The past couple of years, my family and I have been making our own, natural dyes for our Easter eggs. I was honoured to share our natural dye methods at our homeschool co-op earlier this week, and I thought I’d take some time to share them here as well.
The hues for this year’s eggs were achieved with red cabbage (blue eggs), turmeric (yellow eggs), onion skins (reddish/orange eggs), and beets (pink/mauve eggs). The only additional ingredients you’ll need are water, and vinegar.
Start by chopping up the red cabbage and also the beets, and peeling the onion skins.
Add each pile of veggies and onion skins to their own pots, and a few spoonfuls of turmeric into its own pot as well. Add water to each pot.
Heat to boiling, then simmer for an hour or longer, until water is a deep, dark hue. The turmeric dye will look brownish. Add more water as needed while boiling.
Cool the dyes. Once they are completely cooled, add hard boiled eggs to dyes until desired colours are achieved. Colours start to form after approximately 30 minutes, but for more vibrant hues I’d suggest leaving them overnight. :)
** TIP! For vibrant hues, add a little bit of vinegar into each cup of dye! If you look at my eggs, the dark blue shades were achieved with vinegar, and the light blue was without.
There’s a lot of trial and error with natural dyes, but that’s half the fun! Last year we dyed some with grape juice and they turned out spotted and speckled. My kids said they looked like dinosaur eggs though, so that’s cool!
Tonight I’m in the mood to try out a green dye with spinach. We’ll see how that goes.
You may have noticed that some of the eggs have a little design on them. This was something we tried for the first time this year. We gathered cedar clippings from my front yard, and some little flowers as well. Before dyeing, we cut up nylon stockings and tied them around our eggs with the cedar clippings pressed up against them. Once the eggs came out of the dye, a pretty imprint was left behind!
It is called Rechenka’s Eggs, by Patricia Polacco. Do check it out! It’s a wonderful story about an old Russian woman named Babushka who sees the miracle in everyday things. Really lovely story.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope you try out natural egg dyes with your own family! It’s really such a fun project.
For those who have done it before; What’s your favourite colour to dye your eggs? Please feel free share your egg dyeing experiences below.