DIY Egg Dying
The egg has been an ancient symbol of rebirth and new life. Whether it be from paganism, where the word Easter is derived from the Germanic fertility goddess named “Eostre”, or Christianity where the egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus. Ancient peoples have been using natural dyes for centuries ranging from red cabbage leaves, blueberries, to coffees and teas. Most dyes that we use today are synthetic and are made from petrochemicals. A petrochemical is a product derived from petroleum. Petroleum based chemicals are carcinogenic. So, let’s get back to our roots and use those awesome non-carcinogenic dyes nature has to offer!
To dye your eggs, you’ll need to choose your food-based dyes that you want to use. You’ll also need a separate bowl & spoon for each color of egg, water and a pot for boiling. Vinegar can be optional depending on what color you want your egg to turn out. When you add vinegar, it can make certain dyeing mediums darker. Now, the natural egg dying process takes time. The average natural dyes need to sit overnight. There are some of them that can be soaked 2-6 hours, but the longer you let them sit the darker the color will be. You will boil your eggs ahead of time, but some people said that it can be more efficient to boil the eggs and the dyes in the same pot. It gives a bit of a head start on the color. Whether you do the boiling method or just end up dropping them in the water after you have boiled your plant matter. Be careful when you remove your eggs from the bowl. Some of the dyes leave a film over the egg for their color and it is very easily scratched off, like for instance hibiscus. For food-based dyes, like purple cabbage, red onion, and yellow onion, you will need a cup of the food. For the spice-based dyes you will need 2 tbsp of spice to 1 ½ cups water.
Pink Natural Dye
Beet is the best to use to make a pastel pink. You can use the powder or beet root juice. If you do the beet powder you are going to do 2 tbsps. to every 1 ½ cups of water. You will boil the powder and add 3 tbsp white vinegar. You can either boil your egg in the powder water mixture or pour the water in a bowl drop your egg in the bowl. Then let it sit for 2-3 hours or overnight. We found overnight works best. If you are using beet root juice take your boiled egg and dip it in the beet root juice and 3 tbsp vinegar. Then soak your egg for about 10-20 minutes. You can also color the egg by making your dye from fresh boiled beets, but this method takes a lot longer. Whichever way you decide you will have a beautiful pastel pink egg with no chemicals.
Yellow Natural Dye
Turmeric is the best dye in town, and if you have ever cooked with turmeric you know that one little spill will definitely dye your counter top. You will use 2 heaping tbsps. for a pot of water to boil your eggs in. You will soak your egg in the water after you have boiled the spice in the water for 30 min -3 hours or overnight. The longer you soak it the darker yellow you will get. If you want the pastel yellow, then soak it for 30 min- 3 hours. Vinegar is optional with the turmeric.
Yellow onion will be a nice very light yellow. Chop one yellow onion with the peels and add to a pot. Then you are going to boil the plant matter and strain it. Put the liquid in a bowl with 1 tbsps. of white vinegar. Drop your egg in the bowl and leave it overnight. Your egg will turn out a very light pastel yellow. For a more orange/brown color use the peels of two yellow onions and half the meat of one onion.
Blue Natural Dye
Red Cabbage leaves gives a beautiful light blue color. With the red cabbage you will chop it up slightly and fill a full cup with the plant matter. It takes about a ½ of red cabbage to make a cup. Then you will boil it in water and you can either boil your egg in the water with it or separately. After you have boiled your plant matter you will strain your liquid and put it in a bowl. Then add 3 tbsps. of white vinegar. Drop your egg in the water and vinegar and then leave overnight. In the morning you will awaken to a beautiful pastel or a little darker pastel blue egg.
Blueberries make a beautiful dark blue color. You will use one to two cups of blueberries. Then you will mash them slightly. Add them to your pot of boiling water. Then strain your liquid add it to a bowl then add 1 tbsps. of white vinegar. Then add your egg let it sit overnight. The next day you will have the most beautiful dark blue colored egg. If you want a lighter color, then soak the egg for 2-3 hours. For a dark purple, increase the amount of white vinegar to 3 tbsps. Both of these colors are beautiful, and I recommend doing both.
Hibiscus flowers also create a dark blue/dark purple color. You will use 2 tbsps. hibiscus flowers and add them to a muslin bag. We found this way works best. Add your muslin bag with the hibiscus flowers to a bowl of boiling water. You will also add 3 tbsps. of white vinegar. Add your eggs and then let it soak overnight. The next morning the egg will be either a dark rich blue or a dark purple color.
Green Natural Dye
Purple Onion surprising enough purple onion makes a beautiful light pastel green. Chop the onion with the skins and fill a cup worth. Then you will bring your cup of plant matter to a boil in a pot. Strain your liquid and then add 1 tbsps of white vinegar. Drop your egg in the bowl and leave overnight. In the morning you will have a pastel green egg coming from a purple onion! Nature is amazing.