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How to Dye Easter Eggs

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Here's how to dye Easter eggs with homemade, natural dyes—simply by using vegetables and pantry ingredients in your kitchen!

(When is Easter this year? Click here.)

The Easter egg symbolizes new life and coloring eggs is a longtime tradition. This year, try something different. Instead of using artificial dyes, try naturally-dyed Easter eggs

It's neat (not to mention educational) to see how different foods create different colors; the eggs "transform" without a magic wand!

Natural Dye Colors

Here are some vegetables that produce more vivid colors.  Per one cup of water, use:

One cup chopped purple cabbage to turn eggs blue.

One cup red onion skins to turn eggs red or purple.

One bag of black tea to turn eggs brown.

Two teaspoons ground tumeric to turn eggs yellow.

One cup shredded beets to turn eggs pink.

One cup of chopped yellow onion skins to turn eggs orange.

 

Directions on How to Dye Eggs

Eggs need to be at room temperature. (Take eggs out of refrigerator about 20 minutes before you need them.)

Note: For every dozen eggs, you'll need four cups of dyed water.  So, select four different dyes from the ingredient list above (or, make one big batch of one color).

  • Bring the water/ingredient mixture to a boil, and then turn down the heat to simmer the ingredient for about 30 minutes. 
  • Let the dye cool, strain, and stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons of white vinegar per cup of strained liquid.
  • Dip the eggs for 10 to 20 minutes. The longer they are saturated in the dyed water, the more vivid the color. (If you have time, it's better to leave the eggs in the liquid overnight. Put the eggs in a shallow baking dish and pour the colored dye over the eggs until the liquid covers them. Then put the dish in the refrigerator overnight!)
  • Let the eggs dry, and then massage in a little vegetable oil to each one and polish with a towel.

Now, you can hide the colored ggs, eat the eggs, or use them as pretty decorations on Easter Day! Keep them cool in the refrigerator before you eat them!

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs

Here's another idea that the older kids especially love—tie dye!

  • Hard-boil some large white eggs (use brown eggs for darker colors) and allow them to cool.
  • One way to color an egg with an interesting tie-dyed effect is to wrap a number of long rubber bands of various widths around the egg, covering the entire egg.
  • The rubber bands should be long enough to wrap around the egg a couple of times. (If the bands keep popping off, don't wrap them quite so tightly, or use thicker bands.)
  • Dip the egg into homemade or store-bought dye.
  • Remove from dye and let dry.
  • Remove some or all of the rubber bands, then wrap them around the egg again and soak it in a different color until you have the shade you want.
  • Allow to dry and remove the rubber bands. You should now have a uniquely interesting egg.
  • Another way to create a tie-dyed look is by wrapping and twisting damp strips of cloth tightly around an egg.
  • Drop different colors of dye onto the cloth and let the colors blend together.
  • Let the egg sit until the cloth is dry, then carefully unwrap the egg.

Share your Easter egg creations in our ecard gallery!

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Comments

I used to use the natural

By gardengurl

I used to use the natural plant materials to dye eggs a few years ago when my kids were younger and it was so much fun. The dyes are all safe so if an egg does crack and some of the dye seeps into the egg you don't have to worry. It is so much fun to see what color combos you can come up with.

Don't forget the vinegar! I

By Catherine Boeckmann

Don't forget the vinegar! I did that once, and some colors wouldn't set without it!

Another fun idea is to let

By Amy Nieskens

Another fun idea is to let kids draw on the eggs with crayons before dying them. The wax will show through no matter how dark you dye the egg, and it makes each egg unique!

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