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Create Your Own Easter Egg Dye Using Natural Ingredients

Looking for an egg-citing way to add a little color to your Easter egg routine? Kick those egg color kits to the curb, make a quick trip to the produce section, and as quick as a twitch from the Easter Bunny’s tail, you’ll be ready to cook up your own homemade, natural Easter egg dye.

While we will admit that the pre-packaged kits are pretty convenient, this hands-on art project/science experiment is a surefire way to get your children engaged in the egg-dyeing process. You’ll also be rewarded with unique, earthy tones you just can’t get from a box. Add a spritz of olive oil to your newly dyed eggs, and your little works of art will positively shine!

We’ve collected some of the easiest to assemble ingredients below to help you prep your color batches:

Red/Pinks

Beets (Boiled)

Cranberry juice

 

Orange

Yellow onion skins (Boiled)

Carrots (Boiled)

 

Yellow

Orange/Lemon Peels (Boiled)

Celery Leaves (Boiled)

 

Green

Spinach (Boiled)

 

Blue/Gray

Blueberries (Boiled)

Purple Grape Juice

 

Purple

Blackberries (Boiled)

Red cabbage (Boiled)

 

Browns

Black coffee

Black tea

No two batches of naturally dyed Easter eggs are ever the same, and the colors that you get from the ingredients above will vary based on the amount of each ingredient used and how long you let your eggs steep in the resulting dye.

While you can cook your eggs in with your dye batches to save some time, we recommend creating your dyes first, then steeping your eggs (if you plan on being able to eat them after the hunt is over, that is).

Preparing Your Dye

We’ve noted the items above that need to be boiled in order to prepare your dye.

If you plan on using beets, carrots, orange peels, spinach, or berries, you need to plan for having 2-4 cups of the required ingredient. The more of each ingredient you use, the deeper your resulting colors will be.

 

  • In a saucepan, add your color ingredient (orange peels for example).
  • Add enough water to measure at least one inch over the peels.
  • Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours (until the water is several shades darker than you’d like your eggs to be).
  • Remove the saucepan from heat, and pour into a measuring cup (straining the liquid through a sieve as your pour).
  • Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar per every cup of dye – this serves as a fixative to help set the color on your eggs. (For ingredients that you did not boil, add one part vinegar for every three parts dye.)
  • Pour the color into a bowl deep enough to cover your eggs entirely.

 

While you’re working on making your dyes, you can also prep your eggs by having them cook by themselves on an additional burner. We’ve included a handy recipe below for making sure you get perfectly hard-boiled eggs.

 

Hard-Boiled Eggs (from Southern Living Cookbook)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

 

  • Place desired number of eggs in a single layer in a saucepan.
  • Add enough water to measure at least 1 inch above the eggs.
  • Cover and quickly bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Let stand, covered, in hot water for 15 minutes (large eggs)
  • Pour off water.
  • Immediately run cold water over eggs, or place them in ice water until completely cooled.

 

Once your dyes have been created and your eggs have boiled (and cooled) – you’re ready to paint the town! Experiment with steep times to get different depths of color. For deep, rich tones, you can also soak your eggs in dye overnight (just keep them in the fridge).

 

Thanks for tuning into to our Easter egg tutorial. Now hop to it! 

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