Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Today, during Greta's unusually long afternoon nap, I decided to dye Easter eggs, but realized that I didn't have any food coloring. I didn't let that stop me! I hit Google and Pinterest where I found how to dye them naturally with items I had in my fridge and cupboard! I really love this idea, think it is a great project to do with kids than just food coloring as I'm sure they will be amazed at what else we can do with our food!

I also attempted to do lace-printed eggs. They didn't turn out with a crisp white lace print but still think they look ok.

So, here is what I did.

I used the color chart here to decide on what I needed for materials to create natural dyes.

1. I boiled my eggs, I use this method (perfect eggs every time, thanks Martha!). You can use white or brown but with brown you have to check what color the will turn with which dye as it's different, here you can find what color a few of the ones on the list will turn brown eggs.

2. As I wanted to try lace-printed eggs as well, I wrapped lace trim pieces around the center of the egg. You want it to be really tight, some places suggested using a rubber band, but I just tied it, with this method won't allow for a uniform circle around the egg, so if your need for perfection is deep, than a rubber band may be better!

3.  Prepare your dyes. Most of the material require to be boiled so let it boil for 15 minutes, or longer if you don't find the color is strong enough, then stain the material and add to a jar or glass. You will want to add a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water to help in the dyeing process. Below (left to right), I used boiled red cabbage (as I have it on had like any good German wife, lol) which turns eggs blue. To do yellow/orange I boiled a mixture of cumin & turmeric, and lastly to do green eggs I boiled spinach. I was going for pastel eggs so I let my eggs sit for 15-20 minutes to let the color develop, but if you are wanting dark vibrant eggs you will want to use jars and then store eggs in the fridge overnight to let the colors develop fully. (Note: after doing some reading, you can actually just boil the eggs in the water with the dyeing product you choose if you just a plain colored egg and not lace printed a few of mine were - saves time!)

4. Let eggs dry, if you want to add a sheen to them after they dry you can always rub them with grapeseed oil or vegetable oil, if you prefer glossy to matte eggs.

A few notes:
  • I found the spinach difficult to develop color, and I didn't add the vinegar as when I added it, the color green seemed to disappear, green eggs will definitely develop better with the overnight method
  • I had difficulty with the brown eggs, and actually found the dye rubbed off, although it lighted the brown and with the lace added a interesting look.
(lighting really does not show the green & yellow very well)

Have you dyed eggs naturally? You have any tips or tricks I could try the next time? I'm happy as I wanted pastel colors but would be interested in hearing on developing more vibrant colors for future reference!

Have a great Easter weekend, it is suppose to feel more like spring here so I am getting excited!


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