let you know how mine turn out!


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