How to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs with Ingredients from your Refrigerator

Creating the brightly-colored eggs was always a family affair in my house, and I looked forward to it each season. One thing I’ve only recently stumbled across is “designer” ways of dying eggs, like silk and plant dyeing. If you are looking to bring colors from nature into your Easter basket, you’re in luck, in this blog, we share how to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs. Using dyes from nature is a fun experiment. For most of humanity’s time on earth, garments and textiles were colored with minerals, teas, and plant extracts. These colors are often softer, more variable, and faster to fade than chemical dyes, but they’re more beautiful (in our humble opinion).

Blue and pink Easter Eggs made with natural dyes on plates
Blueberries and beets yield beautiful results, to varying degrees based on how long you allow the eggs to soak

How to Naturally Dye Easter eggs with food

The colors from one to the next can be quite different. If you let your eggs soak for a few hours, you’ll achieve richer colors. On the other hand, if they steep for half an hour or so the tones will be more blotchy and uneven. This makes the eggs all the more beautiful. You’ll need to gather your ingredients for this project and we encourage as much creativity as you can gather. If the ingredient has a color, it will likely offset that color onto the eggs, though sometimes you’ll be surprised. Also, just like in art class in elementary school, if you mix ingredients, you’ll be mixing colors to get different results. If you want grey, for example, mix purples blues and yellows.

Here are some ideas for ingredients:

  • Purple cabbage
  • Beets in every color
  • Turmeric
  • Red Zinger Tea, or any fruit teas that offset color
  • Red and yellow/brown onion peels
  • Strong Coffee (instead of water)
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries

Step One: Egg Preparation

Hard boil both white and brown eggs and allow them to cool

Step Two: Prepare the natural dye

For each color, in a saucepan combine water, vinegar and the ingredient that you’ve chosen for color and bring to a boil. For measurements, as a rule of thumb, you will need one cup of ingredient to one cup of water to 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Allow simmering for about 20-30 minutes. (Longer for richer color.) When the dye is a few shades darker than desired, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Step Three: Strain

Using a sieve, strain and remove all food/plant matter from liquid. One cup of dye per 3-4 eggs. For stabilizing dye you have two options: either add baking soda or vinegar to the plant liquid. Vinegar lightens the color. Baking soda darkens the color.

Step Four: Dye Eggs

Pour dye over eggs, be sure that eggs are submerged in dye and refrigerate. The longer the eggs sit, the deeper the color.

Step Five: Experiment

It’s fun to experiment with colors! A double-dip from yellow into blue will make shades of teal and green, or dipping from yellow to red for salmon and coral tones. Mixing Green and Red will yield a deeper brown/grey shade.

You can use anything in your pantry that creates color. Take a look at your tea collection to add interesting color to the eggs. You may have to soak, dry and soak again in other colors to achieve your desired effect.

To add patterns to your eggs, try decorating the eggs with beeswax in a polka dot pattern or stripe, or whatever you fancy. Try wrapping pieces of twine or rubber bands around them before soaking.

Who doesn’t love dying Easter eggs?

Pink Easter Eggs made with natural dyes with redbeets
Beets make beautiful shades of pink and red

Dying Easter eggs naturally is environmentally friendly and the colors are so beautiful.

Dying eggs with plants allow for much more creativity and freedom than a standard egg dying kit provides. These colors are much more variable, however, so no two eggs will look the same! Depending on the surface texture and cracks in the eggshells, the colors will adhere differently. Some eggs may have dark blotches, others may have light streaks and natural patterns. When you’re dyeing Easter eggs naturally, the unknown is the fun part!

Blue Easter Eggs made with natural dyes on plates
Blueberries and blackberries made this color, allow to sit for a long time

Colors from natural dyes are (typically) as follows:

Blues and Purples

  • red cabbage
  • red onion skins
  • blueberries/blackberries

Yellows and Oranges

  • yellow onion skins
  • tumeric

Greens

  • spinach
  • double dipping from yellow to blue

Pinks and Reds

  • red onion skins
  • beets
  • raspberries

Please Note: These eggs aren’t for eating!

Since we’re using plant-based dyes, the color builds up more slowly than synthetic ones. This means that your eggs could be sitting for hours in the dye to achieve a rich color. If you want to hasten the egg dyeing process, you can follow our boiling method. Either way, some of the plant materials would give the eggs unpleasant flavors, so you wouldn’t want to eat them even if they were dyed quickly. Since you won’t be eating these, peel the shells for in your compost bin. Unfortunately, you can’t compost the inside of an egg, so these eggs must be disposed of.

If you decide to try these fantastic recipes, be sure to take a photo and share them with us using #waxingkararecipes on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!

Blue Easter Eggs made with natural dyes on plates

How to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs

Keyword: dying easter eggs, easter eggs, natural easter eggs
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours

Print Recipe
Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • water
  • white eggs
  • brown eggs
  • 1 c yellow or red onion skins (deep coral) per cup of water
  • 1 c whole chopped purple cabbage (rich red/purple) per cup of water
  • 1 c spinach chopped (green) per cup of water
  • 1 c swiss chard chopped (brown) per cup of water
  • 1 c chopped red beet (reds and pinks) per cup of water
  • 1 c blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries (blues and purples) per cup of water
  • 5 bags herbal tea (green, red, grey, brown) per cup of water
  • 3 tbsp. tumeric (yellow) per cup of water
  • 2 tbsp. white distilled vinegar per cup of water
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda per cup of dye

Instructions

Hard Boil the desired number of eggs and bring to room temperature.

    Boil Dye

    • For each color bring the desired amount of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar per cup of water to a boil, add dye ingredients based on the desired color, and allow to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. (Longer for richer color.)
    • When the dye is a few shades darker than desired, remove from heat and allow to cool.

    Strain

    • Using a sieve, strain and remove all plant matter from liquid. One cup of dye per 3-4 eggs
    • For stabilizing dye you have two options: either add baking soda or vinegar to the plant liquid. Vinegar will lighten the color. Baking soda darkens the color.

    Dye eggs

    • Pour dye over eggs, be sure that eggs are submerged in dye and refrigerate.

    Experiment

    • It’s fun to experiment with colors! Double dip from yellow into blue to make shades of teal and green, or from yellow to red for coral tones. Mixing Green and Red will yield a darker color.
    • You can use anything in your pantry that creates color. Take a look at your tea collection to add interesting color to the eggs. You may have to soak, dry and soak again in other colors to achieve your desired effect.
    • To add patterns to your eggs, try decorating the eggs with beeswax in a polka dot pattern or stripe, or whatever you fancy. Try wrapping pieces of twine or rubber bands around them before soaking.
    Dyeing Easter Eggs Naturally Tall Pin

    About the Author

    Stephen

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