Easter is just around the corner. Did you know you can make your own colorful Easter egg dyes from berries, vegetables and plants for pennies?
Tools and Materials
Natural dyeing agents (red cabbage, turmeric, onion skins, beets, and coffee)
3-quart pot (or larger)
Large metal spoon
Select a dyeing agent, and place it in the pot. Add 1 quart water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar to pot; if more water is necessary to cover ingredients, proportionally increase the amount of vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a bowl. You can choose as many colors as needed.
Boil your eggs in a separate pan until hard.
Cool both eggs and dyes
Using a metal spoon, lower cooled hard-boiled eggs into a bowl of cooled dye, and let them soak for as little as 5 seconds or as long as overnight, depending on the depth of color you desire. Remove eggs with spoon, pat dry with paper towels, and let dry on a wire rack. The cold-dipping method produces subtle, translucent shades, but can result in uneven coloring unless the eggs are rotated vigilantly while in the dye. For hollow eggs that will last indefinitely, cold-dip raw eggs, and then blow them out after they are dyed.
This method involves boiling the eggs with the dye; the heat allows the dye to saturate the shells, resulting in intense, more uniform color. Set raw eggs in a pot of strained dye; bring to deepen colors, turn down to simmer and leave for up to 20 minutes, or turn pan off and leave for up to 30 minutes or store in dye over night. Remove and dry eggs as with the cold-dipping method.
You can use fresh and frozen berries as 'paints', too. Simply crush the berries against dry boiled eggs.
Naturally-colored eggs will not be glossy, but if you want a shiny appearance you can rub a bit of cooking oil onto the eggs once they are dry.
Natural Easter Egg Dyes
Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Canned Cherries with Juice
Don’t limit yourself to this list. Play around and let us know if you found a new natural color. To make patterns on the already hard-cooked eggs, draw the design with a nontoxic wax pencil or crayon and the dip the eggs into dye. For a lacy pattern, soak a piece of fabric lace in melted paraffin and wrap around an egg while the wax is still soft. Put the wrapped egg into the dye, just long enough to color it. Remove the egg and peel the fabric off.
Enjoy and have fun!!!!