I tried an experiment this Easter: dyeing boiled eggs using natural dyes. I think it worked really well. I tried beets, red cabbage, yellow onion skins, and tea bags. Then for a lark, we popped a boiled egg into a glass of red wine that was a bit past its prime. We got a nice pale purple out of that, as well as tartaric acid crystals all over the egg. That gave it a nice and very unusual glitter. The wine-dyed egg is in the middle row on the left. The four in back were dyed with conventional dyes.
These were not eggs from my chickens. My chickens lay brown eggs, which are not suitable for dyeing. Nicole got a a dozen white eggs from the store, which we simmered for 15 minutes.
Onion Skin Dye (yellow-orange)
Take the dry outer skins from 4-5 yellow onions and boil for 15 minutes in 1.5 cups of water. Strain the liquid off and discard the skins. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the liquid. Put a boiled egg into the hot liquid and let it sit for 15-30 minutes until desired intensity is achieved. This will give a nice yellow-orange dye, seen in the middle two eggs, front row.
Red Cabbage Dye (pale blue)
Chop up a half head small red cabbage and boil it in 1.5 cups of water for 15-30 minutes Drain, reserving the liquid. You can eat the cabbage if you want. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the hot liquid and let a boiled egg sit in it for a half hour. The result will be a lovely pale blue. The eggs on the right side, front, above were dyed with red cabbage dye.
Beet Dye (pink)
Chop up a beet and boil in 1.5 cups water for 15-30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and add a teaspoon of vinegar. Dye eggs in the hot liquid for 15-30 minutes. You should get a nice pink color, as in the center right egg above.
Tea Bag Dye (brown)
Boil 4 tea bags in 1.5 cups of water for about 15 minutes. Remove tea bags, add a teaspoon of vinegar, and dye boiled eggs for about 15-30 minutes. The two eggs on the front right row above were dyed with tea bags. You should get an interesting mottled brown pattern.
The eggs were fun to do, but spending Easter weekend with the little grandkids was even more fun. First we went to the library for Saturday morning “reading to the dogs.” The twins got practice reading to the two service dogs, while little Mike and Megan ran around and played.
What a great Easter.
Have you ever used natural dyes to dye Easter eggs?