Natural Easter Egg Dye is a great way to have some craft-tastic fun with your kids, without the risk of them ingesting regular toxic dye.
Did you know you make a marvelous all-natural, non-toxic Easter egg dye with ingredients from your kitchen? Easter is a reminder of fertility and abundance, so I say turn on nature’s color and let loose.
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
For every cup of water, use the following to make the dye:
- 1 cup chopped purple cabbage = blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs
- 1 cup red onion skins = lavender or red eggs
- 3 tablespoons ground turmeric = yellow eggs
- 1 cup yellow onion skins = orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
- 1 cup shredded beets = pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs
Add one tablespoon white vinegar to every cup of strained dye liquid.
TIP: I use a glass, 1-quart mason jars to put my strained dye in and submerge the eggs in the dye overnight in the fridge.
A Note on the Coloring You Want
You can really play with the color. The amount of dips is more important than the time the eggs are submerged. The more dips in the dye, the deeper and more vibrant the color gets. In between dips, make sure you let the eggs completely dry before you dip them again.
- Hard-boiled eggs, room temperature (white or brown eggs, preferably not super-fresh)
- 1 cup chopped purple cabbage per cup of water
- 1 cup red onion skins per cup of water
- 3 tablespoons ground turmeric per cup of water
- 1 cup yellow onion skins per cup of water
- 1 cup shredded beets per cup of water
- White distilled vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of strained dye)
- Edible oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed oil.
- Saucepan with lid
- Fine-mesh strainer
- A second saucepan or bowl
- Baking dish or another container
- Paper towels
- Gather your ingredients: You can make separate batches of different colors or one large batch of a single color. Follow the ratios given above for each ingredient to make more or less dye.
- Add water to a saucepan: Pour the amount of water you need for the dye you’re making into a saucepan.
- Start making the dye: Add the dye ingredients (purple cabbage, onion skins, etc.) and bring the water to a boil.
- Adjust the heat: Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Check the color: The dye is ready when it reaches a hue a few shades darker than you want for your egg. Drip a little dye onto a white dish to check the color. When the dye is as dark as you like, remove the pan from the heat and let the dye cool to room temperature.
- Strain the dye: Pour the cooled dye through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Add vinegar: Stir the vinegar into the dye — use 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of strained liquid.
- Submerge eggs: Arrange the room-temperature eggs in a mason jar and carefully pour the cooled dye over them. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged. I put 2 eggs in one mason jar, but if you want the dye more evenly distributed just put one egg in.
- Put the eggs in the fridge: Transfer the eggs in the dye to the refrigerator and chill until the desired color is reached. I often let them sit overnight.
- Dry and oil the eggs: Carefully dry the eggs (I let them air dry), and then massage in a little oil to each one. Polish with a paper towel. Store the eggs in the refrigerator until it is time to eat (or hide) them.
If you want your eggs to be more vibrant and less pastel, give the eggs multiple soaks in the dye, being sure to dry them between stints in the dye.
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