Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

I was pretty skeptical about my ability to use natural dyes, until last weekend when I tapped into my inner Martha Stewart. After soaking eggs in homemade dyes overnight, I lifted twelve beautifully colored eggs from twelve tiny glass jars that my daughter had plopped in the night before. She’s only fifteen months old. So, yes, plant dye was everywhere.

Naturally Dyed Egg Materials

  • 1 forgotten red cabbage in the back of the fridge
  • 8 onions
  • Ground turmeric
  • 1 large beet
  • White vinegar
  • Mason jars
  • 5 pots
  • 12 hard boiled brown and white eggs

Natural Dye Color Guide

  • Purple Cabbage = Blue on white eggs, green on brown
  • Red Onion Skins = Lavender or red eggs
  • Yellow Onion Skins = Orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown
  • Beets = Pink on white eggs, maroon on brown
  • Turmeric = Yellow

Step One: Gather your ingredients.

Select your cutting board and knife to use for beet chopping and cabbage shredding. The beet pieces don’t need to be small, a rough 1” chop will do. Use a slicing motion to shred the cabbage and lightly chop. Next, peel the papery bits from the red and yellow onions. Set aside the onions themselves for another use. Lastly, measure and set aside the turmeric (1 tbsp per cup of water). Keep all ingredients separated.

Step Two: Prepare the dye.

Place ingredients into separate water-filled pots using a 1:1 ratio of water to plant material. Bring all pots to a rolling boil on the stove. Then, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. After simmering is complete, remove pots from heat and cool completely. 

Step Three: Add the eggs

When the dyes have cooled, add to jars. For each cup of dye, add 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar. Once the solution is mixed, submerge the eggs in for at least 3 hours. Tip: I decided to soak them overnight for a richer color. 

Step Four: Make em’ Shine!

When you’re ready, remove the eggs from the solution and set them out to dry. Once dry, place a little olive oil in your hand and gently massage each egg for a nice color enhancing shine. When you’re finished display them, hide them, or eat them!!!

Naturally Dying Fabrics

After my egg dyeing escapades (eggs-capades, anyone?), I couldn’t bring myself to dump the gorgeous colors. Instead, I added each dye into a large mixing bowl along with a seldomly worn white skirt. Swishing the mixture every so often, I let it soak for about 8 hours. When I removed it from the bowl, rinsed, and dried the fabric, it had transformed into a lovely yellow.

Want to experiment with natural dyes? For more detailed instructions, check out this recipe and if you want more information about hand dyeing clothes, look here!

Emily Row is the Content Creator at Taste the Local Difference.

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