Children love creating and searching for coloured Easter eggs. They’re as much a part of celebrating Easter as chocolate bunnies and baskets. Rather than using pre-made colouring dyes, why not learn how to make your own natural egg dyes? Natural egg dyes aren’t as vivid as artificial dyes but they’re every bit as beautiful.
Natural egg dyes can be made from a variety of foods, flowers and plants. The dye is transferred to the egg either while boiling the eggs or, as with normal dyes, after the eggs have been hard-boiled. When boiling the dye with eggs, be aware you’ll be limited to the number of colours you can do at once by the number of eyes your stove has.
When dyeing the eggs while boiling, you place the colouring ingredients into the pan of water which covers the eggs. Include a teaspoon of vinegar for deeper colours. If you’d rather dye the eggs after they’ve been boiled, cover the eggs with water and a teaspoon of vinegar, and then add the dyeing ingredients. Allow the eggs to sit in the dye in the refrigerator until they are the desired colour.
Here are various ingredients you can use to create the colours you want for your naturally dyed eggs:
* Lavender – Violet blossoms plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice, a small amount of purple grape juice
* Violet blue – Small amount of red onion skins placed in the water while boiling, violet blossoms, hibiscus tea, or red wine
* Blue – Purple grape juice or canned blueberries added to the water and placed in the refrigerator, red cabbage leaves placed in the water while boiling
* Green – Spinach leaves boiled with the eggs
* Yellow – Any of these can be boiled with the eggs: orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed, ground cumin, or ground turmeric. To get the same colour with the cold method, add green or chamomile tea to the water.
* Orange – Boiled yellow onion skins; cooked carrots, chilli powder, and paprika will result in the desired colour in the cold method.
* Brown – Black walnut shells boiled with the eggs, or you can add strong coffee, instant coffee, or black tea to water in the refrigerator.
* Red – A large amount of red onion skins boiled with the eggs. Using the cold method, add canned cherries in their juice, pomegranate juice, or raspberries.
* Pink – Use any of the following, added to water and placed in the refrigerator overnight: beets, cranberries or cranberry juice, raspberries, red grape juice, or the juice from pickled beets.
Remove the eggs from the water, place them in an egg carton, and let them dry. If you’d like your naturally dyed eggs to look shiny, you can rub vegetable oil into the egg shells. Perhaps, after learning how to make your own natural egg dyes, you won’t bother with the prepared dyes you can buy at the store.