Naturally dyed Easter eggs has got to be one of the coolest things I have done in quite a while. If you have never used natural dyes I highly recommend you give it a try. Sure, sitting around with your little fizzy tablets when you were a kid was fun and all, but this takes it to a whole new level. It’s so much fun for kids (and adults) to gather the ingredients, then wait to see what beautiful colors emerge.
I went a little crazy with it this year, trying to turn everything I had in the house into dye. I had some great successes and a few real flops. My quest for a lovely green has still left me wanting. Spinach, stinging nettle, peppermint and Eucalyptus bark were all too pale to satisfy my desire for green. Next year I may try parsley. Frozen pomegranate seeds did not work even for a pale pink. I know frozen blueberries would have made a lovely shade of blue, but I couldn’t bring myself to part with my organic blueberries just to dye one or two eggs.
These are the two methods I used for extracting the dyes.
1. Boiling Method
Bring 4 cups of water and 4 TBLS Vinegar to a boil. Add a handful of plant ingredients or several tablespoons of dried spices or herbs and reduce to a simmer for at least 20 minutes. The longer you cook away the water the more concentrated the dye will be. Strain dye with fine mesh strainer into a mason jar or bowl and add hard-boiled eggs. Soak for 6-24 hours. The longer you soak the darker the color will be.
2. Steeping Method
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your dye ingredients to individual jars or bowls and ladle boiling water over them. Add @ TBLS vinegar to each jar. Let them soak in the hot water for at least 45 minutes. Strain dye with fine mesh strainer and place eggs in jars. Soak for 6-24 hours. The longer you soak the darker the color will be.
I found that it helps to swish the eggs around gently in the jars occasionally as they sit in the dye. The parts that rest against the sides of the jars will not get evenly covered with dye if they are in one spot continually. Remove the eggs very carefully, some of the dyes rub off easily until they are dry. Drying them in egg cartons works fine. Just flip them over once one side is dry so the other side doesn’t get drip marks.
And finally, if you feel your eggs look a little dull after drying, rub them with a little bit of mineral oil or vegetable oil to give them a beautiful glossy sheen. This also helps blend in any uneven spots in the dye.
So here’s what worked.
yellow onion skins