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How to Dye Easter Eggs

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Here's how to dye Easter eggs with homemade dyes from veggies, fruit, and spices around the kitchen. Lots of fun for kids of all ages!

(When is Easter this year? Click here.)

Natural Dye Colors

First you need to determine your colors. Here are some of our favorite natural dyes:

Blue/purple: red cabbage (coarsely chopped), blueberries or blackberries (crushed), grape juice

Brown: black tea

Green: spinach, parsley

Orange: chili powder, paprika

Pink: beets (grated or canned with juice), cherries, cranberries, pomegranate juice

Yellow: yellow onion skins, ground cumin, ground turmeric, lemon or orange peels

(To make it simple, you can use just the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue; then mix the colors to create more colors.)

Directions on How to Dye Eggs

  • Remove eggs from the refrigerator about a half hour before boiling.
  • Boil your eggs in enough water to cover the eggs, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and one of the above ingredients.
  • You can also try boiling the eggs and ingredients separately. Let the dye cool, strain it, and then dip the eggs for 10 to 20 minutes. (You can also leave the eggs in the liquid overnight for a stronger color.)

Boiling the eggs in the dye is our preferred method because it gives the eggs stronger color. With this method, the fun isn't in the dipping; it's just neat (not to mention educational) to see how different foods create different colors; the eggs "transform" without a magic wand!

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 and email to friends!

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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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