Monday, March 16, 2009

Organic Easter Egg Dye

Easter is approaching and one activity I remember loving as a child was dying Easter eggs for my parents and grandparents...I made them but never wanted to so much as taste them. And like most everyone else, we used a dye kit purchased at the grocery or drug store. It certainly go the job done. But this year, I'm going to try making my own natural Easter egg dyes for my children to dunk their art pieces (organic, free-farmed eggs) into.

Dye Recipe
  • 1 tablespoon of a spice or 4 cups of a chopped fruit or vegetable (see list below; adding more of these ingredients will give the dye a darker hue)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar (to help the dye adhere to the eggs)
  1. First, wash eggs with soap and water to remove dirt or oils that may prevent dye from sticking to the shell.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a pot, and bring them to a boil, then reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. The longer you allow the ingredients to simmer, the darker the color will become.
  3. Remove the dye from the heat, allow it to cool, then run it through a strainer. Dip your hard boiled eggs in the dye for at least 15 minutes—longer if you want a darker color. When finished, you can rub the eggs with vegetable oil to give them a soft sheen.
For a little variation, you can have kids decorate the eggs with crayons or wax pencils before boiling and dyeing them. Or, wrap a rubber band around the egg to create contrast, either on a white egg, to prevent coloring, or on a dry, dyed egg, where it will give you a stripe of the original color if it's redipped in another.

Color Variation Ideas

The following materials will give a range of intensities and surface textures to create a unique Easter egg basket or tree. Measurements, where given, are approximate; play with additional spices, vegetables and fruits for different results. Canned vegetables will work in place of fresh or frozen, but their colors will be paler. Also, herbal and black teas will give you varying shades of greens, reds and browns.

Pink/red: Pomegranate juice, red onion skins, beets or the juice from pickled beets, pickled red cabbage juice, chopped rhubarb stalks, cranberries or cranberry juice, raspberries, red grape juice.

Orange: Yellow onion skins, paprik.

Dark orange: Chili powder.

Yellow: Orange or lemon peels, carrot tops or shredded carrots, celery seed, ground cumin, ground turmeri.

: Spinach.

Greenish yellow: Yellow Delicious apple peels.

Blue: Red cabbage, canned blueberries or blueberry juice, blackberries, purple grape juice.

Lavender: Small quantity of purple grape juice, violet blossoms plus two teaspoons of lemon juice, small quantity of red onion skins.

Brown/tan: Dill seeds, black walnut shells, strong or instant coffee, tea.

1 comment:

  1. Linking to you with love!!

    Sadie from