Easter is just around the corner and with the holiday comes many fun traditions, especially—you guessed it—dying and decorating eggs! This year, forget about the Easter egg decorating kit and its artificial Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1 and Red 3. Instead use safe, natural ingredients, like vegetables and spices, to create an assortment of egg-citing shades. If you’re ready to make your own all-natural dye (and eat it, too!), let’s get hopping!
Prepare the Perfect Eggs
Before you can dye your eggs, you must first hatch a plan to select and prepare them. Eggs come in a variety of shades, including pale blue, cream, white, olive and brown. Keep in mind that cream or white eggs will give you the brightest results whereas brown eggs will produce a more antiqued effect.
Here’s how to prepare hard-cooked eggs:
- Line the bottom of a large saucepan with eggs (forming a single layer) and add one inch of cold water. Heat on high until boiling.
- Remove the pan from the burner and cover.
- Let extra-large eggs rest in the hot water for approximately 18 minutes. Let large eggs rest for approximately 15 minutes, and let medium eggs rest for about 12 minutes.
- Run eggs under cool water or set them in a bowl of ice water. Refrigerate until you are ready to begin dyeing process.
If you prefer to empty the eggs before decorating, follow these simple steps:
- Use a needle to poke a hole in the large end of a raw egg. Wiggle it around inside the egg until the hole is approximately one-quarter inch in size.
- Make a much smaller hole in the egg’s opposite end and then use the needle to break the yolk. Blow into the small hole with your mouth or a baby’s nasal aspirator until the egg is completely drained.
- Rinse eggshell under cold water until inside is clean and no yolk remains.
Creating Egg-straordinary Shades, Naturally
Get egg-cited because here’s your go-to guide for creating vibrant, all-natural hues:
- To create RED, use red beets or red onion skins.
- To create PINK, use red beets, raspberries or blackberries.
- To create PURPLE, use red onion skins, purple grape juice (no addition preparation required!), raspberries or blackberries.
- To create YELLOW, use yellow onion skins, turmeric or cumin.
- To create YELLOW-GREEN, use yellow or green apple peels.
- To create ORANGE, use yellow onion skins or chili powder.
- To create BLUE, use red cabbage (seriously!).
- To create GREEN, use spinach.
- To create BROWN, use coffee (no additional preparation required!).
To prepare the dye, simply combine four tablespoons of spice or four cups of chopped/mashed fruits and vegetables with four cups of water (slightly less for spinach) and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Egg-stract any remaining bits of fruits and veggies from the liquid and voila! You have beautiful, all-natural Easter egg dye!
Place your egg on a spoon and dip it into the dye for approximately five minutes. Leave it in longer to achieve a darker hue.
Helpful hints: Use a crayon to draw a design on the eggshell before soaking and add a few drops of olive oil to the finished product for shine!
This section is for all the vegans out there. We haven’t forgotten about you! Following are some egg-ceptional alternatives to dyeing Easter eggs:
- Bake and decorate egg-shaped vegan cookies
- Decorate unfinished wooden eggs with paint, markers and stickers
- Add personality to these ceramic Easter eggs
- Craft embroidery hoop Easter eggs
- Make Easter eggs out of yarn
- Paint colorful eggs on a canvas
- Make papier-mache Easter eggs