Spring celebrates rebirth and the beautiful plants and flowers of our planet. If you are celebrating Easter this year, skip the packaged Easter egg dyes and create beautiful naturally dyed Easter eggs with plants. You’ll save money and eliminate waste – no better way to welcome spring!
Beets, red cabbage, red & yellow onion skins, turmeric, coffee, carrots, among others have been used for centuries around the world to create beautiful, vibrant dyes. Natural dyes are safe for children and allow them to engage with vegetables in a fun and unexpected way.
Making the Dye
*Simmer about one cup of vegetables in one cup of water for about 20 minutes, or until you have the desired depth of color. For onions, use only the skins.
*Cover the pot while simmering to avoid evaporation.
*Pour through a sieve to separate the dye from the plants.
*Cool to room temperature.
*Compost the plants. Not yet composting? Check out our blog post here that shows just how easy it is to turn food scraps into amazing soil!
Dyeing the Eggs
*Pour the dye into a glass or bowl
*Add 1 TBL of white vinegar per one cup of dye
*Gently add one hard boiled egg. Be sure the egg is completely submerged.
Natural dyes take a bit longer than manufactured dyes. (Nature shouldn’t be rushed!) I let my eggs sit in the dye for an hour. You can also take the eggs out, let them dry, and then submerge again to deepen the color.
thekitchn.com has some great ideas for using natural dyes. Editor Sara Kate Gillingham recommends putting the cups of dye in the fridge. When the desired color has been reached, let the eggs dry and then rub with a bit of olive oil to create a beautiful shine.
*Try a combination of brown eggs along with white eggs for a fun mix of colors.
*Draw designs with wax crayons on the eggs before submerging in the dye. The wax will block the dye leaving the color of the shell showing. This can be a way to make stripes or polka dots.
*Wrap eggs in rubber bands to block the dye and create stripes.
*Put the dye in shallow bowls and sit the egg in the dye so only half the egg is covered, creating a two color egg.
*Make a larger pot of dye and add raw eggs directly to the pot. You’ll need enough dye so the eggs can be submerged. Hard boil the eggs directly in the dye. This could be an option for older children that can safely be around a hot stove.
It’s been a really hard year… (understatement!!) We all need to find the joy again. Treat yourself to a lovely afternoon creating beautiful naturally dyed eggs for this year’s Easter table. These are the memories your children will remember. Happy Spring!